Monday, July 31, 2017


Done deal, or that's what it appears.  Sonny Gray is a New York Yankee. Jack Curry tweeted this:
Word is the Yankees gave up 3.  MLB Trade Rumors has this:

"The Yankees pulled off a long-awaited rotation upgrade today, acquiring righty Sonny Gray from the Athletics for three prospects: outfielder Dustin Fowler, infielder/outfielder Jorge Mateo, and righty James Kaprielian.  In addition to Gray, the Yankees will receive $1.5MM in international bonus pool money. "

Nice work Cash! Sad to see some of our future go, but it is what it is.


Good morning, shoppers. Welcome to Black Monday at Kmart where strikeouts are the blue light special until 4 p.m.

Don't complain about last-minute bait-and-switch deals though. They're just part of the madness.

Photo: Getty Images
It's the final day of the non-waiver trading season and over in the Sonny Gray aisle,  you'll find Yankees GM Brian Cashman and Oakland A's Executive VP of Baseball Operations and part owner Billy Beane trying hard not to look at their watches and acting like they each have better options -- which, in fact, they do.

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
With a veteran innings-eating starter in Jaime Garcia, two top-quality bullpen arms in Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson and a corner infielder with some pop in Todd Frazier already in his shopping cart, Brian could tell Beane to take or leave a package headed by outfield prospect Estevan Florial or shortstop prospect Jorge Mateo (or both, depending which rumor-monger you now choose to believe who wrongly surmised it was a Clint/Gleyber tussle to begin with) and call it a pretty successful trip to the store whether Beane bites or not.

For Beane's part, with two more years of control in Gray's deal, it certainly wouldn't hurt to hang onto him until the winter meetings when everyone hits the reset button and there would likely be a wider group of teams interested in making a play for him.

Meanwhile, in nearby aisles there are still the murmurs of Yu Darvish, Justin Verlander, Lance Lynn and other long shot deals allegedly stirring in case the Gray thing doesn't happen.

Which wouldn't be, like, the worst thing that didn't happen if it requires more to get done than losing a couple of prospects who are  hopelessly blocked or several years from even potentially sniffing the Bronx and facing Rule 5 exposure.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
If it does go down, though, and Gray suits up in pinstripes for that reportedly paltry price in prospects,  Brian gets to keep his MLB heavyweight trade deadline championship belt a second season in a row, in my humble opinion.

Either way, I think it's become clear Brian has stuck to the spirit of the rebuilding blueprint by only making moves that upgrade this year's team while making the most minimal of negative impacts on future objectives -- and managing in several instances to upgrade those as well in the bargain.

That makes today a sunny day in Yankee Universe -- whether Brian leaves the store with Sonny in his shopping cart or not.

--Barry Millman
BYB Writer
Follow me on Twitter: @nyyankeefanfore

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Wake me up when the clock strikes 4:01pm.....

I am not sure if it is the high level of anticipation or anxiety that has me ready for the trade deadline to finally come to a close. This season has been packed with all kinds of rumors. I love rumor season, but some of them this year made me point and laugh. I just want it to be over and done with. July needs to go away and it's time to focus on August and a push for the postseason.

Photo: UPI
The bullpen has been reinforced, and the starting rotation got a band-aid fix. I can't call it an upgrade exactly but, whatever. Jaime Garcia is a veteran lefty that adds some stability to the back of the rotation. Now the question is.....can Billy Beane and Brian Cashman finally get this Sonny Gray deal done?

Credit: USA Today Sports
So again, my anticipation and anxiety are heightened. Would it be cool to have Sonny Gray? Sure. I like the idea of young, controlled starting pitching. But, I like the idea of keeping our farm in tact more. Some people call Gray an "Ace" and I disagree. To those who do, that's fine. On some teams Gray is an ace but on the Yankees he just isn't. If I had my way I would continue to hold to my "Prospect hugging" ways (that comes from readers here at BYB) and hold firm.

Photo: Newsday
I was having a friendly debate with some fellow baseball fans this week. Quite a few made the argument that the Yankees have "an army of up and coming outfielders" to which I agreed. We do. Because of that the Yankees should get rid of some of them and go "all out" and trade them for Gray which I again disagree. The name that kept being tossed around was Clint Frazier and like Cashman I say he is "untouchable" and is worth a lot more than Gray is. Pitching wins baseball games, but the Yankees can still win a bunch of baseball games with other less costly pitchers. Not for nothing, Gray would pitch once every five days while Frazier is an EVERYDAY guy and he is a FIVE TOOL player. I'm not trading him for an injury prone pitcher. Frazier is a guy you build an entire team around and he is the guy that helps gets fans to the ballpark EVERY game.

Photo: Jason O. Watson, Getty Images 
Cashman and Beane should and will continue to talk about Gray. He is a difference maker but Cashman already showed he wasn't giving up top prospects TWICE with the Chicago White Sox. He said no to not only Jose Quintana, but to Chris Sale prior to that why would he do it for Gray now? The market may be very soft for starters but he doesn't command a better package then Sale does.

Something tells me this will be a nail bitter to the last few minutes. There has to be a limit here for Gray, because he comes with some risk and the Yankees have a lot of promising talent. So who gives in first?

Please don't let it be Cashman. I can't wait until this is finally OVER!

--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor 
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

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While it's fresh in my mind, I just want to share my thoughts on this latest acquisition of Jaime Garcia.  In a nutshell... and it's just my opinion... this is spit and glue on a big open bleeding wound. That's right... it's my feeling that it's not a great get.

You can't have starters going 4 plus, and then use the pen the rest of the way every single game, especially this far into the season. If they do, they'll be spent by late August. We need to be smarter or keep working with the kids we have. Hey, maybe we do need Sonny Gray, and if the A's ask for a mid-line prospect, I'd go as far as throw in Jacoby Ellsbury too, and eat 3/4th of his damn salary.

Photo: SI
Look, my overall point is stay the course! The Yankees are ahead of schedule with our kids! No need to ship off solid prospects for a glorified a Carl Pavano or Estaeban Loaiza type-rental. I feel like Jaime Garcia is exactly that!

Give Chance a Chance. Let Justus have his day in court! Jaime Garcia? Come on, man!

  --Mike O'Hara
BYB Contributor
Follow me on Twitter: @mikeyoh21

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Sunday, July 30, 2017


How often does BYB jump the gun on trades? How about never.

(July 27, 2017 - Source: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images North America)
We will wait until the Yankees announce, or if we have a clear indication that it's official.

We just reported INCHES AWAY FROM JAIME GARCIA because while the deal was close, it wasn't official.  If you read BYB you know that I don't give a crap how many people tell you it's a done deal... we aren't in this business to be first... we're in this business to have alittle integrity in our reporting and get it right.  We wait. It's not about clicks to me, it's about making sure we don't mess it up.  I had this discussion with a reader a few minutes ago.  I appreciate it very much...

But if you know us, you know what we do here.

MLB reporters are suggesting this deal is done.  I guess it's safe to say it's done... but even Feinsand says the clubs haven't announced and so... it's not "DONE".  Hey, it's just a journalism thing for me, nothing personal.

Hey, let's add to it, another fan and friend Brian DeSalvo just Facebooked this:


So let's do this. Let's just "say" the deal is done.

Hey, I need a few writers for the busy fall I'm about to have.  Maybe Brian and Stacee can write for me here at BYB! What do you say?

P.S. by the time you read this, there is probably no question that Garcia will be a Yankee.  But I'm not the one who's gonna be first.  I am however gonna be right.


 Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America

Fans are terrific.  They give us kudos for saying what they are thinking, they give us new material for our posts, they yell at us from time to time and often, they agree with us.  This time, I want to say that this piece falls in line with "they give us kudos for saying what they are thinking."  One of our biggest fans is @dougstro and he agrees with what many other fans are saying either via social media or via conversations with me directly.  It's Time to Name a New Captain for the Yankees and that captain should be Brett Gardner.  

Derek Jeter's departure from the Yankees in 2014 left more than a void at short stop or with fans across America; it left a void at the helm and it is time to fill that void with someone who has been taking on the role unofficially for sometime.  Brett Gardner brings all the characteristics and skills that define "best practices" for leadership across multiple occupations globally.

Source: Getty Images

"Great leaders create a vision of the future that is vivid and compelling, and that motivates employees to want to achieve it," as reported in Inc. Top 10 Skills Every Great Leader Needs to Succeed.  Gardner continually does this along with the other skills, which include being able to effectively communicate, display high integrity and provide technical expertise and drive to get things done. And we have seen these skills live and in action particularly over the last few games with Gardy's walk-off home run followed by his walk off base hit last night, leading the Yankees to victory and a climb in the AL Standings.

Source: Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America

He leads by not giving up and inspiring others to follow suit.  You see this in his presence, and you feel this in the way he plays the game, with passion and professionalism.  "He's the heart and soul," said Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia. "He's the jokester, he gets everybody going. He's a big part of this team and he has been for a long time. It's great to see him having a good year," reported after Gardner's first walk off of the week.

 Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America

Time passes and teams' needs change.  It's now the time to name a new captain, and hands down it's got to be Brett Gardner.  He is a leader, driver and role model for this team.  And naming him captain may just be the final competitive edge the Yankees need to lead them into the post season.

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @suzieprof

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Ben Margot AP Photo  
Yeah, that's right, the Yanks are about to acquire Jaime Garcia from the Minnesota Twins, someone that BYB has reported on recently and someone, to be honest, I personally am not too jazzed about, but I get the need to upgrade.

1010 Wins radio just reported that the Yankees are "on the 1 yard line" in their acquisition of him. No word officially as of who the Yankees would send to the Twins, but it's interesting to say the least.  Daily News has this, and maybe they have it right as far as WHO the Yanks will be sending:

Photo: Pinstriped Prospects
"The Yankees may soon have another dangerous arm in their rotation.  New York is “deep” in discussions with the Twins to get starting pitcher Jaime Garcia in a trade...Zack Littell, the Yankees’ No. 22 prospect, may be on the move if a deal is made, according to"

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports says this...
OK then.  Look... Anything we can to upgrade the rotation and not get rid of TOP prospects! I say bring it.

This Garcia deal looks to happen at any second...

Happy Sunday.

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Saturday, July 29, 2017


Photo: Getty Images
The Yankees and A's can't make a deal on Sonny Gray and I can guarantee you it's because the A's want all our prospects, and Cashman is trying to make sure we don't hand them all over for a guy that is bound to get hurt at some point.  I love Cashman...

Hardball Talk writes:

"There was a lot of talk yesterday that the New York Yankees and the Oakland A’s were close to a Sonny Gray deal, but that seems to be at an impasse now, as Jon Heyman reports that the A’s want either Clint Frazier or Gleyber Torres and the Yankees say both of those prospects are off limits."

Yup... nailed it.  I wonder what Cashman will do to confuse the A's enough and trick them into other prospects, OR... will the Dodgers just swoop in?  We shall see.

Friday, July 28, 2017


If you could break into Yankee stadium and find the piece of Aaron Judge's tooth to put in a glass case... would you? I would.

(July 26, 2017 - Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America)
That's right. The Yankees won last night.  Aaron Judge helped in the walk-off celebration, and with all the chaos and excitement of them winning 4 in a row... Judge got slammed in the face with a helmet and chipped his tooth and lost part of it.

Andrew Marchand of ESPN writes:

Photo: Getty Images
"The Yankees' Aaron Judge broke a tooth while celebrating Brett Gardner's game-winning home run in the 11th inning of the team's 6-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

In the clubhouse afterward, some Yankees gathered at their lockers to study video of the celebration on their phones as if it were the Zapruder film. There was no consensus as to what exactly happened, but replays appeared to show Gardner's helmet ending up in the scrum and knocking the 6-foot-7 Judge back like an uppercut.

Video replays were not conclusive, but it seemed as if the helmet was on the back of catcher Austin Romine as he jumped up and down with Gardner."

I love this description of how things went down. It's almost sarcastic. I mean look, Judge is a big Yankee star now, but it's a tooth. My 14 year old got his tooth chipped off.  He had to get it bonded and it sucks but that's life.  I feel bad for the guy, but come on, Tooth gate? Really?

Anyway... the Yanks won.  I'm happy. It's Friday. I can't wait to get home from work, crack open a Corona and chill.  This week was brutal... I deserve it dammit.


I often lose touch with former Yankees only to see them pop up in the news once in a while and I say, "Man, I had no idea that guy was doing that", or, like in the case of Chad Curtis or Mel Hall, (read HERE and HERE) you are just disgusted with their behavior and it's a disgrace to not only humanity, but to the pinstripes too.

I just read this story about Danny Tartabull. I was kind of shocked. TMZ Sports writes:

"Danny Tartabull has finally been captured -- more than 5 years after a warrant was issued for the ex-MLB star's arrest on deadbeat dad charges ... TMZ Sports has learned. 
Oh, and the reason he was caught? DUMBASSERY.

Quick backstory: Officials say the former NY Yankees star -- who played in the MLB from '84 to '97 -- owes more than $275k in unpaid child support stemming back to a 2011 deadbeat dad conviction.

He violated his probation in 2012 and was ordered to surrender and serve 180 days in jail but never turned himself in. A warrant was issued."

Captured? Deadbeat dad? Really? Man oh man, and I thought my buddy's friend's story about his dad almost accidentally hitting Jesse Barfield with his car was nuts.  This one may take the cake.


Be Read. Get Known.

Thursday, July 27, 2017


The trade deadline is five days away and the Yankees have made improvements to the infield and the bullpen but the stating rotation still needs to be addressed. Time is running out and soon some of the options will be also. Not to mention some options are just really bad.

Photo: Getty Images
The Yankees have already been tied to a few names. Last week we speculated if the Yankees were one of 12 teams connected to Jaime Garcia read that HERE. This week the Yankees have been talking to the Oakland A's about Sonny Gray and then there is that crazy idea floating around about Justin Verlander in a Yankee uniform (and it really is crazy). But there is one pitcher that is flying under the radar.

Photo: Getty Images
The St. Louis Cardinals are still in the hunt for a playoff spot. They are currently 3.5 games back in the National League central but Lance Lynn is in the final year of his contract so he is a rental. He's making $7.5 million this season and he is probably worth making the expensive $18 million qualifying offer to in the off season but Lynn will be able to secure a longer term deal worth more money so he would likely decline. The Cardinals could decide to just deal him now.

While I don't see the Cardinals cutting him in the next few days especially after dealing lefty Marco Gonzales there is still a small chance. The Yankees need another starter and Gray is likely going to be expensive. If Cashman is going to stick to his game plan of the Yankees being "cautious buyers" Gray will likely cost the Yankees some blue chip prospects. Lynn could add some veteran experience at the back end.

Lynn may not be the most exciting addition compared to other pitchers, but he certainly makes more sense than Justin Verlander! He's cheaper, won't cost us the better talent and the guy has a better record than Verlander does. He's also got veteran experience and knows what it is like to play in the postseason since he was part of the winning 2011 World Series team.

Photo: Getty Images
Lynn does have some injury history. He missed all of last year due to Tommy John surgery but before that a minor oblique injury in 2011. Before missing last season he pitched 175 innings or more between 2012 and 2015 so he is an innings eater. He relies heavily on his fastball but can throw a four-seamer, sinker and a cutter with good control. He also uses his change-up and curveballs enough to throw hitters off so he has the tools. Lynn's ultimate challenge at Yankee stadium would be fly balls though, he's not a ground ball guy. Overall though, he is no more risk than any other pitcher the Yankees have been connected to recently.

Lynn may have been overlooked for awhile now but he makes sense for the Yankees. I'm sure the Cardinals probably won't see it the same way though. It's worth a call though. You can't get a "NO" unless you call and ask and he would be an upgrade over Bryan Mitchell and the other fill-ins.

Food for thought as the Trade deadline looms closer...

--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor 
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

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Photo: Getty Images
Once upon a time a couple of months ago, if Jordan Montgomery had gone 6 ²/₃ innings and given up only two hits after just 85 pitches, you could almost buy Joe Girardi giving him the hook with two outs.  

Photo: Getty Images
Back then, after all, Montgomery was still the hunch play Joe plucked from spring training obscurity, and the team was still test-driving some of the new kids on the block, seemingly playing for the fun and future glory to come.

Problem is, Monty's not a hunch play anymore, the rest of the division tanked along with the Yankees' hot start and now the division is up for grabs. The team appears -- according to the vaunted  rumor mill, at least -- to be toying with the idea of blowing some important prospects on a starter to make a run at the postseason this year.

And that means Joe, suddenly, has all the excuse he needs to abandon the youth movement whenever it suits him instead of, you know, stretching the kid and others like him into  real live starters like the team may about to be buying with valuable prospects.

So when the medium-leverage situation came up Tuesday against the Reds, instead of leaving Monty in to continue on cruise control and perhaps raise his game and length a notch, Joe yanked him and went to his newly restocked pen.  The move worked great -- for one out by  Kahnle, who was the prize of the recent multi-player trade with the White Sox.

Photo: Getty Images
Then came the eighth inning and  the struggling Betances who nearly booted the game, walking two and coughing up a run-scoring double, requiring yet a third reliever -- Warren -- to come to HIS rescue.  When asked after the game his reason for pulling the cruising young Monty, Joe's response:

“That’s why we went and got these guys,’’ Girardi said of the Yankees’ bullpen, that saw Kahnle and David Robertson added in last week’s trade that also brought the Todd Frazier. “It’s a situation [where] if I leave [Montgomery] in and the guy hits a home run, I’m asked that. I just felt it was time.”

So Joe's logic behind not letting the kid try pitching a little deeper into the game or at least finish the seventh was simply that he had new toys to play with and couldn't resist the urge.

Never mind that the rook had thrown more pitches in five of his six prior starts. And never mind that a big reason the team needed those new toys for the bullpen in the first place was due to Joe's overuse of the bullpen.  This may seem like a small thing, but this is another example of why I hope the team doesn't waste prospects going all in this year.

Because one of the most critical upgrades needed to take this younger, leaner, more dynamic team to the next level can't be fulfilled by any trade this week, in my humble opinion.  It can only be accomplished by letting Joe's contract expire after the final game of the season and performing a proper search for the right skipper who can make decisive, bold moves for the right reasons and won't hide behind ridiculous excuses to justify panic moves that blow up in his face.

Photo: Getty Images
I was still seething about Joe's excuse for yanking Monty the next day (yes, I'm capable of seething even after a win when I think we're winning battles that can lose wars) when I saw CC say a curious thing  after Luis Severino wiped the floor with the Reds.

Asked if Severino was now officially the team's ace, the Yankees former ace  had to think about it a couple seconds, and then began  by qualifying his answer thusly:

"That's up to Joe," Sabathia said. "That term is thrown around so loosely these days. But, yeah, for what that term is, he is."

It's actually not up to a manager to decide who's the ace on a team.

Photo: New York Daily News
All anyone needs is decent eyesight and a good view of the batter's box to see who's triggering the most futile guess swings and sending the most anguished faces back to the opposing dugout to know who that guy is on a team.

But within this current Yankee clubhouse, where there's no longer anyone left with championship cache to counter Joe's limited record of achievement and expertise,  even an expert on the subject of being an ace like CC (who's been the definition of  one for three teams) is hesitant to speak frankly  about the role lest he be out of step with a scripted response his boss may be rehearsing for an upcoming presser.

That's no environment for young players to develop, grow and thrive in.  Joe's by-the-book managing and fly-by-night communicating are the antitheses of what this team needs to win, this year and going forward.  Brian has been making great deals the last 12 months that make sense for the future.

That's why I have confidence he's saving the biggest, best  move for last, and the final piece in this championship blueprint will be replacing an old catcher who can't see what all young pitchers eventually need to get the final out is old-fashioned work and not new toys from the bullpen.

--Barry Millman
BYB Writer
Follow me on Twitter: @nyyankeefanfore

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