Monday, July 25, 2022

A Cashman makeover is imminent, and The Martian looks destined to move

The Yankees yesterday abruptly removed three top prospects from minor league games, without explanation - none being necessary. 

Once again, they will drain the middle rungs of their farm system for an August-September run. You can understand the decision: The 2022 team faces a now-or-never crossroads. There is no point in worrying about 2023. By then, Aaron Judge might be a Dodger, numerous pitchers could be rehabbing from surgery, and Brian Cashman might just be clipping coupons.

Which brings us to The Martian, whose time atop the Yankee hype machine is likely coming to an end. 

If you believed in Jasson Dominguez- the 19 year old, switch-hitting, centerfield fantasy who was cruelly compared to Mickey Mantle and Mike Trout - I have bad news. He'll soon be a Red, or a Pirate, or a Royal, or a soldier on some team outside our reality. The Martian is going away.

Yesterday, Dominguez was yanked from the middle of a single A game, after going one for three. Simultaneously, the Yankees pulled shortstop Trey Sweeney, 22, their first round pick from last July, and scratched catcher Josh Breaux from the Scranton lineup. All three are in the Top 20 of Yankee prospects.

When prospects suddenly disappear during games, it means they either were caught with the GM's daughter, or they're cogs in an imminent trade, and the front office fears them tweaking a gonad. Today, Monday, is the regular off-day throughout the minors, giving Cashman 24 hours to consummate something.

What might the threesome bring? They're certainly not enough to pry Juan Soto from the Nats, (probably a pipe dream, anyway.) Luis Castillo from Cincinnati is a possibility, though the Reds claim to want more. Fuck dat. After Soto and/or Brian Reynolds, the notion of getting Anthony Benintendi from KC for a three-month rental doesn't exactly move the needle. I can't see surrendering three top prospects for him. Fuck dat. 

It's worth noting who the Yankees didn't pull yesterday: 

Miguel Andujar. Poor guy. All he wants is a chance. But he's caught in Wilkes Barre limbo, forever. He will die there at age 75, never escaping Moosic.

Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza. The two top tier SSs (who presumably made Sweeney expendable.) 

Austin Wells, the catcher (who did likewise with Breaux.)  

But the big name - at least among Yank fans - is Dominguez, who has represented us in two Futures Games. Three years ago, he was the highest paid 16-year-old on Earth, with an otherworldly nickname - prompting a devil's rain of hype upon him throughout the empty pandemic year. It's worth noting that last year, the Yankees again shelled out the biggest Latino teenager contract - this time for a SS named Roderick Arias. But their hype of "Rod-A" has been considerably tamped down. Did they learn a lesson? Or will they now simply restart the catwalk with new meat?

You have to hope that, somewhere in the organization, maybe these kids have an advocate instead of a carnival barker. But as long as the Yankees are willing to bestow outlandish sums of money on 16-year-olds, they will look to recoup their investments by pushing those kids upon us, and assuring us they will be stars. 

Get ready, folks, The Martian will soon go away. Another Jackson Melian?  (Whose autographed card still goes for $150 on eBay.)  Another Jose Tabata? who hit .282 one year for Pittsburgh. Another Ricardo Aramboles? whose autographed card now goes for $20. 

Ah, but we remember them, don't we? We don't recall the faces, just the sweet and wondrous hype. Wasn't it magnificent?

53 comments:

ZacharyA said...

I'm curious what other teams think of Jasson Dominguez.

He's hyped as hell by the New York media with those ridiculous comparisons to Mantle and Trout.

Dominguez was hitting .266/.374/.440 (.814 OPS) in 75 games at Single-A Tampa this year with 9 HR, 17 doubles, and 46 walks before his promotion to Hudson Valley last week. He had a Stantonesque 27.5 K%, which seems high for a top prospect at that level. He also seemed to struggle from the right side of the plate (.230/.329/.392).

He was 19/25 (76%) on stolen base attempts, and I saw this blurb from Baseball America:

"One of the first things evaluators note about Dominguez is the way his body has changed. He has thickened up considerably into a much stockier player, which leads to questions about whether he can stick in center field. He’s already slowed down and now earns grades closer to average than the double-plus times scouts once saw."

If scouts are beginning to see Jasson as a corner outfielder who strikes out a lot, he might not be as valuable as the NY media has led us to believe.

Look at the shift in scouting grades by Baseball America:

Baseball America 2021
Hit: 60. Power: 70. Speed: 70. Fielding: 60. Arm: 60.

Baseball America 2022 (midseason)
Hit: 55. Power: 60. Speed: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 50.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Great piece, Duque.

Yes, I remember Jackson Melian. Do you know that he played for 20 years, for 20 different teams in all (there were several repeats), in three or four different countries, before finally giving it up?

The Yanks first dealt him away in 2000, to Cincinnati, when he was just 20. The Denny Neagle deal, I think. But Cashman, who leaves fewer men behind than the Marines, brought him back in 2004. That year he got all the up to Columbus, where he hit .300, albeit in just 11 games.

If someone had only tweaked a gonad at the right time...

Overall, though, he hit a grand total of 127 homers in nearly 1,500 games, and batted .258 with a .733 OPS. All perfectly fine, but not good enough. Not by far, even though he was so much better than any of us ever were.

This is the inherent sadness of the game.

HoraceClarke66 said...

ZachA, sounds like he has bulked up. Gone to the juice too soon? Maybe.

Sounds like another of the Yanks' screw-ups, but it's also what's wrong with the system. You just can't know, at 16, if some kid is going to make it or not—hard enough at 18 or 21.

Look for him in Scranton, 4-5 years from now.

AboveAverage said...

The best end of July, birthday trade deadline gift I ever received (no need for anyone to send any gifts again this year - but if you must please DM me and I'll provide you with the registries....) was when the Yankees traded for David Cone back in 1995.

So with that in mind, and Cone on the mend I celebrate again by proclaiming:

HIP, (new) HIP HOORAY for David Cone!




JM said...

We'll sacrifice the future for results today, because that's the Yankee Way. Even though it basically never works and sometimes comes back to bite us in the ass.

The thing is, do we really need players from outside the organization? Don't we really just need to jettison Gallo and Chapman and YOUR FAVORITE DISPOSABLE YANKEE HERE (I pick Donaldson, but he's going nowhere)? And replace them with one of the Ws and Miggy or Estevan?

We could use a lights-out starter, but we always pass on those, pre-sticky ban Cole being an exception. So what below-the-radar pitcher will we end up with to rid ourselves of these pesky prospects? Someone who can come in and provide a few really strong starts, then fall to the mediocrity or mediocrity-plus he's demonstrated in his career so far.

It's thrilling, isn't it?

DickAllen said...


The Martian was spotted over the winter, alongside Jesus Montero, at a local ice cream shop, sampling all 26 flavors.

Was he purposefully hyped up as trade bait?

The Archangel said...

Actually, for me, the whole prospect-watching endeavor would be a whole lot more interesting if MLB entered the modern professional draft process by allowing teams to trade draft picks carte blanche .

Once there is an international draft, the yanks will lose all financial clout.
Unless they use that money to sign more FAs.

borntorun999 said...

Arch, that could be a solid reason why Steinbungler has always opposed such methods, telling us that baseball is different than football. Words of wisdom; no wonder he is a billionaire…

I have a much more placid view of JD; as HC pointed out above it’s impossible to predict how a 16 y/o will develop and progress. I was and am content to allow the young man to go through the system and reach his potential, whatever it may be. Ignore the hype, the ridiculous and unfair comparisons. Should JD be traded? If we are truly all in, then be all in, which means all options on the table. But - you better get it right, and that means a World Series Championships. High stakes drams indeed. Stay tuned.

ranger_lp said...

From a tweet...

The Yankees are putting Domingo German out there against MAX SCHERZER?????

Doug K. said...

Gotta agree with DickA,

Rich kid with unlimited access to fast food + the pressure of being "the one" = thickening.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Zachary A.....I usually enjoy reading your statistical analysis. But in The Martian's case, you are way off base. Here's why:

You say that a "27.5 K rate seems high for a prospect at that level". It is not.

Let's do a little comparison with Aaron Judge. And remember, Jasson is usually the youngest player at his level by 2-3 years. When we compare him to Judge keep in mind that Judge was 23 years old starting in A level

Judge

Age 22 A

AB-234 K-59

A+ (Where Dominguez currently plays)

AB-233 K-72

Age 23

AA

AB-250 K-70

AAA

AB-228 K-74

As you can see, his strike out rate in the minors was about as high or at time even higher than Dominguez.

Here is Judge's draft scouting report (Score of 50 is average)

Hitting 40/50
Power 60/70
Plate Discipline 40/50

Here is the evaluation of his outfield potential: " Has spent some time in CF but arm strength and lack of range will move him to right field at the next level."

So, by your evaluation criteria, you likely would have given up on Judge.

Carl J. Weitz said...

22 years old starting at A level*

ZacharyA said...

Carl,

I didn't give up Jasson. I was just wondering what his evaluation was outside of this organization.

And I don't think it's right to compare any prospect to Aaron Judge, given how unique Judge is both in size and his long journey through the minors that required him to completely re-tool his mechanics.

Dominguez 5-10, 190lb (maybe heavier now?)
Judge 6-7, 282lb

These are not the same type of player. Not even close.

There's a reason Judge didn't debut until age 25. It was a long battle for him to figure out how to use his giant body and make enough contact to stick. That is not a battle Dominguez ought to be fighting at his height.

JM said...

Ranger, I share your jaw-dropping reaction. They have to be fucking kidding.

Also, I'd trade German for a couple of AA pitchers. I don't think he'll ever regain his form and the whole battering incident has fucked his head forever. Which, it seems, he deserves.

At any rate, we should've got rid of him right then and there. Chapman needs to go as well.

Doug K. said...

I guess the bottom line here is not so much what Jasson will be worth but what we can get for him now.

The window is closing. Jasson stands at the end of his hype but not quite at the put up or shut up stage.

He's still our favorite Martian even if he's added a couple of moons.

So he goes, but for who?

Soto?

Do it! (I understand that none of these trades are 1 for 1)

As the commercial says, "Ronzoni Sono Buoni," Which roughly translates to, "Getting Sotto is good even if you have to trade the kid who has been eating too much pasta."

Other trades using Jasson...

-- --
Bendenitendi (I refuse to learn how to spell his name) No.

Brian Reynolds? Well he's currently hurt but I say it's a good long term move and I'd like to make the Reynold's trade a wrap. But... find other players.

Castillo? Yeah. We need pitching. We also need hitting so Jasson as part of a Castillo trade and others for Reynolds.



JM said...

Doug, I wonder if we do really need hitting? Isn't it simply a matter of waving goodbye to Gallo and using Donaldson only against lefties? And bringing up Miggy (who I have more faith in) or Florial?

Carl J. Weitz said...

At 19 years old the window is hardly closing. The hype is definitely BS but that's the Yankees method of operation. But their entire Bloated Front Office is also built on bullshit.
If they do trade JD, I doubt it would be for Castillo. More likely in a package for Soto.

ZacharyA said...

The Yankees have scored 520 runs this year, most in MLB and 33 more than the 2nd place team (Dodgers).

So you could easily argue we don't need another bat. Release Gallo, call up Andujar/Florial, and focus on pitching.

On the flipside, the Yankees hit .151/.268/.292 (.560 OPS) against the Astros, our most likely ALCS opponent, in seven games.

Do you write that off as a small sample-size blip? Or do we believe that's our true talent-level against Houston? In which case, we desperately need a bat.

Carl J. Weitz said...

One more thing....At Tampa, Jasson was 2.2 younger than the average player.
Currently at A+ Hudson Valley he is a whopping 3.5 years younger.

Zach...I think the comparison with Judge is valid. They were both rated very similarly by the major scouting groups. You are correct that Judge had to overcome a bad loop in his swing. But most players, even very good ones usually do. But the main reason that Judge matured at an older age, assuming that JD matures in the next few years ( the aggregate scout estimation is that he hits the majors in 2024) is due to Judge finishing 4 years at Fresno State.

JM said...

Zach, I think it means we need pitching as good as the Astros' more than we need better hitting (except for the Gallo/Andujar move, of course).

Carl J. Weitz said...

Usually have to fix some flaw in their hitting stance or pitch recognition/plate discipline.*

JM said...

Our losses to Houston almost invariably seem to be one- or two-run affairs. If our pitching staff didn't give up those extra runs--often in relief--I think we'd be okay.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Great debate, gentlemen! I found myself going constantly back and forth on it.

I think the bottom line is this:

YES, I would risk trading even the Martian for somebody who could be vital to us winning this year—Luis Castillo—OR a huge, potential (yes, I see that shrinking BA, too) impact player such as Soto.

I would do either. Castillo is, I think, a higher priority, in that he would provide what we need more—first-rate, starting pitching—and there may be other openings to entice Soto to town (if HAL wants to, which I doubt).

So, YES, I would fire off even the Martian for Castillo...

AboveAverage said...

So many options -

The baseline, bottom line, between the lines move that needs to be made without fail is to put Gallo out of everyone's misery

As painful as it is to watch him grimace and cuss his way back to the dugout after every K, it has to be 10x harder to be inside that melon of his. It must be like a controlled demolition taking down a high rise inside his brain.

Then the pitching needs to be reenforced.

Then the offense.

Short of gutting the farm at the deadline we may indeed have enough offensive help down there to call up and work into the lineup.

I'm way more concerning with our arms.

Hopefully most of us will be satisfied with whatever shakes out.






HoraceClarke66 said...

...I say NO, if this is about acquiring The Unvaccinated One, or a currently injured player.

All political and health beliefs aside—I don't care if you think Covid is the Black Death or a nefarious plot of the Illumnati—we cannot get a guy who is legally forbidden to play against a leading division rival, and possible playoff opponent. It would be senseless to get Benitendi.

It will also be senseless to give away serious minor-league talent for one of the 3rd or 4th starter noodniks that Cashman is almost undoubtedly planning to get instead of Castillo.

Just sayin'.

JM said...

I agree with AA. First things first.

AboveAverage said...

Congrats on your new George Reeves as Mr Kent avatar, BTR999

JM said...

I agree with Hoss. Nobody with a fear of needles. The medical tool or the town in California.

AboveAverage said...

wish auto correct didn't select concerning instead of concerned when I typed in my second to last sentence above

its very concerning - and I'm very concerned

ZacharyA said...

Horace, I completely agree with you on Benintendi.

My fear is that Cashman now smells a bargain since Benintendi's value has likely dropped a bit. We know how Brian loves to win trades on paper. Remember when he got Aroldis Chapman cheap because of the DV stuff? This is his moment.

Carl J. Weitz said...

I would give up JD for Soto but not Castillo. He would likely have to go in a package for Soto but I'm sure Cincy would take a package of one of our 3 SS prospects (including Trey Sweeney).
I thought the Yankees are higher on Volpe than Peraza but the scouts actually rate Oswald just a tick higher than Anthony. They have so many needs that with only that a good package could be done without trading the Martian. Castillo would be under control for 1 season plus about 65 games.
But this is assuming they would deal him to the Yankees. Other teams could probably provide better prospects then us.

ZacharyA said...

Estevan Florial in AAA
.290/.373/.503 (.876 OPS) in 330 PA
12 homers, 24 doubles, 28 stolen bases

Miguel Andujar in AAA
.303/.351/.486 (.837 OPS) in 225 PA
9 homers, 11 doubles, 5 stolen bases

I wish the Yankees would've given either of these guys (or both) a shot over Gallo a month or two ago. Then we'd have more information on what we need at the deadline.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Yup, AA....Autotype just screwed up another sentence of mine.

Carl J. Weitz said...

BTR....are you in the George Reeves/Superman group on FB? It's actually a funny site.

Doug K. said...

JD

We keep falling short against the Astros. They are the only team that matters.

Even in the series where they cheated we scored pretty much nothing against them.

I forget the specifics of what ZachA posted a few days back but in our games against them in the last few years I think it was we lost 10 by one run and another 5 by two. Many of those were low scoring affairs. It's not the pitching.

We need hitting. Mostly of the situational kind. How many men do we leave on base after having runners in scoring position with less than two outs.

Yes we score a lot of runs but look at the Astros - if they get them on they get them in. We don't.

Yes, losing Gallo and only playing Donaldson against lefties will help.

Sure, finding a replacement for Hicks and playing Higgy less will improve the team.

And, of course Crazy Glueing Stanton's front foot down in the batters box would improve things.

Not to mention figuring out why Rizzo's BA is so low and replacing Marwin with...

Oh let's face it, the only guys I trust right now are DJ, Judge, and Carpenter. And I guess Gleyber although what good is a player that hits singles and doubles but keeps running into outs.

Hitting!

Yes we score a lot of runs but look at the Astros - if they get them on they get them in. We don't.

And AnDUjar is not a solution. If he was he'd be up. I like the guy but it's like Frazier. He got his chances. He's back in AAA with the Cubs. A team that frankly, stinks. I hope they trade him and he blossoms but he may not have it.

So trade away.

Reynolds >>>> Hicks.

Soto >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> (you get the idea) Gallo

Those two moves get it done.

Then figure out bolstering the pitching.

AboveAverage said...

I am not - CJW. Perhaps I should take a pee k

(although a few of us here are unhappy with how WB is treating Cavill)

AboveAverage said...

I'm with Doug! -

Spin the damn wheel any way you wanna - Just IMPROVE/BOLSTER/RELOAD/ENHANCE/STRENGTHEN/MAKE MORE GOOD THE TEAM.

(insert smiley face here)

Get'R Done, Son!

borntorun999 said...

No Carl, but I just might fly, er, I mean browse over there!

Mildred Lopez said...


After having to force myself to watch the shitshow that was the 2021 season I was convinced - convinced! - the team would sign Corey Seager. It was the absolute perfect balance of need, availability, and fit. It made all the sense in the world, required no thought. Instead we got Crusty McRusty and another third baseman to play out of position at short.

Last year we needed a starter. Sherzer was there but the Braintrust got us Andrew Heaney. We got Gallo because Hal didn't have to pay him. We got Rizzo, who I like, and we got Clay Holmes as a restoration project. We got not nearly enough.

Pardon my pessimism but I have no faith at all in Combover Cashman this year. Soto? Nope. Castillo? Not a chance in hell. Reynolds makes sense - he doesn't fit the Pirates' timeline and we could sure use him. Won't be a Yankee though. Costs too much.

So you want Castillo? You'll get Clevinger. Soto? What? With Tyler Naquin available? It's just another year of dashed-on-the-rocks world series dreams here on the SS Disappointment. Ship be sinkin'.



Carl J. Weitz said...

No comment until the time limit is up!

JM said...

Doug, I have to respectfully disagree. Yes, the Astros get guys on base and then get them in, but why? Because our pitchers aren't good enough to stop them.

Good pitching does beat good hitting every time. Yes, we have problems often producing with men on base. But why don't our pitchers give Houston the same problems?

Our staff is just that much more porous. If you score 12 runs a game, you probably win them all. Against frontline pitching, you won't. But you need to stop the other team from scoring before you can start to worry about OUTscoring them.

We don't have the same quality of pitching. We never have. That's how they always beat us. Adding more hitters probably won't accomplish anything if their staff can shut them down.

And I also disagree about Miggy. We know full well that sometimes we see more and better than coaches. Miggy hasn't disappointed in the slim chances he's been given. But he's not around long enough to really prove himself. Gallo, inexplicably, has, and failed.

JM said...

999, my favorite episode was with the Mole Men. Pilot, no? Supe was actually pretty damn nasty sometimes, seemed almost sadistic. Creepy but interesting.

Kevin said...

IMHO, there's no way that The Brain is putting together a package for The Unvaccinated One, he's only a rental. Maybe Castillo and Drury? Going back to the Martian, he's doing well, 3.5 years younger than his competition is impressive. The Brain is under the gun....

AboveAverage said...

we are huge super fans here in this house

999 - fyi - the sound of Reeves landing is a gunshot played backwards



Kevin said...

Many people on this blog pine for Urshela and dislike Donaldson. They have similar OPS numbers, very similar. But Donaldson's WAR is 2.1 v Urshela's WAR of .9. So this would lead me to believe that Donaldson's fielding is quite superior to that of Urshela, especially given that Urshela has played in more games. Urshela has always looked like a fine fielder, but the fielding models disagree. Who ya gonna believe?

JM said...

Kev, it's impossible to figure real WAR value because Urshela was throwing to Voit a lot of times. He was not a good fielder. So who gets the knock when things don't work out? The fielder? The 1B? Both?

I don't know. But it seems like a lot of "sloppy" play on the left side when Voit was playing first might have really been inadequate first baseman skills.

JM said...

I, for one, don't pine for Gio. I pine for DJ as the regular third baseman and Donaldson coming off the bench from time to time, and only against lefties.

I think we have a better team offensively and defensively if that was the case.

Doug K. said...

AA,

Gnab?

Doug K. said...

JM,

I agree to disagree. Sadly, neither one of us will get what we want in terms of a trade.

AboveAverage said...

Doug,

more like . . .

gggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggnaB!

(insert smiley face)

Kevin said...

JM, the WAR numbers are for this year only. I totally agree with your premise though. We had one of the worst defense's in MLB last year. I always will wonder how many gold gloves did Jeter lose once Giambi came in. Giambi definitely cost Jeter an MVP.... Your idea of playing DJ more at third base has plenty of merit. WAR has DJ coming in at fifth place in the AL!!! I don't know the intricacies of what exactly WAR measures (does anyone?), but I would think versatility must help. Maybe? We should give The Brane his props for signing DJ, and the analytics boys for using him properly. Of course DJ would get more points if he played second base, but we have The Turtle ensconced there, sigh...... Thank the juju gods that we got rid of Voit, he's having a sub-Voit year, as is Wonder Lad Tauchman. Sometimes we have to trust that the Yankees baseball people understand the game better than we do, have better stats, and are seeing up close how the baseball athlete looks.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Sorry I wasn't around for much of this debate.

But just to add this:

It's true, Donaldson has a slightly superior OWAR compared to Gio this year —1.1 to 0.9—though I'm not sure why this is, as Gio has a higher OPS, .722 to .704, and isn't OPS supposed to be the ultimate stat?

Whatever. But Donaldson also has a higher DWAR this year, 0.9 to 0.3.

Is that accurate? I dunno. Fielding stats are notoriously hard to back up. But I will say this...

HoraceClarke66 said...

The big problem on the left side is NOT so much replacing Gio with Crusty—though Gio IS 6 years younger—but at SS.

As Mildred mentioned, Corey Seagar—an all-star lefty, with 23 home runs so far—would've been a pretty damned good fit at short. So would Carlos Correa, though he is a righty.

Instead, we get Falafel, a likable enough player, but a guy with an OPS something around 150-160 points lower than either one, and not as good a fielder.

This is all based upon The Brain's conviction that he has all-star SS of the future—or two!—about to come up. There is no evidence that he has anything of the sort. And with Correa or Seagar in place, well, what could we do with such an individual. Maybe...trade him for a good pitcher or a great outfielder....?

Nah!