Luis Severino‘s next start will be in the majors, Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters, including Sweeny Murti of WFAN (on Twitter). Severino’s name came up in trade rumors in recent days – unsurprising given his upside – but the Bombers did not part with him.
While there were no true untouchables in the Yankees’ farm system this summer, Aaron Judge and Luis Severino came “close” to earning that label, George A. King III of the New York Postrecently wrote. Heading into the season, Baseball America ranked Severino as the No. 35 prospect in the country. The right-hander got the bump up to Triple-A this season, pitching to a 1.91 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 11 starts.
These Trade deadline days used to be exciting and interesting , in the days of the Boss we always got the pieces we needed and then some , it was like opening Christmas presents , but that was then and this is now
Now this reminds me of when I was a stupid kid , my grade school used to tell the kids to be home by 8pm on Halloween night because they would call and large amount of us between 8 and 10PM and if we answered the phone we’d win a free toy .
Well me being dumb and naive I used to sit by that phone every friggin year , and yes they called a few times but all I ever won was a fucking package of rubber balloons this is the feeling I have this year waiting for something to happen , there are 3 hours left let’s hope I didn’t waste my time waiting again for a goddamn package of balloons
Nightengale doesn’t list the other four teams believed to be hot after Chapman, though Jon Heyman of CBS reported yesterday that the Diamondbacks have an offer on the table to the Reds.
Adding Chapman to the back of a bullpen that already includes Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances would give the Yankees perhaps the best late-inning relief trio in all of baseball. Adding a premium bullpen arm appears to be the focus for the Yankees now that a number of starting pitchers have already landed with other teams. New York, though, has been said to be unwilling to part with top prospects Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, Greg Bird and Jorge Mateo in talks for Kimbrel, so it would stand to reason that they’re reluctant to do with Chapman as well, who comes with far less control. He can be a free agent after the 2016 season.
The San Diego Padres traded for closer Craig Kimbrel just hours before the season started in April. Now they could be about to move him, hours before Friday’s 4 p.m. ET trade deadline.
The Padres spoke overnight with both the New York Yankees andHouston Astros about deals involving their All-Star closer, sources told ESPN.com, and were attempting to come to an agreement on prospects and how much of the approximately $29 million remaining on Kimbrel’s contract each team would pick up.
The Yankees are believed to be willing to assume all of Kimbrel’s money, but are balking at including their most highly coveted prospects — either pitcher Luis Severino, outfielder Aaron Judge or first baseman Greg Bird.
The Astros and Padres are said to be working on a potentially larger deal that could include both Kimbrel and one of the Padres’ controllable starting pitchers,Tyson Ross or Andrew Cashner.
The Padres are trying to get either the Yankees or Astros to commit to the power arm of closer Craig Kimbrel at the trade deadline.
It isn’t known how much money Houston can absorb in any trade with San Diego. But the Astros did take on all of the approximately $12 million left on outfielderCarlos Gomez‘s contract in their trade with Milwaukee on Thursday night.
The Astros, battling the Angels for first place in the AL West, also acquired left-hander Scott Kazmir in a trade with Oakland last week.
As the Yankees approach this year’s trade deadline, Brian Cashman has an obvious desire to improve in the short term, but also an acknowledged desire to protect assets for the long term. While the team has a reputation of continuously trading away young players to acquire aging veterans, there’s actually little evidence of that in the Yankees’ recent trade history. In the past five years, Cashman’s been far more likely to trade marginal pieces from the big league roster or acquire relatively young major league talent.
Here are the significant trades the Yankees have made the past five seasons. I’m not listing the many “cash considerations” trades that have brought multiple low-impact players into the fold. Instead, these are the player-for-player swaps Cashman has pulled off since 2010.
Before the deadline Nothing significant
For this exercise, I’m counting “before the deadline” as anything that happened between the start of spring training and the trade deadline. Leading into the 2010 season, the Yankees actually made quite a few trades, including huge moves for Curtis Granderson, Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan (all of which cost the Yankees Austin Jackson, Ian Kennedy, Phil Coke, Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn and Arodys Vizcaino). Jackson and Kennedy were the biggest names of that bunch, and they went in the deal for Granderson, who was still in his prime and under lengthy team control. Vizcaino was a pretty big prospect, but also extremely young when he was included in the Vazquez deal. That trade really didn’t work out very well for either team. Cabrera didn’t have his breakout season until he’d already left Atlanta for Kansas City.
At the deadline Trade Mark Melancon and Jimmy Paredes to Houston for Lance Berkman Trade Andrew Shive and Matt Cusick to Cleveland for Kerry Wood Trade Zach McAllister to Cleveland for Austin Kearns
This was busy deadline for the Yankees, but not necessarily a good one. At the time, Melancon was a struggling, up-and-down reliever who had yet to live up to his hype and potential in the big leagues. Paredes was a thoroughly overshadowed infielder who wasn’t making much of an impression on the prospect radar. Melancon has since developed into a very good closer, and Paredes has become a pretty good hitter. The Yankees gave up on them in favor of Berkman, who didn’t do much during his brief Yankees stint (it was the next year that he revived his career in St. Louis). Of the three deadline additions in 2010, Wood was the best and wound up costing the least in terms of prospects. Kearns was probably the worst and cost a guy who’s had a decent big league career. Three trades. Only one was a good one for the Yankees.
In the offseason Trade Juan Miranda to Arizona for Scottie Allen Trade Adam Olbrychowski to Washington for Justin Maxwell
This was the winter when both Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera were free agents. It was the winter ownership stepped in to sign Rafael Soriano. It was the winter the Yankees’ scouting department found useful veterans in Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, Andruw Jones and Eric Chavez. The offseason after 2010 was not a winter of trades for the Yankees. No real impact one way or another from these swaps. Just kind of shifting around some spare parts. Maxwell turned out to the best of the four players involved in these deals, but the Yankees never found a big league role for him.
Before the deadline Trade Sergio Mitre to Milwaukee for Chris Dickerson
At the end of spring training, the Yankees gave up an extra long man to add some depth in the outfield. Dickerson wound up playing in 60 big league games that season (and a handful of games the next season as well), while Mitre ultimately wound up right back with the Yankees in a cash trade. He pitched in four Yankees games that season and hasn’t been in the big leagues since. This is the kind of deal Cashman’s made quite a few times, giving up some big league redundancy to add depth elsewhere.
At the deadline Nothing significant
After the deadline, the Yankees made minor moves to purchase Scott Proctor and claim Raul Valdes and Aaron Laffey, but they were silent at the 2011 trade deadline. Derek Jeter and Phil Hughes came off the disabled list in early July, Rafael Soriano and Eric Chavez came off the DL just before the deadline, just days before Ivan Nova was recalled from Triple-A. Those were basically the Yankees’ deadline additions. In August, they’d take Alex Rodriguez off the disabled list in August, and Jesus Montero was called up in September. As for trades, those were pretty minor for quite a while until the 2011 season was over.
In the offseason Trade Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi to Seattle for Michael Pineda and Vicente Campos
This had been a quiet winter until one day in late January when, within hours of one another, the Yankees signed Hiroki Kuroda and made their most significant trade in recent memory. Although Pineda had a year in the big leagues, this deal was built around prospect-for-prospect. Pineda was hardly a finished product, and he was still young with five years of team control. Montero seemed to be a sure thing at the plate, and one evaluator at the time said that Montero’s offense was the most reliable thing in the entire trade. It took several years for the trade to play out, but at this point, the deal looks pretty lopsided in the Yankees’ favor. Even Campos is healthy and back on the prospect radar.
Before the deadline Trade A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh for Diego Moreno and Exicardo Cayones Trade George Kontos to San Francisco for Chris Stewart
Right as spring training was getting started, the Yankees finally found a way to dump Burnett’s contract. They shipped him to Pittsburgh for a pair of extremely low-level prospects. Cayones was shipped away roughly a year late, and Moreno actually wound up putting up numbers good enough to get some big league time this season (including last night). Ultimately, the deal was more about getting rid of Burnett and less about trying to acquire real talent. A month and a half later, at the very end of spring training, the Yankees traded depth to gain depth. Kontos has become a solid middle-innings reliever in San Francisco while Stewart has stuck around as a backup catcher in both New York and Pittsburgh.
At the deadline Trade D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar to Seattle for Ichiro Suzuki Trade Chad Qualls to Pittsburgh for Casey McGehee
Farquhar had been claimed off waivers less than a month earlier. Qualls himself had been a minor trade addition in July. The Yankees used those two relievers, plus extra long man Mitchell, to plug holes in the outfield and the infield. McGehee was not good and wound up playing overseas the next season. Ichiro, on the other hand, was excellent in his first stint with any major league team other than Seattle. He brought a burst of energy, and the Yankees wound up giving him a two-year contract the following offseason (they perhaps should have quit while they were ahead). Ichiro was certainly a past-his-prime veteran, but the Yankees got him without sacrificing anything that resembled a high-end prospect.
In the offseason Nothing significant
This was the winter of re-signing Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Hiroki Kuroda and Ichiro. It was the winter Kevin Youkilis and Travis Hafner became Yankees (not that we’ll ever remember much about their tenures). This was a winter of many incredibly small moves — Juan Rivera, Matt Diaz, Eli Whiteside — that never turned into anything. It was a winter of plugging short-term holes and making no long-term commitments. This was a time when the Yankees were mostly frozen by current commitments, aging players and a lack of valuable prospects in the upper levels of the minor league system. Within a few months, they would draft Aaron Judge and Ian Clarkin as compensation for letting Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano leave via free agency.
Before the deadline Trade Abe Almonte to the Mariners for Shawn Kelley Trade Exicardo Cayones and Kramer Sneed to Los Angeles for Vernon Wells
At the very beginning of spring training, the Yankees swapped some minor league outfield depth to add a surprisingly valuable piece of the bullpen (and eventually, they’d swap Kelley to add a prospect reliever). Near the end of spring training — after injuries left them thin — the Yankees gave up two forgotten prospects to take on a salary dump in Wells. Along the way that season, the Yankees gave up cash considerations to acquire a bunch of players — mostly light-hitting utility infielders like Reid Brignac and Chris Nelson — but just as they’d done in the offseason, they stayed away from significant trades involving big name prospects or big leaguers.
At the deadline Trade Corey Black to Chicago for Alfonso Soriano
After staying away from big trades for a while, the Yankees finally made this move. They were hesitant to give up Black — he’s now putting up good strikeout numbers in the Cubs’ Double-A bullpen — but they needed a bat, and in the short-term, Soriano was an incredible addition. If his return to the Yankees had lasted only that second half of 2013, it would have been an overwhelming success. Instead, he fell so flat in 2014 that he wound up released before the All-Star break. In the short-term, Soriano was exactly what the Yankees wanted. In the long-term, he fizzled. If the Yankees had kept Black, he would probably be just another name on the Yankees’ long list of on-the-verge relievers. After the 2013 trade deadline, the Yankees made a tiny end-of-season swap for Brendan Ryan just to give themselves a shortstop after Derek Jeter was shut down at the very end of the year. That offseason, Ryan was re-signed to his current contract.
In the offseason Trade Ben Paullus to San Diego for Dean Anna Trade Chris Stewart to Pittsburgh for Kyle Haynes
Really, if the Yankees have a recent pattern in their trade history, it’s the tendency to make relatively minor swaps to either add a little depth or get rid of redundant pieces. The Yankees acquired Anna to help add some much-needed middle infield depth, and Anna wound up getting some big league time while Ryan was hurt early in the 2014 season. The Yankees got rid of Stewart in an effort to open the catching situation for Francisco Cervelli and newly acquired Brian McCann. Anna was depth at a position of need. Stewart was depth at a position of excess.
Before the deadline Trade Eduardo Nunez to Minnesota for Miguel Sulbaran Trade Vidal Nuno to Arizona for Brandon McCarthy
Essentially, I tried to limit “at the deadline” moves to anything that happened within a week of July 31. The McCarthy deal happened in early July as a quick-strike attempt to add some much-needed rotation depth as the Yankees kept sending starters to the disabled list. Again, the Yankees made the swap by taking on money and getting rid of an unnecessary part of the big league roster. In trading away Nunez at the end of spring training, the Yankees basically dumped a utility guy who had been replaced by the emergence of Yangervis Solarte. Again, they traded away an extra piece of the big league roster but held onto key prospects.
At the deadline Trade Yangervis Solarte and Rafael De Paula to San Diego for Chase Headley Trade Kelly Johnson to Boston for Stephen Drew Trade Peter O’Brien to the Arizona for Martin Prado Claim Esmil Rogers off waivers
I’m including the Rogers claim because it really did feel like a small part of the trade deadline. It was a way to add a fresh long man without giving up a young player. In order to drastically remake their infield, the Yankees traded away four players, only one of whom was considered much of a prospect. Johnson was a veteran, Solarte had been a minor league free agent the previous offseason, and De Paula’s prospect stock had thoroughly disappeared. The one true prospect shipped away at last year’s trade deadline was O’Brien, the raw power hitter without a position. The Yankees seemed unconvinced that he could stick at catcher, and the Diamondbacks have mostly used him in the outfield (he’s hit a bunch of home runs no matter where he’s played).
In the offseason Trade Francisco Cervelli to Pittsburgh for Justin Wilson Trade Shane Green in three-team deal for Didi Gregorius Trade David Phelps and Martin Prado to Miami for Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Jones and Domingo German Trade Shawn Kelley to San Diego for Johnny Barbato Trade Manny Banuelos to Atlanta for David Carpenter and Chasen Shreve
This was the winter of wheeling and dealing. The Yankees made five significant trades, each of which had an immediate impact on the big league roster. Along the way, Cashman gave up one minor leaguer (Banuelos) and acquired three (one of whom made the big league roster out of spring training). Most of what the Yankees surrendered were major league players who were seen as replaceable. Cervelli was ultimately replaced by John Ryan Murphy. Greene was ultimately replaced by Eovaldi. Prado was replaced by Stephen Drew. Kelley was replaced by Carpenter and Shreve. Phelps’ role was basically taken by Adam Warren. Since this season started, the Yankees only player-for-player swap has been dealing Carpenter for second base prospect in Tony Renda.
Jul 27, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Yankees short stop Didi Gregorius (18) celebrates after hitting a two run home run in the third inning with third base coach Joe Espada (54) against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington
By Ryan Hatch
ARLINGTON, Tex. — Much of Monday night was about Alex Rodriguez (deservedly so), but the Yankees don’t beat the Texas Rangers without shortstop Didi Gregorius in the lineup. (They did, 6-2.)
A-Rod acknowledged as much.
“Didi’s coming a long ways,” he said. “As I told you guys early in April, let’s give it to June 15th and see where he’s at. It takes a minute to learn the playbook here in New York.
“It is different here in New York. And Didi has tremendous upside. And we’re starting to see a little bit of it right now.”
Gregorius smacked his fifth home run of the season Monday, a two-run shot, and drove in two more in the seventh with a single. The four RBI was a career-high, and his home run was the first he’s ever hit off a left-hander.
“Yeah, I knew it was the first Major League home run vs. a lefty,” Gregorius said.
He credits manager Joe Girardi for leaving him in the lineup and having faith in him.
“First off, I’ve got to say thanks to Joe for putting me in the lineup against lefties,” he said. “Making me stay in there and bat against lefties is the only way to get better is playing against lefties.”
Gregorius slapped three hits Monday and made several fine plays at shortstop.
“It’s just good positioning and getting better…early work, working out and stuff,” he said. “That’s the one thing, you’ve got to work to get better. For me, it’s really good.”
Gregorius appeared to have trouble adjusting to his new position early on in the year. Through April, he was hitting just .206 and making mental mistakes on the bases and kicking the ball around the infield.
Perhaps no Yankee has seen his transition as first baseman Mark Teixeira has.
“We all know Didi has a lot of talent,” he said. “Sometimes the early-season is tough. It’s cold, it’s early in the season and you don’t have a lot of at-bats under your belt. It’s tough to come out and be an All-Star from day one. He’s just gotten so much better as the year’s gone on.”
Since May 20, Gregorius is hitting .267 with five homers. Three of his five homers this year, coincidentally, have come against the Rangers.
“I started the season slow, everybody knows that,” Gregorius said. “We’ve got a lot of veteran guys here, everybody’s helping each other out and making us be a better team…I’m feeling really good at the plate now.”
he road trip continues with a four-game series in Texas. The Yankees and Rangers have a lot of recent history (2010 ALCS) and not-so-recent history (1996, 1998, 1999 ALDS), which of course means nada this week. The Rangers swept three games from the Yankees in Yankee Stadium back in May in dominating fashion — they outscored them 30-15 in the three games. Yikes!
What Have The Rangers Done Lately?
The Rangers got clobbered by the Angels yesterday but did win two of three in the series. They’ve won four of their last five overall and are 5-4 since the All-Star break. Texas is 47-50 overall with a -28 run differential. They are 7.5 games back of the Astros in the AL West and 4.5 games of the Twins for the second wildcard spot.
Offense & Defense
The Rangers have a bit of an offensive disconnect — they average 4.36 runs per game, which is above the 4.21 AL average, by they also have a 95 wRC+ as a team. Weird. They’re without several players because of injury, including IF Jurickson Profar (shoulder), 1B Kyle Blanks (Achilles), C Carlos Corporan (thumb), and ex-Yankee OF Antoan Richardson (back). Corporan (45 wRC+) could return this series but the other guys are out long-term.
Rookie skipper Jeff Banister builds his lineup around three left-handed hitters: 1B Prince Fielder (150 wRC+), 1B/DH Mitch Moreland (129 wRC+), and 2B Rougned Odor (124 wRC+). Odor had a miserable start to the season (35 wRC+), got sent to the minors in early-May, returned in mid-June, and has raked since (146 wRC+). Those are the club’s three big bats, and the speedy OF Delino DeShields Jr. (110 wRC+) has done a nice job setting the table.
OF Shin-Soo Choo (95 wRC+) and OF Josh Hamilton (89 wRC+) aren’t having much impact and 3B Adrian Beltre (83 wRC+) is having his worst season since leaving the Mariners. Getting old sucks. SS Elvis Andrus (69 wRC+) and OF Leonys Martin (54 wRC+) offer little at the dish, ditto UTIL Adam Rosales (77 wRC+) and UTIL Ryan Rua (61 wRC+). C Robinson Chirinos (104 wRC+) and C Tomas Telis (48 wRC+) are the catching tandem.
The Rangers have a surprisingly weak defense. Martin is outstanding in center and Beltre is still very good at third, though he’s no longer the elite gloveman he was for most of his career. Odor is very good as well. Andrus has a reputation for strong defense but has slowed down the last year or two. Fielder, Choo, Hamilton, and Moreland are liabilities in the field. Chirinos won’t shut down the running game (24.3% caught stealing rate) and he’s a below-average pitch framer, so says StatCorner.
Monday (8pm ET): RHP Ivan Nova (vs. TEX) vs. LHP Matt Harrison (vs. NYY)
It’s pretty remarkable the 29-year-old Harrison has made it back to the big leagues. He made just six starts the last two years due to ongoing back trouble, including spinal fusion surgery last June that could have ended his career. Harrison has been able to work his way back and this will be his third start off the DL. He threw six scoreless innings last time out after allowing six runs in four innings in his first start. At his peak, Harrison was a big time ground ball pitcher who didn’t walk or strike out many. Now? Who knows. PitchFX says he was sitting in the 85-88 mph range with his sinker in his first two starts after living in the low-90s before his injury. Harrison also throws mid-70s curveballs and changeups right around 80 mph. Previous stats and scouting reports don’t mean too much after an injury like that.
Tuesday (8pm): TBA vs. LHP Martin Perez (vs. NYY)
Like Harrison, Perez returned from major injury not too long ago, though he was out with regular ol’ Tommy John surgery. The 24-year-old will also be making his third start since coming off the DL — Perez allowed three runs in five innings first time out and four runs in six innings last time out. Before getting hurt last year, he had a 4.38 ERA (3.70 FIP) with a great ground ball rate (52.7%) but below-average strikeout (16.9%) and walk (9.2%) rates. Perez has sat in the low-90s with both his two and four-seam fastballs in his first two starts, and in the mid-80s with both his slider and changeup.
As for the Yankees, they’re using a spot sixth starter tomorrow to give the rest of the rotation an extra day of rest. Luis Severino (started Friday) and Bryan Mitchell (started Saturday) are not candidates for this game because they recently started for Triple-A Scranton. Diego Moreno is tomorrow’s scheduled starter for the RailRiders, though he hasn’t been stretched out yet. Chances are we’ll see a bullpen game with Adam Warren and Chris Capuano each throwing 50 pitches or so. I bet Nick Goody will then get sent down Wednesday in favor of a fresh long man, maybe Mitchell, who only threw 65 pitches Saturday. Shouldn’t be a huge deal to bring him back on short rest.
Wednesday (8pm ET): RHP Masahiro Tanaka (vs. TEX) vs. RHP Colby Lewis (vs. NYY)
Lewis, 35, made his big injury comeback two years ago. He has a 4.49 ERA (3.82 FIP) in 20 starts and 126.1 innings so far this year. The only thing he does exceptionally well is limit walks (4.8%). His strikeout (18.3%), grounder (35.4%), and homer (1.07 HR/9) rates are all worse than the league average. Lefties (.320 wOBA) have hit him a bit harder than righties (.293 wOBA) this year. An upper-80s fastball is what Lewis uses to set up his mid-80s changeup, low-80s slider, and mid-70s curveball. He uses the slider more than the changeup and curveball combined, hence the platoon split. The Yankees scored five runs in 6.2 innings against Lewis when these teams met in May.
Thursday (8pm ET): RHP Michael Pineda (vs. TEX) vs. RHP Yovani Gallardo (vs. NYY)
The trade deadline is this coming Friday and Gallardo, an impending free agent, is a candidate to be moved, so I guess that means he may not actually start this game. We’ll just have to wait and see. Gallardo, 29, has a 3.19 ERA (3.69 FIP) in 21 starts and 121.1 innings this year with below-average strikeout (16.1%) and walk (8.9%) rates but above-average ground ball (50.1%) and homer (0.59 HR/9) rates. Lefties (.304 wOBA) have hit him harder than righties (.282 wOBA). Gallardo uses his two and four-seamers equally and both sit in the 90-92 mph range. A hard upper-80s slider — it’s almost like a cutter, but the break is bigger — is his main secondary pitch. He’ll also mix in a few mid-70s curveballs and very rarely throws his mid-80s changeup. The Yankees pushed two runs across in six innings against Gallardo a few weeks ago.
I’m not sure who would start Thursday should Gallardo get traded, but LHP Wandy Rodriguez seems like a safe bet, unless, of course, he gets traded as well. Rodriguez was bumped to the bullpen recently when Harrison and Perez returned from the DL.
The Rangers have baseball’s worst bullpen with a 4.59 ERA (4.47 FIP), so the old “wait out the starter then go to town on the relievers” strategy will work against this club. Closer RHP Shawn Tolleson (3.19 ERA/3.32 FIP) has been solid and these days RHP Tanner Scheppers (5.45/5.58) and RHP Keone Kela (3.24/2.94) are setting him up. Scheppers has the job out of reputation, Kela out of production.
RHP Anthony Bass (4.35/3.66) is the long man and LHP Sam Freeman (3.32/3.52) is the matchup lefty. RHP Spencer Patton (6.46/6.19) and Wandy (4.22/4.08) round out the bullpen. Ex-Yankee RHP Ross Ohlendorf (3.52/5.67) is out with a groin strain and is expected to be activated this week. Patton figures to go down to Triple-A to clear a roster spot for Rock ‘n Rohlendorf. Bass, Freeman, Patton, Kela, and Wandy all pitched yesterday. Check out our Bullpen Workload page for the status of New York’s bullpen and then check out Lone Star Ball for updates on the Rangers.
Two days shy of his 40th birthday, Alex Rodriguez had the best game of an incredible comeback campaign after a season-long PED suspension. The Yankees slugger brought his team back from a five-run deficit with three tape-measure home runs to set the stage for a dramatic 8-5 victory over the Twins before a sellout crowd of 40,660 at Target Field.
A-Rod’s third homer of the night tied led off the ninth inning against Minnesota closer Glen Perkins and tied the game 5-5. Four batters later John Ryan Murphy hit a three-run homer to right center field for the 8-5 lead that Bombers closer Andrew Miller finished with a scoreless ninth for his 23rd save.
Rodriguez’ three homers – his 21st, 22nd and 23rd of this shocking return to baseball – traveled 1,298 combined feet and included a 452-footer off the front of the third deck in left off starter Tommy Milone in the fourth inning. A-Rod has homered three times in a game five different times and this was the first since he hit three at Kansas City on August 14, 2010.
No, Rodriguez certainly isn’t playing like someone who’s about to start his fifth decade.
After A-Rod hit a shot off Perkins that landed on the grass beyond the centerfield wall, Mark Teixeira singles, Carlos Beltran replaced him at first on a fielder’s choice and Chase Headley followed with a single to right to put runners at the corners.
Murphy followed with a home run on a 2-2 pitch, his first home run of the season.
A-Rod’s second homer came in the seventh, a two-run bomb into the bullpen in left center, also off Milone that made it 5-3.
Rodriguez pulled the Yanks out of a 5-0 hole that starter CC Sabathia put them in, failing to follow up on two solid outings after the All-Star break. It was a performance that almost begs the question about his place in the starting rotation.
The Yankees are alone again in first place in the AL East for the 24th straight day and they have managed it despite Sabathia going 4-9 with a 5.38 ERA in 19 starts. They will likely have to make a determination in the coming week if having him start every fifth game – in part because he is making $23 million this season – is part of the formula for locking up the division title and a first postseason berth in three years.
There is less than a week until the non-waiver trading deadline and starting pitchers will be available if the Bombers decide to go after one.
Sabathia gave up five runs on six hits and three walks with three strikeouts. Worse, he got hit hard early and left the Yankees trying to make up a big deficit. He gave up a two-run homer to Aaron Hicks on his fifth pitch of the first inning. And he surrendered a three-run homer to Torii Hunter in the third inning that made the score 5-0.
The lefthander was removed with two out in the sixth inning after loading the bases with Twins on a pair of walks and a hit-by-pitch.
Adam Warren came out of the bullpen to punch out Hicks on a 3-2 pitch down in the strike zone that ended the inning and which Minnesota manager Paul Molitor took exception to. Molitor was out of the dugout and ejected quickly – the Hall of Famer’s second ejection as a manager.
It was immediately after that the Yankees came to life, sparked by Rodriguez’ seventh-inning blast. After Chris Young opened the sixth with a double down the left field line, A-Rod hit homer No. 2. And the Yankees weren’t done.
Mark Teixeira drove a double over the head of Hicks in center, ending Milone’s night. Teixeira then displayed some surprising speed, taking third on a fly out to center and dashing home of Chase Headley’s sinking sac fly in center and sliding home safely ahead of the throw to make it 5-4.
The Yankees got the tying run into scoring positon in the eighth when Jacoby Ellsbury laced a two-out single and took second on a wild throw to first by reliever Trevor May. But pinch-hitter Brian McCann struck out to end the inning.
Sabathia had put together a pair of good starts after the All-Star break, pitching 11.2 innings to a 2.38 ERA. While he wasn’t giving the club much depth in his starts, he had been effective and Girardi expressed some hope that he might have turned a corner.
Sabathia gave up a single to Brian Dozier on the third pitch he threw and then the Hicks home run two pitches later, suggesting that hope might not be founded. When Hunter took him out over the high right field fence two innings later, the hope might have been dashed completely.
This is much more than a comeback for Mark Teixeira, 35, and Alex Rodriguez, who turns 40 Monday.
Teixeira has put himself in the MVP conversation. He is fourth in the AL in home runs with 24, third in RBIs with 65 and fifth in OPS with a .918 mark. Teixeira already has two more home runs and two more RBIs than he did in 2014.
His defense at first base has been spectacular.
What has Teixeira’s impact been this season for the AL East-leading Yankees?
“Three letters, he’s the MVP of the league,’’ Rodriguez told The Post Wednesday night before the Yankees beat the Orioles, 4-3 at Yankee Stadium with both Teixeira and A-Rod crushing home runs.
“Tex is such a professional, he is one of my favorite teammates ever and I saw him as a kid when he came up with Texas, so I’m emotionally connected to him,’’ Rodriguez said.
Teixeira’s home run was a two-run shot in the first. Rodriguez’s titanic blast, a 453-foot drive into the left-center field bleachers in the fifth, was his 20th home run, making him one of only 10 players to reach that mark for the 16th time in his career.
Rodriguez spent 2014 on the sidelines suspended. Teixeira was battling his way back after wrist surgery.
After the game, Rodriguez said: “I can’t say enough about Tex. To me, he’s the MVP of the league on both sides of the ball. [Wednesday] night he drove in four runs, two on offense and two on defense.’’
As for his rocket, A-Rod jokingly said: “I wished you got more points for distance, but it’s just one point.’’
Teixeira said it has been a blast having Rodriguez back.
“Alex is a great teammate. He cares about winning. He’s a guy who is always willing to help out young players,” Teixeira said. “He’s been through as much or more as any player could ever go through on and off the field, so he brings a lot of experience to a team.’’
Later he added with a smile, “I was on the record in spring training saying I expected a lot out of him. And he is showing I’m the smartest guy in baseball.’’
Of Rodriguez’s homer, he said, “It was loud, it went a long way. I think everyone enjoyed that one.’’
The key for this second half is to keep both players healthy.
Andrew Miller has watched Teixeira and Rodriguez excel as teammates and as opponents.
“Those are Hall of Fame players and they are going to help anybody out,’’ the closer said. “The fact that they are healthy and playing to their capabilities is huge.’’
Teixeira also doubled in the eighth, his fourth straight multi-hit game.
At the All-Star Game in Cincinnati, Teixeira was asked about being in the MVP race and said, “Those votes are probably cast for other guys. I’m having a good season but not even close to an MVP season. I could go off in the second half but right now I’m just happy to be where I am.’’
Orioles center fielder Adam Jones made this pronouncement about Rodriguez: “I said he was going to rake, I didn’t say he was going to have a good year, I said he was going to rake.”
Rodriguez owns 54 RBIs. With the home run he moved ahead of Lou Brock into 24th place on the all-time hit list with 3,024.
“The big reason why the Yankees are where they are at is because of that man right there,’’ Jones said.
“When they were saying A-Rod was going to DH and hit seventh or eighth I was saying, ‘Are you kidding me?’ He’s hitting third. At the end of the day he can still hit. His numbers warranted being an All-Star.
“The knowledge he has is incredible, 20 years in the game. It’s the mentality that keeps you here and let’s you flourish.”
Jones said of the AL East race: “Whoever is the most efficient, will win it.’’
Teixeira and Rodriguez, the Comeback Kids, have been most efficient.
Here’s the announcement from the Players’ Association.
The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) is pleased to announce Brett Gardner as the New York Yankees 2015 Heart and Hustle Award winner. This esteemed award honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and tradition of the game. The Heart and Hustle Award is also the only award in Major League Baseball that is voted on by former players.
“[Gardner] has moved into the leadoff spot in our lineup and has been the heartbeat of our offense,” said Alan Cockrell, Yankees assistant hitting coach. “He has moved from left field to center field and played Gold Glove defense. He has been a leader on the field and in the clubhouse.”
The MLBPAA formed 30 committees, comprised of Alumni players with established relationships to each team. One player from each Major League team is chosen by the committees based on their passion, desire and work ethic demonstrated both on and off the field. These players will be recognized prior to an upcoming home game. As the season draws to a close, fans, all Alumni and active players will vote to select the final winner from the 30 team winners. The previous overall winners are David Eckstein (2005), Craig Biggio (2006, 2007), Grady Sizemore (2008), Albert Pujols (2009), Roy Halladay (2010), Torii Hunter (2011), Mike Trout (2012), Dustin Pedroia (2013) and Josh Harrison (2014).
The final winner will be announced on November 10,2015 at the 16th Annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City. This event is the primary fundraiser for the series of free Legends for Youth Baseball Clinics. These clinics impact more than 15,000 children each year at 120 clinics, allowing them the unique opportunity to interact with and learn from players who have left a lasting impact on the game of baseball.