Thursday, November 11, 2021

For Cashman to make the upgrades he's discussing, he must become Lady MacBeth

Over the last few news cycles, Brian Cashman has been chirping about improvements the Yankees - 2009 World Champions! - must make this winter. Though it sorta frightens me, I find myself nodding agreement. The Death Barge needs:

A shortstop
A centerfielder
A first-baseman
A lefty slugger
A new catcher (but Slim Pickens - the situation, not the actor)
And - as always - pitching, pitching, pitching... 

Here's the rub: Whatever Cashman does, his first move will be The Bomb - unleashing a massive domino drop of secondary trades and signings, leaving one prime question:

Where to start? 

Soil-er alert: I dunno. But right now, neither does anybody - maybe including Cashman. He might be waiting for a big free agent to sign, breaking the pool table and forcing a frenzy of deals across MLB. Imagine the sudden new landscape if - say  - tomorrow, the Blue Jays signed Carlos Correa. Hold your water; it probably won't happen. But what if it does? Gahhhhh! Calgon Beauty Bath, take me awayyy...   

This we know, Correa will land somewhere... and immediately rearrange the neighborhood.   

For the sake of a parlor game, let's say Cashman makes the first move. It starts at SS - our most glaring hole. He can sign one of five bigtime free agents - including Correa - or grab a veteran stopgap and wait 'til next year. Whatever he does, it means four everyday infielders - Gio Urshela, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres and the new guy - for three slots. If LeMahieu moves to first, Luke Voit goes. And the Yanks still need the lefty bat. And a CF. Does Urshela go? Do the Yankee prospects go? Gahhhhh, Calgon...

Bottom line: Once Cashman makes his first cut, he becomes Lady MacBeth - with one murder begetting another.. and another... and another. Once he starts, he cannot stop.  

It's easier to picture the few Yanks who will remain in place than to foresee next April's lineup. The likely holdovers: 

Aaron Judge in RF. (Face of the Yankees.)
Giancarlo Stanton as DH. (Contract from Hell.)
Gleyber Torres at 2B. (Still too young to ditch.)
Gerrit Cole as No. 1 starter. (Ace of the staff.)
Jordan Montgomery as No. 2. (Andy II?)
LeMahieu, somewhere. (Hope for bounce-back.)
Aroldis Chapman, closer. (Twilight coming.)
Jonathan Loaisiga in the bullpen. (Future closer?)

Joey Gallo, who knows? 
Aaron Hicks? Brett Gardner, Gary Sanchez, Urshela... ditto. Does Cashman get out in front - make the first signing and let MLB deal with the aftermath? Or does he lay in the weeds and wait for a surgical discount? 

My guess - (which, I get it, who cares?) - Cashman will strike before Thanksgiving, and certainly before the owners' likely Dec. 2 labor lockout. That will unleash the torrent. I don't think the GMs across baseball want to wait until mid-March to set their rosters. So... if and when Cashman drops the bomb... well, as Lady MacBeth would say...

Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood;
Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect and it! Come to my woman's breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers.

Did Slim Pickens ever do Shakespeare?


Dantes said...

Well, given how Cashgrab (not a typo) made public comments about Correa I’m guessing he’s going for Seager. He just drove the price up for someone else. I wouldn’t be shocked if they overpay for Seager, trade Torres for the corpse of Luis Castillo and put djl and Voit back at second and first. Centerfield? A Hicks/Florial black hole in the line up.

The Archangel said...

Two extremely important facts need to be stated unequivocally;

Slim Pickens was the most underrated actor in the history of thespians , and;

Lady MacBeth was W.S's best female. Period.

Plus, of course, Cashman and Boone still suck, Hal is unmentionable

ZacharyA said...

Dantes, is Luis Castillo such a bad trade target?

Castillo has a career 3.72 ERA/3.76 FIP with 26.2 K%, 8.8 BB%, and 1.08 HR/9. He's not an ace, but he's a very solid no. 2 or 3 arm, in my opinion. And he's only 28.

Castillo has also been extraordinarily healthy in the majors. Since 2018, he's made 108 starts (2nd most in MLB) and thrown 618 innings (10th most in MLB). He's exactly the type of modern innings-eater the Yankees rotation could use. And maybe Matt Blake could help him get to the next level of run prevention?

Castillo has two years of control remaining, and he's projected to make around $7.5M in 2022 so he isn't going to blow up the budget. Not sure what he'd cost prospect-wise, but acquiring a guy who stays on the field and can help take innings off the back of our bullpen seems like a good idea to me.

JM said...

A good argument there, Zach. We need a new Tanaka (and shouldn't have brushed off the old Tanaka when we did).

Since Joel Coen's Macbeth will be coming out soon, I think it's fair to say that casting his wife as Lady M is nepotistic but likely inspired--especially since she's an Executive Producer. But he missed a golden opportunity to cast Cashman as the theater's favorite overambitious madwoman. The wigs alone could have been worth the price of admission. You have to admit, he has the haunted, deep-set, weird eyes for it.

Then again, Gallo works in that regard, too.

el duque said...

Gallo would play Jigsaw in "Saw VI"

Doug K. said...

1) Hey Hal! We know you're always worried about budget.

Here's 9M for you. If Sanchez can't hit or field, and if pitchers don't like pitching to him, how is virtually any catcher not better?

He's going to cost 9M next year? DFA him take the 9M and do something else. What's the new guy going to bat, under .200? So? Have some extra passed balls? Yeah? Use the money elsewhere.

2) Hey Hal! Here's someone who would improve the team -- for less!


"ESPN's Kiley McDaniel projects Suzuki to ink a four-year, $48 million contract, in addition to a projected $9 million posting fee. That amount figures to be considerably lower than some of the top outfielders on the free agent market, but the unknown of adapting to the North American game is always a risk when signing a free agent from overseas."

"Suzuki, 27, slashed .319/.436/.640/1.079 with 38 home runs and 88 RBI in 2021, and has a career .943 OPS over nine seasons with the Carp."

Trade Gold Glover Gallo and do this! Because Suzuki can, ah what's the word I'm looking for, Make contact, no, uh, oh yeah HIT!

3) Hey Hal! Why is Seager a 250M+ ballplayer? His defense is just ok. So he's lefty. Big deal. As ZachA would say, it's not a good allocation of resources. Do a stopgap and let the kids come up. I hear Suzuki also plays short!

ZacharyA said...

I've been trying to find a decent catcher somewhere out there so we can nontender Gary Sanchez.

Free agency is just hideous. I guess Yan Gomes is the most appealing of the group. He hit .252/.301/.421 (.723 OPS) this season with decent defense. He's 34 and might not hold up as a full-time catcher, but maybe he's worth a small contract until we can come up with someone better.

But preferably Cashman would peruse the trade market for a young catcher.

Arizona's Carson Kelly (27), Pittsburgh's Jacob Stallings (31), and Oakland's Sean Murphy (27) all come to mind. Would cost a bundle of prospects to get any of them, given how terrible the state of catching is in MLB. But all three teams should be willing to move them for the right return.

Out of 106 catchers ranked on defense in 2021, Baseball Prospectus had Murphy 6th best, Stallings 13th, Kelly 36th, and Sanchez 91st.

All three are clearly a huge defensive upgrade, and it seems very possible (even likely?) that they can match or exceed Sanchez's .206/.302/.457 batting line over the last three years. Even if we see a drop of power in the position, it won't be hard to top Gary's BA and OBP. Make up the power drop elsewhere in the lineup.

ranger_lp said...

Would not surprise me if the Yanks sign Andrelton Simmons. Price is reasonable and they get a good glove there. Heck, maybe they can fix his hitting...?

Doug K. said...


I agree. At a minimum Hal can save money while upgrading the D.

The other upside of having a better catcher is, it makes the Yankees more attractive to FA pitchers. Why would anybody want to throw to Sanchez if given a choice of destination?


Maybe. I guess it depends if the Yankees can poach the former Red Sox hitting coach.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Yeah, Seagar strikes me as a disaster waiting to happen. He's been injured repeatedly, and missed a lot of games. He hits for a higher average than Correa, but does nothing else better. He has huge warning signs all over him.

borntorun999 said...

Actually Castillo had a bounce back 2nd half for the deads

borntorun999 said...

They couldn’t fix an ice machine at the North Pole

TheWinWarblist said...

You've pretty much fuckers up every way possible if you find yourself deep in the middle of a lake of blood.

ranger_lp said...

Seagar didn't distinguish him in the NLCS. I'd stay away from him.

TheWinWarblist said...

Whenever Suzuki comes up in this august blog, I feel like vomiting. Whatever happens, we know these Our Yankees Braintrust™®© will fuck it up.

ZacharyA said...

Seems like a good time to point something out...

2018-2021 (reg. season)

Carlos Correa 391 games/546 team games (72%)
Aaron Judge 390 games/546 team games (71%)
Gary Sanchez 361 games/546 team games (66%)
Giancarlo Stanton 338 games/546 team games (62%)
Cory Seager 307 games/547 team games (56%)

I've seen a lot of criticism about how Sanchez, Judge, and Stanton have struggled to stay on the field. Well Correa has had his issues as well, and Seager has somehow been the least healthy of the group.

Gotta pencil this into the price of a contract for whichever shortstop we target.

And as for the "lesser" free-agent shortstop options:

2018-2021 (reg. season)

Marcus Semien 536 games/546 team games (98%)
Trevor Story 503 games/546 team games (92%)
Javier Baez 495 games/547 team games (90%)