Monday, December 30, 2019


The end of 2019 is in sight and 2020 is knocking on our doorstep. Soon spring training will be in full swing and the chase for 28 will be back on. The question that I really want answered at this point is.....will J.A. Happ still be a Yankee?

It's deja vu all over again. This time last year it was a "wait and see" as Sonny Gray's fate had yet to be determined. We were reading for weeks and weeks about how the Yankees were actively shopping him and there was interest but all of us were anxiously waiting for resolution. We went into 2019 and Gray was still a Yankee.

And then it finally happened. In January of 2019 the Yankees and Reds finally came to an agreement and Sonny Gray was no longer a Yankee. Maybe J.A. Happ will be similar? Maybe, just maybe we just need to be a little more patient. It's hard, but hopefully it is next on Brian Cashman's checklist but we really haven't heard a lot about Happ.

On December 9th Joel Sherman said the Yankees were "actively shopping" Happ and Andy Martino on December 10th told us National League teams were interested possible the Phillies or Brewers....but since then nothing.

But Happ is not an easy sell compared to Gray. He had a 4.91 ERA last season and 37 years old. He has a 2021 vesting option for $17 million that triggers at 165 innings or 27 starts. Gray on the other hand, is 30 and is signed through 2022 and not making $17 million a year. Happ struggled through most of the season, but rebounded toward the end of the season. He's durable and effective against lefties which is selling point the Yankees will rely on to get him traded.

It's been quiet on the Happ front for a few weeks now. The Yankees are counting on trading him to help with some of the luxury tax penalty which makes sense. Hopefully after we ring in 2020 things will move faster with Happ.

Something will happen with Happ soon, I hope. We'll see how much salary the Yankees will have to cover and who else the Yankees may have to include to make it happen.

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

Sunday, December 29, 2019


Source: CBS Sports

We all know that the pesky Tampa Bay Rays were a thorn in the Yankees' side.  And the Red Sox are just a pain in the ass; but what if the Los Angeles Dodgers made the guys from Fenway a little easier to mow over in 2020?

Mookie Betts, one of the games most precious commodities these days, is said to be on the block.  But that's no news, since the Red Sox have been interested in unloading some salary and he seemed to be a formidable candidate with his free agency approaching in the next year.  Boston keeping him or another AL East team picking him up is not going to help the Yankees who would have to play him 18 times in division matchups.  But a National League taking him...well that's another story entirely.

"Might the Dodgers turn to a full-court press on Betts if they miss on other targets? Could some other team see a chance at vaulting past their rivals in one fell swoop? There has been much talk about how Betts may not be all that valuable on a one-year deal that’s likely to approach $30MM. Well … what about the rarity of the opportunity to rent a mid-prime, 6-7+ WAR player without promising him gobs of money into his late thirties? There’s immense appeal to that as well," reported

The Yankees have done this kind of deal themselves; to bring in a bat or a pitcher to help put them over the hill.  Betts has a lot of stamina and years left.  If the Sox unload him to a non-AL East team, that would help the Yankees soar a lot easier into the top of the standings.

Source: USA Today

Let's hope Betts goes and we continue to build up our arsenal.  It is possible we see Miguel Andujar go as our fearless leader Robert Casey predicted in his piece, I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING MIGUEL ANDUJAR... SOMEWHERE. This would give us more good pitching perhaps and additional insurance for the AL East quest.  Mookie, you might like it in LA.  Take a chance...why not? You don't want to stick around in cold Boston another year do you?

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @Suzieprof

Saturday, December 28, 2019


I don't know for sure if Miguel Andujar is coming back to the Yankees.  I just read this article by Dan Martin of the New York Post and I'm convinced that seeing quotes from skipper Aaron Boone about Andujar's health only means one thing... they are letting the baseball world know that he is available.  But hell... what do I know?

Bleeding Yankee Blue are just a bunch of bloggers that predicted Ichiro coming to the Bronx (read HERE), Jacoby Ellbury signing here (and sucking HERE) and Giancarlo eventually signing here too (HERE).  In other words... we know a lot.

My gut tells me that while I'm looking forward to seeing Miguel in 2020, it won't be in a Yankee uniform.  I swear to God I've seen this movie before. The Yanks are sending a shot over the bow to tell everyone that if you want to make a deal with them for Miguel, make it, because you will get a good, healthy player. We shall see.

Anyway, This is what the New York Post says:

"'With less than two months left before spring training, the Yankees still have Miguel Andujar and Gio Urshela slated to battle for third base, with Gleyber Torres moving from second to shortstop to replace Didi Gregorius

[Andujar] is doing really well,’ Boone said Friday at Yankee Stadium, where he was on hand to do the pregame coin toss prior to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl that saw Michigan State top Wake Forest, 27-21. 'I expect him to be ready to go for spring training.'’’

Now one thing to point out here... Urshela is a dynamic defensive player. What worked for him is that his bat followed fantastically too last season and we really saw a player that we didn't even realize we were getting offensively. And so, Gio gets major points here.  Andujar in my opinion, while good, is still developing... and his defensive is no where near what Gio's is. And for me, that's a red flag when it comes to whether or not Miguel stays.

Hey, they could platoon these guys I suppose. Both of their bats are great. I just don't see it.  I could be wrong and that's fine... just my gut talking folks... and when my gut talks... I usually write about it.

We shall see.

Friday, December 27, 2019


A quick note...

Edwin Encarnacion and the Chicago White Sox have reached an agreement on a one-year deal for $12 million. In 109 games last season, Encarnacion batted .244 with the Mariners as well as the Yankees. With just the Yankees, he hit .249 with 13 home runs and 37 RBIs in 44 regular season games.

His new deal also includes a club option for 2021 at $12 million, coming after Chicago signing of 2015 Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel.

Nearing his 37th birthday, Encarnacion is still capable of top-notch hitting. Even though Suzie Pinstripe says, "the White Sox are the team players go to to die," could this be what the team needs to add some power to their line up?

What do you think? Are you sad to see him go? Comment.

--Missy O'Rourke
BYB Contributor
Twitter: @missy_orourke

Thursday, December 26, 2019


Okay, I don't mind being the underdog.

Like many of you, I was pretty busy preparing for the holiday this past week. I got behind on rumors  so while my Christmas cheesecake was baking in the oven I decided to catch up on some baseball news and found an interesting perspective from ESPN HERE. A subscription to ESPN+ is needed to read the full article BUT I can give you the breakdown if you don't have access.

In a nutshell, the Yankees addition of Gerrit Cole is HUGE for the team and a massive upgrade to the rotation, but they are still ranked as second best to one team's starting rotation, the Washington Nationals. Now that Stephen Strasburg has re-signed he is stacked up with three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin for a strong starting trio.

That's definitely a scary rotation, but nothing we didn't already know. We saw how effective their rotation was in the World Series. We also know that the Nationals have a good fourth starter in Anibal Sanchez...but what about the Yankees?

Cole is the anchor for a Yankee rotation that also features James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino. The Yankees also have J.A. Happ (for now) but his name has been a constant in the rumor mill and the Yankees would move him if they could find the right deal. They also have Domingo German, but until the outcome of his domestic violence investigation we won't know if or how he fits into the Yankees future plans. Even if the Yankees trade away Happ and German does not pitch they have other options in house including Jordan Montgomery and Jonathan Loaisiga. I like those back end of the rotation options.

The Yankees may be projected to be "second best" in baseball for now, but at least we are ahead of that other New York team who is ranked as third led by two-time Cy Young winner Jacob DeGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman.

So early on the Yankees are favored with the best AL pitching staff and the Nationals are the best NL pitching staff. Fine, and ESPN can even call us "second best" if they want but we aren't done forming this team yet. Oh and, we have some nice bats to go with that starting rotation. I like our odds going into 2020 and even if ESPN doesn't think we have the best rotation I'm sure other teams out there know not to underestimate us.

Just something for you to chew on as you enjoy the holiday with your friends and family. Whatever you are celebrating....Christmas, Hanukkah or maybe Kwanzaa starting tomorrow we wish you all a peaceful and happy holiday season.

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

Wednesday, December 25, 2019


Merry Christmas to all who Yankee fans we got a number of early presents to shape our team for 2020.  Dugout mistletoe and spiked egg nog aside, the Yankees are building a machine fit to withstand all opponents, well passed September.  I for one is grateful for what looks to be a team ready for action, spring-training style. But we are likely not done yet.

Source: USA Today

"The Yankees have valuable assets in outfielder Clint Frazier and third baseman Miguel Andujar, two young players with impressive bats but are blocked in the majors. Gio Urshela has taken over at third base. Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge seem entrenched in the outfield corners. Teams would live with the defensive issues both players currently present to get their bats in the lineup. Could Milwaukee be interested in Andujar in a potential deal involving reliever Josh Hader?," reported

Source: NY Times

With Dellin Betances off to Queens, the Yankees will continue to build its bullpen and add more fire to the middle relievers portion of the closing team.  Betances could add that value to the Mets, if he can stay healthy.

“Dellin is one of the elite relievers in the game with an incredible track record of pitching on the biggest stage and in playoff games,” Van Wagenen said in a statement. “This is a tremendously exciting gift for Mets fans this holiday season in our championship pursuit,” reported theNY Times. 

J.A. Happ could be the next Yankee pitcher to go.  With a disappointing season in 2019, Happ could fill the void of another team's rotation, providing the Yankees with perhaps a much needed lefty bat to round up the lineup.  "The Blue Jays have been linked to Happ. The Brewers are also thought to be a potential landing spot for him," reported

As the days officially start to get longer and the holidays in full swing, the Yankees could make another deal later this week or early next week before the New Year.  But, until then, it's more egg nog, more mistletoe and maybe a meatball or two.  Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holidays to you and yours.

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

Tuesday, December 24, 2019


Would you pick the Mets over the Yankees? Dellin Betances did.  Sucks for him.

There's gotta be a legitimate reason and that will eventually come out. For now one thing is clear... Dellin Betances? Gonzo.

His time is the Bronx is over.

 ESPN writes:

"The New York Mets have reached a one-year deal with right-handed reliever Dellin Betances, sources confirmed to ESPN. 

The deal is worth $10.5 million, but Betances could earn $13 million if he appears in 70 games. There is a player option in 2021 and a vesting player option for 2022, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan."

Hey. It was fun while it lasted. I wish Dellin well. Always liked the guy. Too bad for us... and for him.

Now that you read this, remember that it's Christmas Eve... get back to the family now.


This is a nice little story and a guy many of you probably don't know a lot about. But I'll tell you something. He'll prove important in 2020.

Erik Kratz was actually in the Yankees organization before, with Scranton.  Well now, because Austin Romine is gone, because Gary Sanchez is lazy and because Kyle Higashioka is the Yankees back up and alittle inexperienced... this gives us some security.

Kratz has signed a minor league deal with the Yanks. SNY writes:

"Kratz, a 39-year-old catcher who previously had stints with the Yankees and their Triple-A affiliate Scranton/Wilkes-Barre between 2017 and 2019, returns to a team that is in need of potential catching down the line. 

Kratz spent seven seasons in the minor leagues before making his MLB debut in 2010 for the Pirates. Since then, he has bounced back and forth between the minors and majors, and has played for eight organizations in his career -- including multiple stints with the Pirates, Phillies and Yankees."

Yay us! (Sarcasm can be fun.)


Just a small story here, because many love Francisco Cervelli and so, this is just a good little nugget. He may be headed to the Miami Marlins.

Jon Heyman tweaked this:

Now it makes sense.  Cervelli is nearing the end of his career, he's a Jeter friend, loves Miami and Jeter is doing what he can in Miami to win on the cheap.

Plus, Cervelli could become more of a leader in that clubhouse and eventually, I will predict, work in that Marlins front office.

We'll have to see if this actually happens, but it's a good story none the less.

Hope it all works out.

Monday, December 23, 2019


It was fun while it lasted, but not it's over. Chance Adams never had a legit chance in the Bronx.

Quick note here. Chance Adams has been traded.

The Yankees just acquired Cristian Perez from the Kansas City Royals. I just read it on Twitter while I was Christmas shopping:

This is a good move. Chance wasn't lighting it up enough for them to truly give him a shot and the Yanks are always looking for every infield help, and so, this works out great.

Sorry about that Chance... but it just wasn't happening. Merry Christmas.


Can you believe we are only two days away from Christmas? We hope you all have a wonderful day with friends and family. The holidays can be stressful, and something tells me it might be even more stressful for one particular person....maybe.

It didn't take long for the Yankees to part ways with bench coach Josh Bard and pitching coach Larry Rothschild....but now in late December the Yankees have fired another coach. So why did the wait so long to fire strength and conditioning coach Matt Krause?

I'm not sure, but it is a good question. Multiple sources are reporting the Yankees have parted ways with Krause, but we will go with the New York Post HERE. I was surprised when the Yankees let Rothschild go, he's not who I was expecting. After all of the injuries I was sure that the first change the Yankees were going to make would be the strength and conditioning coach. It was the logical answer after we watched 30 different Yankees land on the Injured List 39 different times. In 2018, the Yankees sent 20 different players to the Injured List 23 different times.

So clearly something wasn't working. The Yankees needed to make the change. Matt Krause was hired in 2014 and he has a lot of experience. Before his six years with the Yankees he spent 11 years with the Cincinnati Reds. In 2017, Krause was named Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year by the National Strength and Conditioning Association so what went wrong here?

We may never know, but when a man with this kind of experience is in charge of your strength and conditioning program the last thing you expect is for almost every player to miss time due to injury. Looking at the Yankees Opening Day roster, only Brett Gardner and Gleyber Torres did not miss significant time. The Yankees had lost seasons with Giancarlo Stanton who played in only 18 games, Luis Severino only made 3 starts and Dellin Betances faced two batters. The Yankees have been here before, anyone remember 2013?

In 2013, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Derek Jeter all missed time and in wake of the Yankees missing the postseason for the second time in 19 years, the Yankees fired Dana Cavalea as their strength and conditioning coach.....but they did it in October.

I wonder where the Yankees will go from here. Will there be more changes to the strength and conditioning staff? Given the amount of injuries and also setbacks, the rehab staff at the club's
Tampa spring training facility could also see some personnel changes. When you lose as many players as the Yankees did this season, something's gotta give.

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

Sunday, December 22, 2019


Source: ESPN

With third base Gio Urshela's position to lose, spring training 2020 is setting up for another battle for the hot corner, but this time it's third base instead of first base.  Miguel Andujar is back to full strength and intends on competing for a place on this team.  He's ramping up for a big 2020 and the Yankees would love to see him back contributing to their goal: win the World Series!

"It wouldn’t be a surprise if Andujar, who has plans to arrive in Tampa in early January and begin working out, at least works at first base during spring training or plays there during the exhibition games. The Yankees love Andujar’s bat, however, and the fact Urshela has two options remaining is a safety net in case Andujar’s shoulder becomes a problem or he suffers another injury," reported the NY Post.

Source: YES Network

Recall that Gio Urshela's value to last year's team was undeniably huge let alone surprising. Urshela hit .314 with 21 homers, 74 RBIs and posted a .889 OPS in 132 games this past season. His commitment was unrelenting, despite being hit by pitches and diving to make extraordinary plays at third base.  But was his performance at the plate a fluke?  Much like Luke Voit had to last year, Urshela will have to prove he belongs in the line up everyday.

"Several teams who have shown interest in trading for Andujar — he turns 25 in March — have been getting a vibe the Yankees aren’t going to rush into a deal unless they are blown away by what would come back," reported the NY Post.

I am a big fan of Gio Urshela but he has to perform at the level he did last year to be in the line up everyday.  Andujar will need to work hard to keep his position, but his bat alone may keep him in the line up, even if first base becomes his new place in the infield.

Source: USA Today

With the Winter Solstice behind us and the days starting to get longer, Spring Training 2020 will be here before we know it.  Having both Urshela and Andujar at their best will make the Yankees even stronger as they head into April.

Two words: Stay Healthy and don't take your young bodies for granted.  Oh yea, and may both guys win!

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

Saturday, December 21, 2019


There's one thing the Yankees DO need and that's a lefty bat or 2.  No idea if they will be successful finding it this offseason, but recently there's been chatter that one guy they are keeping their eye on is Joe Panik. Now look... this comes from Buster Olney of ESPN who is pretty horrible about being right, but always good about getting clicks to made-up or fake sports news stories. Hey, my opinion, just look at his track record.  I know people like Buster's stuff. I do not, but that's OK... I still like you all!

Anyway, check this out from Buster:

"As the Yankees explore ways to have more left-handed balance on their roster, one option they’ve discussed — among others — is adding Joe Panik in free agency, to be part of their infield mix..."

Empire Sports Media actually does a great job of laying things about Panik, tools and all:

"Panik played in 142 games last season, logging 491 at-bats with five homers and 39 RBIs. His offensive production isn’t noteworthy, but he has potential and can be of use for a Yankees team looking for reserves. During the first half of the 2019 season with the San Francisco Giants, Panik was defensively stout, earning a .992 field percentage over 90 games at second base. 

The Yankees are looking at him as a reserve infielder with an optimistic bat. With Tyler Wade and Thairo Estrada waiting in the wings, this would be a low-risk move to add some diversity to the batting order."

Key word phrase here:


Let's see what happens next.

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