Countdown to the end of 2023 Season

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Heaney signs, Verlander auditions, and Gallo grows gloves with loving care

Three weeks until the Dec. 2 lockout. As Stephen Colbert would say, meanwhile...

1. Andrew Heaney signs with LA. Eight million per. WTF? Did this guy's feeble twin pitch for the Yankees last season?

Eight million? Good to see the Dodgers tightening their belt. Maybe they watched footage of the ONE GAME last year when the Heanster pitched well for us. It was Aug. 18, midway into our 13-game win streak, when we drank from the Maas Mountain Fountain. Heaney threw seven glorious innings against Boston - two hits, one run. Afterwards, YES awarded Brian Cashman the Nobel Prize for Trading, and we penciled in The Heannie Genie as our No. 3 horse. 

Next start, he lasted four innings, then two, then 0.1. We hot-potatoed him for the one-game Wild Card roster. Now, he's a Dodger, and they're suggesting he's next year's Robbie Ray. Good luck with that.

2. Yesterday, Justin Verlander threw for a gaggle of scouts, hoping to secure another fat contract. (Speaking of fat, Kate Upton's modeling career - case of the Mommys? NYC is a great place for a paparazzi revival.) Should we bid on a guy who, over the years, was a Yankee Killer?

Of course, yes, of course! In another time, under another owner, it would be a no-brainer. The Yankees should bid on everybody, even if only to drive up the price for our rivals - as they do to us. But Harmony Hal likes to be greeted warmly in the Owners' Club Lounge, thus he annually, arbitrarily draws his happy line on spending. 

Still, is Verlander worth a shot? He turns 39 in February, and the Corey Kluber alarm is sounding. (Corey last year was 35.) Verlander missed all of 2021, after missing nearly all of 2020. (He started one game.) But two years ago - 2019 - he went 21-9, best in the AL. That's almost identical to Kluber's history; he'd missed almost two full years. 

So, what did we get from Kluber? An enigma burger. He started slow, found his stride - was steadily improving, until the no-hitter! - when YES awarded Brian Cashman the Nobel Prize for Signings - then, poof... gone. When he returned, he was rusty. If the Yankees had beaten Boston in the Wild Card, who knows what Kluber might have delivered in the Divisional Round? My guess... a two-inning start.

Anybody who signs Verlander should expect him to pitch well for a while, then get hurt. Maybe the Yankees should sign both, and use them intermittently? Ah, just thinking of what Old George would have done...

3. Joey Gallo wins the AL Gold Glove in right field. Okay, I hear heads scratching on this. Two conclusions: 

1) The Gold Glove award aint what it used to be. (A year ago we were looking at Clint Frazier as a finalist, which Yankee fans all knew was a bullshit fluke of some algorithm.) Gallo played half-a-season in RF, and he didn't look that great in our LF. Another resounding WTF? 

2) Could there be a Gallo we simply didn't see? Did we miss something? (Just asking, don't shoot me.) Because, as a Yankee, Gallo was certifiably awful - Hall of Fame Awful - so wretched that we should wonder if we actually saw the guy - who now has two Gold Glove awards?

Last year, Gallo led the AL in walks and strikeouts, making him the poster child for boring baseball. But his OPS in Texas was .869. (With the Yankees, it was .707.) His OPS for the season stands at .808 - that's second among AL left-fielders, behind Randy Arozarena, with .815. Was he quietly better than we think?

I dunno. I just dunno. Frankly, I hope they trade him. I've seen enough. Gallo was terrible. But you do have to wonder: Could he really be that bad?


Celerino Sanchez said...

Mr. Heaney get $8.5m. Just another sign of the impending apocalypse.

JM said...

Gallo played a better RF than Judge?

Maybe Judge should've won for CF.

BTR999 said...

Used to be guys got GG’s based on reputation/prior performance. Now. Who the hell knows. There were better RF’s than Gallo last year. This could be the only award a NYY wins for’21, and it’s a tainted one at that.

Dantes said...

Gallo wins a gold glove over Judge. We’re in bizzaro’s world now

ZacharyA said...

Do you all remember the 2014 international spending spree? Quick recap from Baseball America:

>Other teams have broken their bonus pools, and other teams have spent big money on international amateur talent before the bonus pool era, but no team has ever done what the Yankees did last year. From the opening of the 2014-15 international signing period on July 2 through the end of the calendar year, the Yankees spent more than $17 million on international players subject to the bonus pools. With a $2.19 million bonus pool to start and a 100 percent overage tax for demolishing their pool, the Yankees will be paying around $30-$35 million (and counting) between bonuses and taxes.

I was looking at BA's minor-league free agent lists published this morning and saw some familiar names. So I decided to check up on where all the top Yankee free agent signings from that period are today. Beware. You may want to look away.

Antonio Arias (out of baseball since 2018)
Jonathan Amundaray (released in 2018, out of baseball)
Lisandro Blanco (out of baseball since 2018)
Leobaldo Cabrera (now in the Twins minor league system)
Diego Castillo (now in the Pirates minor league system)
Frederick Cuevas (never made it to the majors, now free agent)
Juan De Leon (never made it to the majors, now free agent)
Brayan Emery (out of baseball since 2018)
Miguel Flames (released in June 2019)
Estevan Florial (hey he's still here, but has big issues to iron out in the minors)
Griffin Garabito (out of baseball since 2018)
Dermis Garcia (never made it to the majors, now free agent)
Wilkerman Garcia (never made it to the majors, now free agent)
Nelson Gomez (now 23 years old and still in Rookie ball)
Jason Lopez (never made it to the majors, now free agent)
Erick Mendez (minor-league free agent, hasn't played since 2019)
Leonardo Molina (minor league free agent, hasn't played since 2019)
Raymundo Moreno (hasn't played since 2019, never made it out of rookie ball)
Pablo Olivares (now 23, still in Single-A, hasn't developed as hoped)
Hoy Jun Park (now in the Pirates minor league system)
Danienger Perez (.229/.285/.327 minor-league hitter, out of the game since 2019)
Miguel Yajure (6.14 ERA in the majors, now in Pirates minor league system)

What a disaster. And Ronald Acuña Jr. was available that July, but he was the one guy to slip through their fingers.

Also, because of the 2014-2015 spending spree, the Yankees were banned from spending big in the subsequent international signing period. And of course in that signing period, players like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., Juan Soto, and Yordan Alvarez were available.

I don't know how you can follow this team without drinking.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

Thanks Zach! This team has an uncanny ability to get it wrong on most deals,,,, Sheesh!

el duque said...

The saddest part is that the best talent - Yajure, Park and Castillo - are now in the Pirates' system.

Dermis Garcia and Nelson Gomez...

And they still expect us to jump for joy about The Martian?

JimmyEatsHotDogs said...

I look at Gallo in pinstripes and I wonder .... what were they thinking? I know what I'm thinking.... trade him asap!

HoraceClarke66 said...

Wait, Zach, you're assuming we DON'T drink?

Oh, Zach, Zach.

HoraceClarke66 said...

The Gold Glove has long been something of a travesty, based mostly on how well the winners hit.

But it lost all credibility a-way back in 1999, when Juicin' Rafael Palmeiro won it over Tino despite playing only 28 games at first.

That's right. 28 games. As with Gallo, the Knights of the Press Box weren't paying that much attention, and didn't feel the need to go look up the most basic statistics or anything. Disgraceful.

Hazel Motes said...

duque expresses skepticism about Gallo's gold glove award by discussing his offensive numbers. This is about what one has come to expect in the way of baseball analysis on this sote.

Kevin said...

Barney, did you learn anything regarding prospect worshiping? I'm all for bringing in young talent, but if you go back, say forty-five years, you'll have a hard time finding twenty significant draftees that actually made the club. Well, some were traded away and had great careers. Damned hard to evaluate teenagers...