Tuesday, January 22, 2019


Photo of: Josh Stowers
Just when you thought it was done, it wasn't... and then it was, and then we got someone from Seattle.

That's the brilliance of Cashman.  Keeping the cards close to the vest and making the right moves any way he can.

Quick note at this point... and then we move on.  Sonny Gray is gone from the Bronx. I'm sure he's thrilled. I know the Yankee fan base is, and by the way... that's OK.  Gray didn't fit in the Bronx and that happens sometimes.  It doesn't mean he doesn't succeed any place else. I actually think he's a solid pitcher. The problem was the dynamic with he and New York didn't work out. And so... now we move on.

Bryan Hoch writes:

"Sonny Gray is receiving the change of scenery he coveted, shipped to the Reds on Monday afternoon as part of a three-way trade that resulted in the Yankees' acquisition of outfield prospect Josh Stowers from the Mariners. 

Thirteen weeks after general manager Brian Cashman candidly said he was "open-minded" to trading Gray, Cincinnati sent infield prospect Shed Long and a 2019 Competitive Balance Round A pick to the Yankees in exchange for Gray and Minor League left-hander Reiver Sanmartin

The Bombers then flipped Long for Stowers, who was Seattle's second-round selection (54th overall) in last year's MLB Draft and was rated as the Mariners' No. 10 prospect by MLB Pipeline."

And just like that, the Yankees improved their future.  And that's the genius of this whole thing. You would think that Gray's value was low, but they almost had Shed Long a solid young prospect, but then they improved even more snagging Josh Stowers. Love it.

In the end Gray is gone.  In the end, we just became a better team.

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Monday, January 21, 2019


We are 21 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training and Sonny Gray is still a Yankee, surprisingly. The trade we've heard is going to happen hasn't yet. The Red's and Yankees have agreed on the package for the trade, but it sounds like the Red's are looking for a little more before the deal is final. So, what's the holdup?

Neither team has commented on the close to done deal that would send Gray to the Reds in exchange for second-base prospect Shed Long and a compensatory draft pick. The Reds and Yankees are in agreement with their negotiation....but now the Reds want to negotiate with Gray.

At the end of the season Gray is set to become a free agent. If the Reds are going to send a draft pick and their seventh best prospect who could be MLB ready as early as next season, they want a longer commitment from Gray, so they are trying to negotiate an extension. Jon Heyman tweeted the details over the weekend.

The Reds have been interested in Gray all off season, and maybe the connection with new pitching coach Derek Johnson will make this negotiation with Gray easier. Obviously delaying free agency isn't something players are interested in doing. If Gray went to the Reds with no extension and had an incredible bounce back season he might get a big payday from another team. In that case, the Reds lose a top prospect and a draft pick for a one-year rental if they can't sign Gray in the off season. They are already concerned about attracting pitching as it is.

But the Reds have been making upgrades with one-year rentals all winter. Other recent additions include Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Tanner Roark, and Alex Wood. If the Reds can add Gray to the rotation he would be the third notable pitching addition to the rotation since the Reds acquired Roark from the Nationals and Wood from the Dodgers in other deals last month.

I think negotiating an extension with a player is always hard, but maybe the Reds have reason to be confident here because of the connection with his old pitching coach. This could be a win-win scenario here for the Reds. If they can negotiate another year or two with Gray and he has a bounce back season with them it will be good trade for both sides.

Gray said he wants to "play somewhere you're wanted" and it's clear the Reds want Gray, and reconnecting with Johnson could be the best thing for him. Here's to hoping that we hear some good news at the end of this long holiday weekend.

It's time to move on and get this deal done, best of luck to you Sonny.

--Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj

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Sunday, January 20, 2019


Source: NESN

Word on the street is that the Sonny Gray deal is going to drop this weekend, shipping out the 29-year-old pitcher who just could not hack it in the Bronx.  According to Jon Heyman via a post on CBS New York, Cincinnati is the front runner of this trade.

Source: Reds Minor Leagues

"Catcher Tyler Stephenson and Second baseman Shed Long (Cincinnati’s sixth and seventh-best prospects according to MLB.com) are the names rumored to be in a proposed package for Gray."  CBS also reports, "along with the Reds, the Braves, Brewers, Giants, and Padres are all said to still be in the mix for Yankees’ expendable starter."  At the time of this post, the Reds and Yankees appear to have reached an agreement to ship Gray to Cincinnati for a draft pick and Long as reported by Fox Sports New York last night. Apparently, Stephenson will not be part of the deal. Honestly, whatever we are able to recover as a result of unloading Gray is fine with me.  He's better off going somewhere else where he could potentially be successful.

Fans, loyal readers... let's all pause and breathe out a collective sigh of relief.  The Sonny Gray nightmare is over and there is light at the end of the tunnel. I haven't been this relieved since Brian Cashman dumped Tyler Clippard in July 2017, ending that nightmare stint in New York. Ironically, this is just about the time we picked up Gray.  When one door closes, another one opens...didn't work out quite that well for the Yankees.

"The right-hander seemed to implode in every single appearance in the Bronx, pitching to a miserable 6.98 ERA at home. He would eventually be demoted to the bottom of the Yankee bullpen as GM Brian Cashman opted to trade for Lance Lynn rather than give the ball back to Gray," reported CBS. Implode is describing his performances lightly.  Recall how anxious we all got when it was Gray's turn in the rotation. My disgusted face re-appeared often this past season, even a few days before he was expected to take the hill.

As we approach just under three weeks until pitchers and catchers report, let's hope that the storms don't hold back Gray catching a plane and getting out of town to join his new team in time for the upcoming workouts.  No hard feelings, Sonny. It's just time for everyone to move on.  The Sonny Gray Saga is about to end...and that's just one less thing to worry about.

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

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Saturday, January 19, 2019


My first instinct was to run up on them, grab one of them by the shoulders and blurt out "Can you PLEASE tell the Yankee audience that Manny's not coming? They are all driving me crazy!"  Then I would have laughed like Henry Hill after he realized he just dodged getting whacked by Tommy in the whole, "You think I'm a clown", dialog...

But I don't really know these guys.  They're just friends in my head.

Jack Curry and Bob Lorenz were standing behind me at the bar in Del Frisco's and I realized after my fantasy introduction that I wasn't gonna do that at all.  That's because they were out on the town with their wives and friends and it just wasn't right. John Flaherty was there too. Smiling, laughing, having a great time.  And so, I just didn't do it. I wouldn't do it. I even declined myself to take a picture. No Selfie, no candid. They were trying to live their life. They were trying to cut loose, blow off some steam on a Friday night.  And so, I hung with my bud, we shot the shit and then we made our way to the next place.  It's what I do, I don't bother celebs and I rarely interrupt them trying to unwind.
Call me a fool.  After all, I've been reading Jack Curry since he was with the New York Times.  We've been breaking chops with Bob Lorenz for years here at Bleeding Yankee Blue.  But that doesn't give me any type of authority to just go jump into their conversation. For me, it's about respect.

But why am I writing this? Because afterwards, they told me I could. And the next time, I would.

You gotta love the YES Network family. They got it on lock. Curry, Lorenz, Flash, Coney, O'Neill, Newman.... all of them. They are terrific people.  But more importantly, us folks? We feel like they're our friends. They light up the camera, they give us great info every time they're on. And that's why I love these guys.  They don't get caught up in the cesspool of Twitter. They're old school... class acts.

That's what I see on the air. That's what I saw last night on Del Friscos.

Thanks for the invite guys.  I'll do my best Henry Hill next time.

Keep up the great work! Nice seeing you... kind of.

Mike O'Hara's New Website

Friday, January 18, 2019


Adam Ottavino is a New York Yankee, and if you don't like this move and the deal of 3 years, $24 million, you just don't get it.  The Yankees are probably out on Manny Machado.  The Yankees are probably not interested in Bryce Harper... and that's OK.  Why? Because the Yankee offense was never the problem. The Yankees needed pitching and Brian Cashman delivered.

Now some of you will say "Well, he still might do it! He still may bring Manny to the Bronx!" Sure, waste you damn time and dream about it all you want. You may be right. I think you're wrong.  That's it.  I think if the Yankees were really hell bent on bringing Manny to the Bronx, it would have been done a long time ago.  This standing offer of 7-years, $175 million is ridiculous from the White Sox. The fact that he hasn't taken it is even more ridiculous. What is he waiting for? I can't imagine it gets much higher than that.  Why? BECAUSE HE'S NOT WORTH IT.

And sure, you can argue that Manny is one of the best players of his generation. Sure, have fun with that. Maybe he is. But reputation is valuable and when you show arrogance and suggest that you don't need to hustle for a team because you don't need to because you're Manny Machado... I have news for you, you become tainted.

And that's why the Yankees remained stern and went for what made sense.  Getting Adam Ottavino and eventually seeing him on the Yankee Stadium mound with pinstripes on makes the loss of David Robertson alittle bit better. Plus, the dominance of the Yankee pen is and can be amazing. But I caution thinking this so soon. The season even hasn't started yet. I hate speculation of how great something will be before it is.  But looking at it on paper... it's pretty incredible that Cashman pulled this off.

And what's more impressive is that Cash has been tough about every move he made. There's no BS involved. He's surgical... strategic and did what the Yanks needed most.  Even he knows offense in that Yankee lineup is damn good.  An extra big bat? Sure, it helps, but not at the price Manny is demanding. And so, what Cashman did was brilliant. He signed a guy who didn't demonstrate arrogance when he went to the press and alluded to the fact that he doesn't have to do certain things for a team. Instead, he told the press what he WILL do for a team... and did it with the most Iconic Yankee of all time...

"I would strike out Babe Ruth every time."

That's not arrogance folks, that confidence. And in the end, I want that guy on my team. It may be a trick, but I'm sold!

Welcome to the Bronx, Ottavino. My only wish is that I could see that magical show down between you and the Babe. That would be fun to see.

Go kick ass, Adam!

Be Read. Get Known.

Thursday, January 17, 2019


I love strategy. That's why when teams find a reclamation project, take a risk and it pays off it makes baseball even more exciting. Every team looks for them, hell fans look for them too. The Yankees are proving this season that they aren't afraid to gamble, and I hope it works.

It feels weird to call Troy Tulowitzki a reclamation project. He was an elite player in his days with the Colorado Rockies, but we saw a different Tulo in Toronto after his injuries held him back. The Yankees took a gamble with Tulo, and why not? Toronto is on the hook for the $37 million left on his contract with them. When they cut him loose the Yankees signed him for $555,000 and if he can be productive for the Yankees and stay healthy that will be the best money spent. No risk, and high reward. It's what teams and fans salivate over.

But Tulo isn't the only reclamation project, there's another guy who has already worn the Yankee uniform. Remember Tommy Kahnle? I prefer to remember him as the reliable guy the Yankees acquired prior to the 2017 trade deadline who was having a dominant season. He was a huge pickup because he came with three seasons of team control. The Yankees envisioned that a guy like Kahnle could help the Yankees contend not only in 2017, but beyond.

Then something went wrong this past season. The wheels fell off. Kahnle struggled early; he threw 23.1 innings with a 6.56 ERA and his walk rate was 14%. Oh and then he got hurt and was sent down to Triple-A where he continued to struggle. The guy the Yankees couldn't wait to give the ball to in 2017 suddenly became the guy they wanted to keep away from the ball.

Yet here we are, as bad a Kahnle was last season he has an opportunity to earn his spot back. He's out of minor league options so the Yankees won't be able to stash him down in Triple-A again. I don't think that will guarantee him a spot though, he is still going to have to earn that back, especially if the Yankees sign Adam Ottavino then there will be fewer spots to go around. I think the Yankees will keep the best arms regardless, but there are two things to consider with Kahnle.

1. He says he is finally healthy
He spent almost two months on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation and when he returned he never looked like himself. He says he just tried to pitch through it but it looks like that just made a bad situation worse. He wasn't on the postseason roster so that gave him extra time to rest and recover. Kahnle is still 29, so he's not at the age where you expect him to regress. Hopefully the extra rest does the trick.

2. If the Yankees didn't believe in him, they would've non-tendered himThe Yankees have more of a 40-man roster crunch this season compared to last. If they didn't think he was salvageable then they could've easily eaten his small salary and dropped him and used his roster spot for someone else, but they didn't. The Yankees are already over the luxury tax, so if they wanted to save a little money (every little bit counts) they could've just cut him. Obviously the Yankees are at least willing to take him into Spring Training and see what he has to offer. If the wheels fall off again they could still cut him. But the fact that Kahnle is still around shows that the Yankees think he is still capable and they can save him.

I hope Tulo and Kahnle both have bounce back seasons. Not only would it be good for the Yankees and exciting for baseball fans.....but who doesn't love a good comeback story?

--Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj

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