Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Until Cashman is done, we cannot judge the Ottavino dump to Boston

Sad how the Yankiverse yesterday seemed to turn on Adam Ottavino. 

Yeesh. A Brooklyn boy. Came home. Bullpen lug nut. Solid clubhouse presence. To hear the buzz following his trade to Boston, you'd think he was Randy Keisler after the snakebite: Aaron Boone no longer trusted him.  No bite on his slider. Not worth the money. You'd think Ottavino traded himself to Boston. But his 2020 - a short season for long conclusions - is a tale of two meltdowns:

On Aug. 20 against Tampa Bay, he gave up 3 earned runs in 2/3rds of an inning, blowing a winnable game. His ERA jumped from 1.08 to 4.00. Painful.

On Sept. 7 against Toronto, he gave up 6 earned runs without recording an out. Ouch. His ERA exploded from 3.95 to 7.82, and he never recovered, finishing at 5.89. (Even sadder: Boone left him in. Ottavino didn't complain.)

Delete those two games, and Ottavino finishes the season with 17.1 innings and an ERA around 1.50. Best on the bullpen.

But that's cheating, eh? We don't get to delete the Mulligans. Those were horrible losses to division rivals, and Ottavino spit the bit, shat the bed, ate the baby, mooned the pope, etc. Randy Keisler after the rattlesnake.  

He'd also stumbled at the end of 2019, when his ERA jumped from 1.64 in early September to finish at 1.90. He became Exhibit A in our vastly disappointing bullpen, which has now lost two walk-off seasons in a row. Will Ottavino become Boston's closer? Maybe. Did the Yankees give him away? Yeah. Will Frank German, the prospect we threw in, be any good? Possibly. Will we look back on this deal and wince? Fukkinay, yeah. We just sold off a pitcher to save Hal Steinbrenner a few coins.

Listen: I don't wanna be the brat who finds shit under the Xmas tree and yells, "There must be a pony!" But I believe Brian Cashman has something in mind. The Yanks just cleared $8 million in salary cap space - why call it anything else? - so Hal can avoid his all-important luxury taxes. 

Part of the money might bring back Brett Gardner, at 38, whom we love and respect, yatta-yatta, but... really? 

If we re-sign Gardy - he becomes what? a lefty platoon, a defensive OF? Suddenly, there is no room for Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar, Mike Tauchman, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Gardy and the new guy, Greg Allen, who brings superior speed and defense. Under the current crush, Andujar or Frazier could end up opening their seasons in Scranton - Scranton! No, no, nooooooo... that simply must not happen! 

The fault line this winter has always been Frazier/Andujar. Both are potential stars. Both have owner-friendly contracts. A young team could build around either. But the Yankees - even if we anticipate the usual injuries - cannot keep them both. One will die on the vine.

The Yankees need pitching, pitching, pitching... particularly a starter who is not recovering from reconstructive elbow surgery.

For better or worse, I believe Cashman will soon make his biggest move of the winter. 

Only then can we judge the Ottavino salary dump. Because right now, it sucks.


Magnus7319 said...

I have no confidence Cashman is doing anything else but signing Gardy. That's the shoe to drop. Pitiful.

el duque said...

This is from Tony...

A list of free agent relief pitchers

Liam Hendriks (32 years old, 5.2 WAR) -- Signed four-year deal with CWS (Jan. 15)
Kirby Yates (34, 3.4) -- Signed 1-year deal with TOR (Jan. 20)
Brad Hand (31 , 2.6) -- Reported 1-year deal with WSH
Archie Bradley (28, 1.8) -- Signed one-year deal with PHI (Jan. 18)
Roberto Osuna (26, 1.8)
Brandon Workman (32, 1.8)
Hansel Robles (30, 1.7) -- Signed one-year deal with MIN (Dec. 29)
Ken Giles (30, 1.6)
Tyler Clippard (36, 1.5)
Mark Melancon (36, 1.5)
Yusmeiro Petit (36, 1.5)
Joakim Soria (37, 1.5)
Pedro Báez (33, 1.4) -- Signed two-year deal with HOU (Jan. 15)
John Brebbia (31, 1.3) -- Signed one-year deal with SF (Dec. 21)
Shane Greene (32, 1.3)
Trevor May (31, 1.3) -- Signed two-year deal with NYM (Dec. 2)
Alex Colomé (32, 1.2)
Andrew Chafin (31, 1.1)
Brad Peacock (33, 1.1)
Sergio Romo (38 , 1.1)
Matt Andriese (31, 1.0) -- Signed one-year deal with BOS (Dec. 23)
Anthony Bass (33, 1.0) -- Reported two-year deal with MIA
Oliver Pérez (39, 1.0)
Matt Wisler (28, 1.0) -- Signed one-year deal with SF (Dec. 8)
Ian Kennedy (36, 0.9)
Justin Wilson (33, 0.8)
Tommy Hunter (34, 0.7)
Brandon Kintzler (36 , 0.7)
Greg Holland (35, 0.6) -- Signed one-year deal with KC (Dec. 14)
Jeremy Jeffress (33, 0.6)

el duque said...

From Tony (continued)

Luis Perdomo (28, 0.6) -- Signed MiLB deal with MIL (Jan. 4)
Josh Tomlin (36, 0.6) -- Signed one-year deal with ATL (Nov. 11)
Ryne Stanek (29, 0.5) -- Signed one-year deal with HOU (Jan. 7)
José Álvarez (32, 0.5)
A.J. Cole (29, 0.5) -- Signed MiLB deal with TOR (Jan. 12)
Sean Doolittle (34, 0.5)
Darren O’Day (38, 0.5)
Trevor Rosenthal (31, 0.5)
Jesse Chavez (37, 0.4)
Junior Guerra (36, 0.4)
Keone Kela (28, 0.4)
Juan Nicasio (34, 0.4)
Justin Anderson (28, 0.3) -- Signed MiLB deal with TEX (Jan. 13)
Kendall Graveman (30, 0.3) -- Signed one-year deal with SEA (Oct. 29)
Yoshihisa Hirano (37, 0.3)
Jonathan Holder (28, 0.3) -- Signed one-year deal with CHC (Dec. 17)
Aaron Loup (33, 0.3)
Jake McGee (34, 0.3)
Blake Parker (36, 0.3)
Cam Bedrosian (29, 0.2)
Chris Devenski (30, 0.2)
Andrew Kittredge (31, 0.2) -- Signed MiLB deal with TB (Dec. 16)
Paul Sewald (31, 0.2) -- Signed MiLB deal with SEA (Jan. 8)
Chasen Shreve (30, 0.2)
Blake Treinen (33, 0.2) -- Signed two-year deal with LAD (Jan. 5)
Hunter Wood (27, 0.2) -- Signed MiLB deal with TEX (Jan. 19)
Tommy Kahnle (31, 0.1) -- Signed two-year deal with LAD (Dec. 29)
Branden Kline (29, 0.1)
Ryan Tepera (33, 0.1)
R.J. Alaniz (30, 0.0) -- Signed MiLB deal with CIN (Dec. 11)
Brad Boxberger (33, 0.0)
Steve Cishek (35 , 0.0)
Chase De Jong (27, 0.0) -- Signed MiLB deal with PIT (Jan. 5)
Keynan Middleton (27, 0.0) -- Signed one-year deal with SEA (Dec. 16)
Mike Montgomery (31, 0.0)
Adam Morgan (31, 0.0)
David Phelps (34 , 0.0)
Pedro Strop (36, 0.0)
Alex Claudio (29, -0.1) -- Signed one-year deal with LAA (Dec. 16)
Chris Flexen (26, -0.1) -- Signed two-year deal with SEA (Dec. 18)
Clay Holmes (28, -0.1) -- Signed MiLB deal with PIT (Dec. 4)
Kevin McCarthy (29, -0.1) -- Signed MiLB deal with BOS (Nov. 16)
David Robertson (36 , -0.1)
Carlos Sanabria (24, -0.1) -- Signed MiLB deal with KC (Dec. 11)
Nick Tropeano, RHP (30, -0.1)
Nick Vincent (34, -0.1)
Luis Avilán (31, -0.2) -- Signed MiLB deal with WSH (Jan. 4)
Jimmy Herget (27, -0.2) -- Signed one-year deal with TEX (Dec. 11)
Rico Garcia (27, -0.3) -- Signed MiLB deal with SF (Dec. 4)
Nate Jones (35, -0.3)
Hoby Milner (30, -0.3) -- Signed MiLB deal with MIL (Dec. 18)
Bryan Shaw (33, -0.3)
Tony Watson (36, -0.3)
Ross Detwiler (35, -0.4) -- Signed one-year deal with MIA (Jan. 3)
T.J. McFarland (32, -0.4)
Wade Davis (35, -0.5) -- Signed MiLB deal with KC (Jan. 20)
Hector Rondón (33 , -0.6)
Matt Harvey (32, -0.7)
Jared Hughes (35, -0.7)
Heath Hembree (32, -0.8)
Edgar Garcia (24, -1.0) -- Signed one-year deal with CIN (Dec. 23)
Derek Holland (34, -1.3) -- Reported MiLB deal with DET
Melvin Adon (27, N/A) -- Signed MiLB deal with SF (Dec. 4)
Sam Clay (28, N/A) -- Signed one-year deal with WSH (Nov. 18)
Kohl Stewart (26, N/A)
Arodys Vizcaino (30, N/A) -- Signed MiLB deal with NYM (Nov. 4)

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to see the number of former Yankees who are, as of yet, unsigned. Once upon a time that was a pretty good bullpen right there.

Tyler Clippard
Mark Melancon
Chasen Shreve
Shane Greene
Ian Kennedy
David Robertson
David Phelps

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

What's Left

As far as Cashman being done I think Magnus is correct. I figure Gardy for 4-5 mil and the rest for in-season stuff.

But, as Duque said, bringing back Gardy is just plain wrong at this point.

It was wrong last year and the way this is going, it will be wrong in 2055 when the 72 year old Gardy pulls a Minnie Minoso to get in one last AB.


As the old Italian Proverb goes... "Youa never want to run ottavino with out having something else." Actually that might have been Chico Marx.

The point is he was serviceable (at least until Sept/Oct - which I believe is the crux of the biscuit)

I look at Tampa, who seemed to have an endless supply of guys I never heard of come in and throw 95+. Maybe that's the way to go. Just fling a bunch of kids at it and see who sticks.

One advantage of solidifying the rotation (At least until their arms start to fall off) is it frees up all of the "Future Yankee Aces" to deal from the pen.

In a way, it's a throwback to how a pitcher broke into the staff to begin with.

Doug K.

JimmyEatsHotDogs said...

If there is another move to be made I agree it should be a SP not a reliever nor Gardner. I think Cashman thinks he has two arms from within the organization that step up and contribute to BP. Adding Gardner makes no sense this year. Unless they can squeeze him under the 210 with a contract at 1.5mil. which he won't take. Yankee fans love GARDY but enough is enough!

13bit said...

Otto is going to grow a beard, then come back and beat the shit out of us 10 times a year. It's a dumb move. And then Gardy will return and all the young guys will be scratching their heads and thinking, why does this tub of shit get to still play at a mediocre level when we're better? I used to love Gardy. No more. Don't tell me about his leadership. If he really cared about the team, he would retire today.

Anonymous said...

Hoping this trade is like the Chase Headley salary dump with Bryan Mitchell. Unfortunately, I have visions of Fenway Park and Ottovino faces Judge, Stanton and Voit and it goes: down looking, down swinging, and down looking.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

To kinda quote Billy Martin: I feel very strongly both ways about Gardy -- jeez, I love the guy; but kee-ryst, I hope the team doesn't sign him.

Of course, I was rooting for the guy last year. And of course, a BA of .223 with 5 HR in 130 AB doesn't seem to merit . . . anything but tears.

I don't agree with 13bit (which is very rare for me) -- Gardy shouldn't do anything "for the team." You put your family first. Always. There's nothing wrong with traveling around for a full season of baseball and pocketing $5 million. If they see his declining skills and his much-better-competition from guys already on the roster and STILL want to pay him millions . . . he'd be a big idiot to walk away. It's hard to imagine him making even $100,000 as one of those yakkers on MLB network.

As I'll bet is the case for everyone here, I'd play left field for 50 cents! If only I could hit the fastball. Or the curveball.

Or a wiffleball.

Anonymous said...


"Unfortunately, I have visions of Fenway Park and Ottovino faces Judge, Stanton and Voit and it goes: down looking, down swinging, and down looking."

But that's going to happen anyway. :)

Doug K.

JM said...

Get Shane Green.

Oh, and Realmundo. Notice I didn't even have to say Sanchez.

Shit. I said it.

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