It’s Officially Winter in New York. The remaining days of autumn? Fuggetabout’em. Get the fireplace going. Start mixin’ the hot toddies — keeping in mind Irish Coffee is mandatory. It’s Hot Stove League time. Now that the last out of the 2015 season has been recorded, we can finally put this train wreck of a season behind us and move on. Although the Yankees technically participated in the postseason, we don’t count 9 innings and out — so you can take that ‘Wild Card Qualifier’ banner (if there is one) and do you-know-what with it. And yeah, we had a fleeting moment of joy when our cross-town wannabe rivals folded in the World Series, but the attention is 100% back to the 2016 New York Yankees. Let’s get busy.
The Hot Stove was lit today in earnest as the following roster moves were announced: RHP Diego Moreno was reinstated and out righted to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Stephen Drew, Chris Capuano, OF Chris Young and RHP Sergio Santos elected free agency, while the club released RHP Chris Martin …
MLB 2015 Winter Meetings in Nashville
Scheduled for December 7th to 10th, this annual event is the last organized function of Major League Baseball before the holiday seasons kicks in. It attracts front-office reps from all teams, agents, players hoping to catch on for one last shot, minor league affiliates, you name it, in addition to sideshow events such as merchandise exhibitors and a job fair. The real action comes from trade deals, and there is usually something compelling that either gets done during the meetings, or sets up something that will happen in the following days or weeks. Some of these are snoozers, sometimes a blockbuster deal will emerge.
Looking back at the last two year’s results, after finishing out of the money in both 2013 and 2014 — the club let David Robertson and Brandon McCarthy walk in last year’s off-season. The Yankees never made D-Rob a formal offer, not wanting to go to a 3 or 4 year contract for a closer, and knowing some other club would. And the Chicago White Sox did — to the tune of $46M for four years. The ChiSox actually placed D-Rob on waivers before the 2015 trading deadline, but pulled him back at the last minute. The Yankees put in a claim, but a deal apparently wasn’t going to happen in the first place. There was speculation New York jumped in to keep the Toronto Blue Jays from getting him.
Shrewd move by GM Ca$hMoney — by not signing D-Rob, New York gained a compensation pick in the following amateur draft — #30 overall — and selected Kyle Holder, a 21 year-old shortstop out of the University of San Diego, widely considered the premier defensive player at the position among that years draft. With the continuing emergence of Dellin Betances and the signing of Andrew Miller, the Yankees are set for the 8th and 9th innings.
McCarthy, as good as he was for a few months in pinstripes (and every Yankee fan I know wanted him back!), was quickly out of New York’s budget when they got wind of a potential 4-year deal in play from other suitors. Rightly so, as those days are gone in The Bronx, my friends — and high time they are. The injury-prone McCarthy inks a 4 year/$48M deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers and ends up out for the season (and a good part of 2016, no less) by April 26th with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, requiring Tommy John surgery.
In the winter of 2013, they wisely held off on trading for Chase Headley, whom they ended up acquiring from the San Diego Padres a week before the trading deadline (July 22nd) in 2014 for Yangervis Solarte and Rafael DePaula. While it was definitely nice to see a journeyman like Solarte get a shot to play everyday in San Diego — an acquit himself well, it was smart to wait out Headley. While he finished 2014 strong, which lead to a 4-year/$52M deal, Headley turned in a disappointing 2015 campaign both with the bat (.259/.324/.369) and most unexpectedly with the glove — charged with 23 errors in 155 games.
For starters, the Yankees need: