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How Cespedes signing only complicates Yankees’ DH market — November 30, 2016

How Cespedes signing only complicates Yankees’ DH market

By George A. King  III


Yoenis Cespedes getting four years and $110 millionto rejoin the Mets didn’t send shock waves through an industry swimming in billions but strangely entangled in a labor problem, as the clock ticks on an expiring Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Right-handed power is a commodity every team is looking for, and Cespedes likes New York and has a bat the Mets had to have in order to support a stellar rotation and stay relevant in the NL East.

What it did do was raise questions about the fallout concerning free agents Edwin Encarnacion, Mark Trumbo and Carlos Beltran.

The Yankees have interest in Encarnacion and Beltran to fill the DH spot that opened when Brian McCann was dealt to the Astros on Nov. 17 for two young pitching prospects.

An MLB executive said he believed the Mets overspent for Cespedes, and Encarnacion, 34 in January, could benefit from the deal.

“This might help him because some teams might think [Encarnacion] is a better purchase,’’ the executive said of Encarnacion, who can play first base but isn’t the defender at that spot Cespedes is in the outfield.

In the past four seasons, the right-handed-hitting Encarnacion has hit 151 homers, driven in 440 runs and posted a .905 OPS. In 2016, he hit 42 homers with 127 RBIs and a .886 OPS for the Blue Jays.

Another industry insider said Cespedes’ deal might hurt Encarnacion a little bit. Two other voices said the contract doesn’t affect Beltran because he isn’t looking for a long-term deal. Some suspect the ex-Yankee is looking at a one-year deal with an option or a two-year deal.

The Yankees have made it known they have an interest in Encarnacion, but if he is looking for five years, he might not get it from them.

“We are open, he has a target,’’ Encarnacion’s agent, Paul Kinzer, told The Post last Friday when asked how many years his client is looking for. “It depends on the AAV [annual average value] but a minimum of four to five years. He would like to have five because this will be his last contract.’’

The AAV of Cespedes’ deal is $27.5 million.

With the Astros, Blue Jays and Red Sox joining the Yankees in search of a DH, Beltran has been linked to all four teams. The Red Sox attempted to pry the veteran switch-hitting outfielder away from the Yankees at this season’s trade deadline, but he was dealt to the Rangers.

The Blue Jays could get into the Beltran action if they lose Encarnacion.

By adding free-agent outfielder Josh Reddick (four years and $52 million) and McCann, the Astros are in a win-now mode, so signing Beltran, who finished a three-year, $45 million contract this past season, fits their program.

Beltran, who turns 40 in April, likely is finished as an everyday right fielder, but he batted .295 with 29 homers and 93 RBIs last season with the Yankees and Rangers.

While the Yankees remain high on power-hitting right fielder Aaron Judge, Beltran could take some tough right-handed pitchers off Judge’s plate from time to time. Ditto the switch-hitting Aaron Hicks if he replaces Judge in right field.

Unlike the Mets, who aren’t dancing on the payroll tax limit (currently $189 million but expected to reach $200 million when the new CBA is in place), the Yankees are waiting to see what the number is before doing business.

They have made no secret of wanting Aroldis Chapman back in the Bronx to close games, but at what price? Kenley Jansen is an option, but the team signing the free-agent right-hander and former Dodgers closer will lose a draft pick. That is not the case with Chapman or Mark Melancon because they were dealt during the season.

As for strengthening a rotation, the Yankees have shown interest in free-agent lefties Rich Hill and Derek Holland.

Yankees’ Hal Steinbrenner speaks: 3 key takeaways — November 29, 2016

Yankees’ Hal Steinbrenner speaks: 3 key takeaways


Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner

By Brendan Kuty

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner appeared on the YES Network’s “Hot Stove” with Meredith Marakovits on Monday night.

Steinbrenner, for the most part, hit all the same talking points we’ve heard from him and general manager Brian Cashman so far this offseason.

Let’s break down a few of the bigger points.


What Hal said: “There’s going to be competition in the starting rotation. We know that. We’ve got (Adam) Warren. We’ve got (Chad) Green, (Luis) Cessa, (Luis) Severino, (Bryan) Mitchell. We’ve got good options for two spots, right? That’s going to be fun to watch.”

Thoughts: Two spots? He’s right. Only Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia are current locks for next year’s rotation. But Steinbrenner didn’t talk about potentially addressing two remaining holes via free agency or trade. Two ways to look at that: Either Steinbrenner doesn’t believe Cashman will add pitching or he’s posturing — after all, the Yankees don’t have to add starters. They have enough. The question: Do the Yankees really want to fill the Nos. 4 and 5 spots internally? Each of the arms Steinbrenner named has promise but hasn’t proven to be a capable big-league starter. The Yankees have reached out to Rich Hill’s people and have been linked to pitchers in trade rumors.


What Hal said: He said he believes in Dellin Betances as a capable closer, but “that doesn’t mean we’re not going to strengthen the bullpen in one way or the other. We’ll see where he fits in, where he best ends up. We’re just starting that whole process.”

Thoughts: Here’s a rough translation: “Aroldis Chapman, I ❤ you.” The Yankees and Chapman have been in contact about returning the fireballer closer to the Bronx. The potential problem: Chapman reportedly could pull in a deal worth more than six figures. Six! For a guy that throws maybe 60 innings a year! Any team would be justified in not spending that much for a closer, even the Yankees, with their Grand Canyon pockets. Still, it’s clear — from Steinbrenner’s words to the team’s actions — that they would be happier with Chapman or Kenley Jansen, the market’s other elite closer, in the ninth inning with Betances setting him up.


What Hal said: “My expectations are that he’s going to be my starting right fielder next year.”

Thoughts: Don’t think it’s a lock that Aaron Judge wins the job. He’s set to spend time this offseason working with minor league hitting coordinator James Rowson to cut down his strikeouts. But the Yankees think Aaron Hicks has growing to do and won’t just hand the 24-year-old rookie — ranked the team’s sixth-best prospect by Baseball America — the keys to the position. Tyler Austin and Rob Refsnyder will also fight for 25-man roster spots and could challenge Judge there.

Yankees land Astros’ big-armed prospects for Brian McCann — November 18, 2016

Yankees land Astros’ big-armed prospects for Brian McCann

By George A. King III

When the Yankees signed Brian McCann to a five-year, $85 million deal following the 2013 season, they quietly believed he was going to be the next Yankees stud catcher.

Thursday, they dealt McCann, who waived his no-trade clause, to the Astros for two low-level minor league pitchers. They also sent $11 million to Houston, which will be put toward the $34 million remaining on the seven-time All-Star’s contract which runs through 2018.

Now the Yankees have an extra $23 million to chase free agent Aroldis Chapman, who was dealt to the Cubs in July for a package led by shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres. From the moment that deal was completed Chapman talked about a possible return to The Bronx, where he wowed Yankee Stadium crowds with fastballs that reached 105 mph on the speed guns.

Several industry experts believe the 28-year-old Chapman could land a five-year deal in the $100 million neighborhood.

Thursday morning on WFAN, before the McCann trade was announced, general manager Brian Cashman said the amount of money the Yankees spend on free agents was tied to making a deal.

“I think it depends on how our trade discussions go. Our plan is to dip our toes in the water this year and we’d love to bring a Chapman back. He liked it here,’’ Cashman said.

Moving McCann means the Yankees are betting Gary Sanchez is ready to assume the full-time catching job after he dazzled for two months last season.

McCann said he struggled with the decision to waive the no-trade clause.

“I still want to catch 120 games,” he said by phone Thursday night. “At the end of the day, the role in New York was not that.

“I look at this as a perfect fit. It’s a team with a lot of young talent. I am happy to go there, but I will miss New York. But I want to catch every day.”

If McCann had stayed, he would have been the regular DH and caught twice a week. Now there’s a void at DH. The spot is open for a potential Carlos Beltran return or perhaps Aaron Judge serves as the DH against left-handed pitchers since on those occasions Aaron Hicks would man right field.

Austin Romine remains in position to be the backup catcher, though that could change.

“He signed in New York for a reason, but with Gary [Sanchez] kind of coming into play and being such an incredible player and deserving to be the everyday catcher there, Brian faced a tough choice,” McCann’s agent, B.B. Abbott, said. “This was not like demanding a trade or that Cash was saying they had to move him. This was an acknowledgment of mutual respect.

“We have had an ongoing dialogue with [the Yankees]. This came together over the last few days. It accomplishes a few things. It gives the Yankees some payroll flexibility, actually a lot of payroll flexibility, and now the ability to fill out the roster the way they want.

“What should not go unspoken here is that Brian Cashman not only took care of his organization, but took care of someone who was a real pro for him. [McCann] is extremely excited about being part of a young nucleus and a team with a chance to be very good. [The Astros] are not paying him $11.5 million to be a backup. He is going to be in an everyday function as either the DH or catcher.”

As for the two pitchers coming from the Astros, the Yankees continue to stock a system with youth.

“They are legitimate guys, legitimate arms,’’ said a talent evaluator familiar with the scouting reports on right-handers Albert Abreu, 21, and Jorge Guzman, 20. “Both are a ways away.’’

Guzman throws 95-97 mph and Abreu’s stuff is considered above average. Abreu pitched in Single-A this season, going 3-8 with a 3.72 ERA in 24 games (16 starts). Guzman, who started the season in the Gulf Coast League and moved to Short Season-A Greeneville, was 3-4 with a 4.05 ERA in 13 games (eight starts).

Pitching-needy Yankees scoping out a pair of Hollands — November 17, 2016

Pitching-needy Yankees scoping out a pair of Hollands

By George A. King III


The Yankees’ desire to reunite with free agent Aroldis Chapman is strong, but they aren’t solely focusing on the hard-throwing lefty closer.

They have contacted Greg Holland’s representative, Scott Boras, about the right-hander who missed all of the 2016 season due to Tommy John surgery.

“Over 20 teams,’’ Boras said of the number of clubs that have expressed interest in Holland (31 years old on Sunday) who saved 46 games in 2014, when the Royals advanced to the World Series. “Most teams are doing their due diligence.’’

The Yankees have also been in contact with lefty starter Derek Holland’s agent. Like Greg Holland, Derek Holland has an injury history. He missed two months this past season with a left shoulder problem that limited him to 22 games (20 starts). He went 7-9 with a 4.95 ERA. The previous season he only worked 10 games and went 4-3 with a 4.91 ERA due to strains in each shoulder. He signed a five-year deal worth $28.5 million before the 2012 season. The Rangers declined an $11 million option earlier this month that made him a free agent.

As for Greg Holland, he won’t get the windfall that Chapman and Kenley Jansen will land — some believe $18-to-$20 million per year. However, Boras certainly believes his client will be a strong addition to somebody’s pen.

“We are looking for the right fit,’’ Boras said of his client, who should land a multi-year deal. “He is a HLPP pitcher, a leverage guy.’’

HLPP is an acronym created by Boras for High Level Performance Pitcher.

Holland threw for scouts last week in Arizona and the general feeling is that he is healthy, and that his low-90s fastball will gain strength during the offseason.

Hal Steinbrenner’s plan should put a smile on Chapman’s face —

Hal Steinbrenner’s plan should put a smile on Chapman’s face

By Ken Davidoff


CHICAGO — Soon, Hal Steinbrenner will learn the new number that will define the Yankees’ financial objectives. No matter what, though, the primary objective won’t change.

“We’ll know the [luxury-tax] threshold,” Steinbrenner said Wednesday, at the Major League Baseball quarterly owners’ meetings. “But even if it stays the same, goes down, we’re going to continue lowering payroll. I think now that we finally have some, what looks like, good young players, it’s going to give us some flexibility that we just haven’t had.”

So much flexibility, in fact, that as Steinbrenner espoused the development of his young players and their increasing importance in the franchise’s success, he also spoke enthusiastically of going outside the organization to improve one facet of the 2017 team. That enthusiasm should make Aroldis Chapman quite enthusiastic himself.

“For me, the bullpen is my priority,” Steinbrenner said, emphasizing “my.” He proceeded: “Because I think we’re probably going to have a young pitching staff, and I think if we can shorten the game for them by really strengthening the bullpen, that’s going to be to our advantage.”

Though Steinbrenner runs his team quite differently than his father did, in that general manager Brian Cashman sometimes learned about player moves at the same time as the rest of us did during George Steinbrenner’s reign, Hal Steinbrenner historically has pushed for certain acquisitions — reliever Rafael Soriano stood as the most prominent example — and worked with Cashman to get those done.

Chapman, of course, came to the Yankees last offseason and excelled as the team’s closer before getting traded to the Cubs and helping them to their first championship in 108 years. Now the 28-year-old is a free agent, and the Yankees have reached out to him. Their familiarity with the athletic left-hander, as well as the fact that signing him wouldn’t cost a draft pick, work in Chapman’s favor. The Dodgers also like Chapman, who will obliterate Jonathan Papelbon’s record deal (four years, $50 million) for a closer.

“Any time you can get a guy that’s already proven he can play in New York — you guys know as well as I do it’s a tough place to play,” Steinbrenner said. “If you get a guy who’s proven he can play there, then that’s a plus in the column.”

The Yankees also have spoken with the representatives for Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen.

Steinbrenner sounded less enthusiastic about going after a high-end free-agent outfielder. Jose Bautista and the Mets’ Yoenis Cespedes are among those available. Instead, the Yankees’ boss endorsed the youngsters from whom he hopes to get that payroll flexibility.

“As far as Aaron Judge, I’m looking for him to be the guy,” Steinbrenner said. “We’ve got [Aaron] Hicks out there as well. [Tyler] Austin. [Rob] Refsnyder can play there, as well. We’ll see.”

Judge, who struggled in his initial big-league voyage, “[has] got some work to do, clearly, on his swing, and he will,” Steinbrenner said. “He’s going to be in Tampa in a few weeks for a while along with a couple of our hitting coaches.”

The luxury-tax threshold stood at $189 million each of the three prior offseasons, and the Yankees memorably took a run at getting under that, an act that would have reset their tax rate from 50 percent to 17.5 percent. They memorably failed to do so, signing Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Masahiro Tanaka to big deals after the 2013 season.

Steinbrenner spoke of $100 million he had coming off the payroll “with four guys,” referring to retiree Mark Teixeira ($22.5 million), traded outfielder Carlos Beltran ($15 million) no longer on the books now and the released Alex Rodriguez ($21 million) and active CC Sabathia ($25 million) departing the ledger next year; A-Rod’s figure counts as more for luxury-tax purposes. Steinbrenner’s clear hope is that a) he can pocket some of those savings; and b) the luxury-tax threshold will increase from $189 million, giving the Yankees more breathing room. The threshold historically has increased and figures to do so again.

In other news:

  • lThough he hasn’t spoken with A-Rod about it, Steinbrenner said he expects to have the apparent retiree in spring training as an instructor.“He was great in Instructional League,” Steinbrenner said. “He was there three or four days, working with [Gleyber] Torres, working with [Jorge] Mateo.”
  • Asked whether he regretted trading reliever Andrew Miller to Cleveland, given Miller’s success with the Indians, Steinbrenner said, “My family wouldn’t talk to me for a couple of weeks. That was a sensitive one. … That was a tough call. But when you have the ability to get the four players that we got, of that caliber … it has to be a deal that good to consider getting rid of a guy like that.”
Yankees sniffing around Cubs’ 15-game winner — November 16, 2016

Yankees sniffing around Cubs’ 15-game winner

By George A. King III


Brian Cashman has spent much of the offseason talking about bullpen help, but he also has made inquiries about several starters, including 15-game winner Jason Hammel.

The Yankees general manager contacted Octagon sports agency about Hammel, the right-hander who became a free agent when the Cubs didn’t exercise a $12 million option for the 2017 season. Instead, Hammel received a $2 million buyout to take into free agency.

Teams have contacted Octagon looking for medical reports on the 34-year-old Hammel, who went 15-10 with a 3.83 ERA, but wasn’t on any postseason roster for the world champions.

Hammel has won double-digit games and finished with an ERA under 4.00 in three straight seasons.

Hammel joined a very thin class of free-agent starters that got smaller when Jeremy Hellickson accepted the Phillies’ qualifying offer of $17.2 million Monday. Rich Hill, who will turn 37 before next season, Ivan Nova and Hammel are the best free-agent starters.

Hill, who made 14 relief appearances for the Yankees in 2014, has been linked to the Yankees after going a combined 12-5 with a 2.12 ERA in 20 combined games for the A’s

The Yankees dealt Nova, who turns 30 in January, to the Pirates at the Aug. 1 trading deadline and likely are not interested in a reunion. Hammel would add experience to a Yankees rotation that has Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda fronting a collection of neophytes.

With industry experts predicting the elite members of the free-agent class waiting for a new collective bargaining agreement (the current one expires Dec. 1) to be put in place, don’t expect the upper echelon to sign staggering contracts before then.

On the reliever front, Aroldis Chapman, with whom the Yankees would like to forge a reunion, is easily the best pitcher in the free-agent market and likely will wait until a new CBA is in place.

Cashman won’t divulge much about where he is in discussions with Chapman’s representatives.

“I have had contact with Barry Praver,’’ Cashman said of Chapman’s agent.

Some believe the aspirin-throwing lefty could get a five-year deal in the $100 million area.

Cashman also has touched base with CAA about lefty reliever Boone Logan returning to the Bronx, where he pitched from 2010 to 2013. Logan spent the last three years with the Rockies.

Because Greg Holland, 30, isn’t going to command the type of money Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon are, he could sign before that trio. Holland, who missed all of last season due to Tommy John surgery, threw for scouts last week in Scottsdale, Ariz. Reports were that Holland, who posted 46 saves for the 2014 AL champion Royals, appeared to be healthy.

Gleyber Torres, the Yankees’ top prospect, is widely considered the best player in the Arizona Fall League. On Tuesday the 19-year-old shortstop copped his second Player of the Week award.

In four games for Scottsdale, Torres batted .600 and drove in two runs. Two of his three consecutive multi-hit games were 3-for-4 efforts. Going into the final week of the season, Torres led the league in hitting (.383) and on-base percentage (.500) and was second in slugging percentage (.636).

Yankees gearing up for run at Mike Trout? — November 15, 2016

Yankees gearing up for run at Mike Trout?


Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) hits a three run home run during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on September 21, 2016.

By Joe Giglio

Buckle up, Yankees fans.

As the hot stove burns, the ultimate Yankees plan may shock the sport. Forget about assembling a young team of homegrown stars and focus on what the Yankees do best: Land superstars.

In today’s game—regardless of what the 2016 MLB awardsturn out to say—Mike Trout is the biggest superstar of them all. According to one MLB scout, the Yankees may be gearing up to trade a bevy of top-flight young players topry Trout from the Los Angeles Angels.

That comes from a conversation WFAN’s Sweeny Murti had with a scout in September:

“You don’t accumulate all those prospects with the intent of keeping them all,” the scout told me. “They have value and it makes complete sense to spin off four of five of them for Trout. It’s very much a Yankees kind of move and makes too much sense for them.”

With one of the best farm systems in baseball—thanks in part to last year’s trade deadline sell off—the scout could be on to something. While it’s possible that the Yankees will hold on to young players like Gary Sanchez, Clint Frazier andGleyber Torres, figure out what they have an add to the team during a potentially special free-agent class after 2018, the idea of landing Trout could alter everything.

Of course, skepticism is abound about the Angels actually moving baseball’s best player—even if they are awful with him. A GM of another team told Murti that the scout’s read is right, but it just won’t happen.

“All of that is true,” a GM said. “But that has zero percent chance of happening.” Talk about a killjoy. “Nobody wants to trade that guy,” the GM told me. “Billy can’t be the guy who traded Mike Trout. Arte Moreno (the Angels owner) can’t be that guy. It would be like the Bulls trading Michael Jordan in his prime. The only thing that team has going right now is Mike Trout. Without him they’d be a Triple-A team.”

If the Angels do eventually relent, the Yankees and Phillies make sense as potential landing spots for Trout.

Trout put up a .315/.441/.550 slash line in 2016. Through his age-24 season, Trout has accumulated 48.5 WAR—the most of any player at that age in the history of the sport.

Yankees’ Gary Sanchez 2nd in AL Rookie of the Year voting after Ruthian run —

Yankees’ Gary Sanchez 2nd in AL Rookie of the Year voting after Ruthian run


Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez flips his bat after hitting a home run during the third inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sept. 9, 2016 at Yankee Stadium

By Randy Miller

Gary Sanchez didn’t do any celebrating when the Yankees called him up from Triple-A last August.

Been there, done that.

This third trip in 12 months to the big leagues was different from the first two.

This time the Dominican catcher really believed that he was ready for baseball’s highest level.

He’d worn the elite prospect tag since signing with the Yankees for $3 million as a 16-year-old in July 2009, and now as a 23-year-old, he figured his time to start giving the organization a payback had arrived.

His plan wasn’t to steal seven-time All-Star catcher Brian McCann’s job within a week and immediately prove his status as an elite prospect by going on a for-the-ages home run surge.

“Work hard and be ready to play,” Sanchez told himself again and again.

This simple strategy led into a two-month run that Yankees fans never will forget, one in which a rookie who wasn’t known for being a big home run guy darn near carried them all the way to the playoffs after management went through with a summer fire sale.

Even now that some time has passed, it’s still hard to believe that Sanchez hit 20 homers in 53 games last season, all of them coming after that third promotion from the International League’s Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

American League Rookie of the Year voters were paying attention, but ultimately Sanchez being with the Yankees for just a third of the season cost him the award, which would have been a Yankee first since Derek Jeter in 1996.

Detroit Tigers right-handed starter Michael Fulmer (11-7, 3.06 ERA, 26 starts) was named the winner Monday night, while Sanchez finished second and Cleveland Indians center fielder Tyler Paquin (.296, 14 HR, 43 RBIs, 116 games) finished third.

The voting wasn’t close, as Fulmer received 26 of the 30 first-place votes and four seconds on the 30 ballots — two from each AL city — compared to four firsts, 23 seconds and two thirds for Sanchez. Naquin was on just 16 ballots, as he received two seconds and 14 thirds.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi thinks the voters got it wrong.

“I can tell you Gary’s meant as much to this team as any rookie in the big leagues this year, and he’s only been here, what, a month and a half?” Girardi said on Sept. 28. “That’s how important he has been. I think Fulmer’s had a great year, but if I had a vote it’d be for Gary.”

Until August, Sanchez had played three big-league games … two during the final week of the 2015 season and another this past May when he was called up to DH one game and was sent right back to Triple-A taking an 0-for-4 facing Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale.

His third call-up turned out to be more of a charm than anyone could dreamed up.

Two days after the trade deadline, the Yankees were a .500 club when Sanchez joined them for good for an Aug. 3 Subway Series game at Yankee Stadium. He got his first hit that night off Mets pitcher Steven Matz, then had two more than next night off two Mets All-Stars, Bartolo Colon and Jeurys Familia.

Homer No. 1 came six more days later when he hit one out to center at Fenway Park facing Japanese righty Junichi Tazawa, and that was the start of a wild stretch in which he hit 11 homers in 15 games. Another long ball binge came in September when he went deep eight games in 11 games, and his 20 for the season made him just the third Yankee to hit that many after Aug. 1. The first two set single-season home run records when they did it, Babe Ruth in 1927 and Roger Maris in 1961.

Sanchez cooled off in the final two weeks of the season, but still finished with a .299 average and 42 RBIs to go with his 20 homers in 53 games.

“It’s something crazy,” Mark Teixeira said late in the season. “And it’s not like he’s just getting them out. He’s hitting home runs 450 feet. He’s crushing balls. The double down the line was as hard of a hit double as you’ll ever see. This guy is just squaring up balls like I don’t think I’ve ever seen.”

As incredible ride as this ride that Sanchez gave to all of Yankee nation, it was a little unfulfilling of him because team success matters more than personal success.

“These two months were great,” Sanchez told NJ Advance Media on the final week of the season. “I was fortunate enough to have a good season overall. It’s hard work. I tried to give it everything I had. But we tried to make the playoffs and we didn’t.”

Sanchez almost got them there. The Yankees were just a game out of a Wild Card spot on Sept. 10, which is amazing considering management had blown up the team about six weeks earlier trading Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran and Ivan Nova.

The Yankees knew Sanchez had the potential to be something special, but nobody was comparing him to Ruth when he was wowing scouts with his throwing arm and raw power as a minor leaguer.

By August, however, people were bringing up the Bambino.

“Shoot, if Babe Ruth was hitting behind (Sanchez), you’d intentionally walk him,” Teixeira said. “He’s as hot as any player I’ve ever played with in my entire career. You just don’t see guys doing what he’s doing.”

Both New York teams making push for former Yankees reliever — November 11, 2016

Both New York teams making push for former Yankees reliever

By Joel Sherman


The Mets and Yankees are among a group of clubs that have expressed interest in Boone Logan.

The lefty held opponents to a .166 batting average and .578 OPS in 66 games last year for the Rockies, with lefties managing a .142 average and .477 OPS.

The Mets could be losing their prime lefty reliever, Jerry Blevins, to free agency. The Yankees have dealt away lefty relievers Justin Wilson, Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller in the past 12 months. Logan appeared in 256 games for the Yankees from 2010-13, with a 3.38 ERA.

Joba Chamberlain is working out, throwing and wants to play in 2016, according to his representative, Jim Murray.

Chamberlain had a 2.25 ERA in 20 appearances when he was released by the Indians on July 10. He did not hook on professionally with another team after that.

Yankees haven’t ruled out making a run at Yoenis Cespedes — November 10, 2016

Yankees haven’t ruled out making a run at Yoenis Cespedes

By Ken Davidoff


Yoenis Cespedes is the Mets’ Plan A. On the other side of town, is he the Yankees’… Plan C? Plan D?

Not Plan A, for sure, though the Yankees have requested Cespedes’ medical information from his representatives.

“He’s a nice bat in everybody’s lineup,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Wednesday of Cespedes. “Obviously a very impactful defender. Tremendous bat.

“Some things might make more sense than others, but we’re going to get the access to all of the medicals and all the players. As our trade discussions continue, it might open up some opportunities for us to pursue other avenues. We’ll see.”

In other words, Cespedes doesn’t reside anywhere near the Yankees’ front burner. They envision an outfield of Brett Gardner in left field, Jacoby Ellsbury in center field and a competition in right field among youngsters Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge (and maybe Tyler Austin). If Gardner unexpectedly goes somewhere in a trade for a starting pitcher, then the Yankees’ game plan would change. Though they still might not be very excited about giving four or five years to a 31-year-old when they have more young outfielders such as Clint Frazier, Dustin Fowler and possibly Jorge Mateo (a natural shortstop) coming.

Cashman said he is “just collecting information right now” on all of the free agents who interest him at all and has not yet begun substantive negotiations with any of them.

Nathan Eovaldi, set to miss all of next year after undergoing his second Tommy John surgery, will not be tendered a contract, Cashman confirmed. Eovaldi requires just one more year of service to be eligible for free agency, so it never made sense for the Yankees to pay the right-hander seven figures just to rehabilitate and then hit the market.

Though Cashman said he would speak with Eovaldi’s representative Seth Levinson, the GM didn’t sound particularly enthusiastic about signing Eovaldi to a two-year deal in which they would give him a low salary to rehab next year and then a higher figure to pitch for the Yankees in 2017.

Infielder-outfielder Dustin Ackley, who missed the bulk of 2016 with a right shoulder injury, is another non-tender candidate.

“You’ll have to wait and find out,” Cashman said.

On Tuesday, Cashman attended an Arizona Fall League game at nearby Scottsdale Stadium to see his team’s players compete for the Scottsdale Scorpions.

He said he was particularly impressed by infielder Gleyber Torres, the main piece the Yankees received from the Cubs in return for Aroldis Chapman. Torres, primarily a shortstop, will start 2016 at Double-A Trenton, Cashman said. Mateo will be either Torres’ teammate at Trenton or at Class A Tampa.