NY spring training 2024

jon abbey

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Pitchers and catchers isn't for another week, but I think NY's 40 man is pretty set for now after the Ferguson move this week.

The first big thing to watch after the 14th is that is the date that you can clear 40 man spots by putting guys onto the 60 day IL game, then they miss the first 60 days of the regular season at least. I don't think NY has any definite candidates here, so it will be very interesting to see the next time they need a 40 man spot, if they DFA someone or put Dominguez on the 60 day, guaranteeing he can't come back into June (so a rare look at a team's actual timetable for an important player).

NY doesn't need to rush Dominguez back as they have a full OF when healthy (Verdugo/Judge/Soto L to R plus Grisham and maybe Stanton) but he looked like a serious weapon already in his own week up last year. I still can't really believe this happened in his first ever AB last year at 20, against the pitcher and team that have most haunted recent Yankee teams, Verlander has been helping end Yankee seasons since 2006!!

View: https://twitter.com/TalkinYanks/status/1697766484880118066
 

jon abbey

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I posted it in the offseason thread but here again is the list of non-40 man invitees for NY camp:

 

jon abbey

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Most of those guys are not very exciting, but a few to keep an eye on from that list:

Spencer Jones and Chase Hampton: 2 of NY's best prospects but both still need time in the minors, Jones didn't even hit much in AA yet. Jones is as combined strong and fast as anyone at any level of baseball (that is not hyperbole, we have seen his power plenty and his top home to 3rd time last year was the same as Cody Carroll's best).

Will Warren: He is NY's 7th SP right now IMO, even though he is not on the 40 man, behind Cole/Rodon/Stroman/Cortes/Schmidt and Luke Weaver. He absolutely dominated down the stretch last year in Scranton, in a massive year for hitting in the IL. I am very excited to see him, he is going to start a bunch of games for NY this year if he stays on track.

Ben Rice: Rice has not had much prospect glitter until a bit this winter, he turns 25 this month. He was a 12th round pick in 2021 out of Dartmouth who between injuries and Covid has not gotten many ABs so far, in college or the pros. Last year he caught about 2/3 of the 73 games he played at three levels, with the final 48 in AA, and he played 1B the other 1/3. Those 48 games are why people are increasingly excited about him though, as he obliterated AA pitching, 16 HRs in 196 ABs and a 1.049 OPS. If he can keep that going, he could be an interesting injury replacement at 1B/DH/C.

https://www.milb.com/player/ben-rice-700250?stats=career-r-hitting-minors&year=2023

Yerry De Los Santos: NY's bullpen looks full at the moment, also a bunch of guys on the 40 man who look like they will start in AAA, but of all the NRI relievers NY is bringing in, De Los Santos looks to me the most likely to push his way up the depth chart. He is still 26 and has an assignment clause for June 1 and a release clause for July 1, he pitched pretty well for PIT last year although he walked too many people. He has a hefty ground ball rate, a type of pitcher Matt Blake loves.
 

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Man, I wish we really had a tracker going back like 10 years to “best shape of their life” vs performance. For Stanton and Rodon, I think it matters
 

jarules1185

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Man, I wish we really had a tracker going back like 10 years to “best shape of their life” vs performance. For Stanton and Rodon, I think it matters
Yeah, Rodon could still bomb this year, but if he literally was 40 pounds heavier last year (which is what that quote implies), that seems like it could actually mean something.

Stanton... we just have a longer track record with, I don't really believe anything. He just looks like a super fragile, inflexible guy experiencing early age-related decline to me. If he has a WAR above 0 this year that would probably meet or slightly exceed my expectations.
 

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The thing about Stanton is that he has always been fit. If he is now fit in a less muscle-bound way with a little less muscle and a little more flexibility, that could be awesome.

I mean, heading into spring training is the time for wishcasting, right?
 

jon abbey

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The main difference between Rodon and Stanton as they relate to the 2024 Yankees is that NY desperately needs Rodon to go back to his '21/'22 form. I said before last season that he was the most important Yankee (given his potential variance from dominant to worthless) and I think that's true again this year.

Stanton, on the other hand, will start the season as the regular DH and occasional outfielder but NY is in good shape to replace him if he is terrible again, or if he goes on the IL, especially once Dominguez is back. He is on the clock, he will be gone by this time next season if he does not rebound in 2024, remaining contract and all.
 

jarules1185

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The thing about Stanton is that he has always been fit. If he is now fit in a less muscle-bound way with a little less muscle and a little more flexibility, that could be awesome.

I mean, heading into spring training is the time for wishcasting, right?
I wish for it too, I just don't believe it. I think Stanton's fundamentally just a brittle athlete, and it's hard to significantly change your fundamental nature at any time, and especially as you get older. He knows he was dead weight last year and is making a real effort (including a PR one) to improve, which is good. I just doubt it will really matter.

Agreed that Rodon is the significantly more important player anyway, and I think he's much more likely to improve.
 

jon abbey

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40 man move:

Earlier today, the Yankees claimed INF Jordan Groshans off waivers from the Miami Marlins. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Yankees designated LHP Matt Krook for assignment.
 

jon abbey

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Groshans is a 3B/SS, he is just 24 and was the #12 pick in the 1st round in 2018 by TOR but he was horrible in AAA last year, with a .669 OPS in the very hitter-friendly International league. NY does not have good infield depth in the high minors though, same reason they picked up Jeter Downs.
 

jon abbey

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  • Ranked Baseball America's #34 prospect in 2021.
  • Ranked Baseball America's #29 prospect in 2020.
  • Ranked Baseball America's #89 prospect in 2019.
Baseball Prospectus
Pre-2020 #43
Pre-2021 #41
Pre-2022 #60
 

jon abbey

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Assuming NY loses Krook, he was always somewhat tantalizing but he is already 29 and still can't throw strikes consistently. His MLB numbers from last season are, um, too scary to print here. NY originally got him in the minor league part of the rule 5 draft, so even making it onto the 40 man for as long as he did was a bit of a success story.
 

jon abbey

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Two pieces of news today:

1) Aaron Boone's introductory spring training press conference is today at 1 PM EST, televised on YES. This is when we'll learn about anyone currently hurting who we don't know about, lingering injuries, etc.

2) Lou Trivino, who had Tommy John last May and who was non-tendered in November, is in camp, so maybe he will be signed and immediately put on the 60 day IL. Boone will presumably talk about that too.
 

Brand Name

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Thanks for alerting me to this. So exciting!

I love MM asking the important questions right away as per her usual. No softballs.
 

jon abbey

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Scott Effross had back surgery in December, not available until the summer.

Jose Trevino with a small hamstring strain, delayed a week or two but not a big thing.
 

jon abbey

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So funny, Boone was asked about what they have changed organizationally. He didn't want to go into specifics but he started to say 'we need to be better in how we communicate' and literally in the middle of the word 'communicate' the YES feed glitched for like 30 seconds.
 

jon abbey

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Quezada is a 19 year old rookie ball pitcher not on my radar, Andrews got DFAd this week by MIL.
 

jon abbey

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Two pieces of news today:

1) Aaron Boone's introductory spring training press conference is today at 1 PM EST, televised on YES. This is when we'll learn about anyone currently hurting who we don't know about, lingering injuries, etc.

2) Lou Trivino, who had Tommy John last May and who was non-tendered in November, is in camp, so maybe he will be signed and immediately put on the 60 day IL. Boone will presumably talk about that too.
NY does sign Trivino, no details yet.
 

jon abbey

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The Trivino deal is a major league deal, $1.5M for 2024 and a $5M club option for 2025. They added him to the 40 man and put Dominguez on the 60 day, which is a bit disappointing although I'm sure they want to be very careful that he doesn't rush back too quickly and this helps with that.
 

jon abbey

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Is short pitchers the new market inefficiency? The Yankees have acquired the two shortest in the majors this off-season. They should have signed Yuki Matsui and gone 3-for-3.
They have something really strange going on currently, both with very tall and very short players. If you counted total number of players in an organization 6’6 or over plus 5’9 or under, I think they’d lap the other 29 teams. Second basemen especially, they have a whole bunch of Altuve/Pedroia-sized ones, and they’re all somehow legit prospects.
 

jon abbey

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So the tweeter decided to couple that with a photo from last year where he is fatter and still has his mustache? Interesting choice.
 

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Does anyone here listen to Talkin Yanks (the podcast this interview is from)? They've got a regular spot with Boone, they've done some stuff on YES, and now they got a Cashman interview, so it feels like they're becoming a bigger deal. My take is that Jomboy is knowledgeable, but also often acts like your typical overly negative Yankees fan. I like Jake a lot though.
 

jon abbey

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Personally I don't do podcasts, sports or otherwise. I do spend way more time on Yankee Twitter and Reddit than I should, though.
 

jon abbey

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MLB in their infinite wisdom scheduled the only Yankees at Astros series to start the season, four games starting March 28, six weeks from yesterday.

The relevance is that our old buddy Verlander may not be ready by then:

"Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander is dealing with a shoulder issue that has delayed his spring training timeline and could jeopardize his status for Opening Day.

Verlander told reporters Wednesday that he is "a couple of weeks behind" his traditional schedule after experiencing a "little hiccup" in his pitching shoulder.

"I'm a little bit behind schedule right now," Verlander said. "I had a little hiccup early on that's resolved itself, but I have to be really cautious with how I'm building up."

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/39524423/justin-verlander-schedule-due-shoulder-issue
 

jon abbey

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I said earlier this week:

The main difference between Rodon and Stanton as they relate to the 2024 Yankees is that NY desperately needs Rodon to go back to his '21/'22 form. I said before last season that he was the most important Yankee (given his potential variance from dominant to worthless) and I think that's true again this year.
Joel Sherman just made the same point but with a better word, ‘pivotal’ instead of important’, that’s more precisely what I meant.

“A consensus grew this offseason that the Yankees’ most pivotal player — the one whose success or failure could most send them positively or negatively in one direction or the other — was Carlos Rodon.”

https://nypost.com/2024/02/17/sports/carlos-rodon-the-most-pivotal-player-this-off-season/
 

jon abbey

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But if they are the boy that will take the girl to the dance…
Pretty sure it's just desperate Boras-driven nonsense to try to motivate some other bidders, it's pretty impossible to find a way that Snell to NYY makes sense for both sides. Snell's QO would mean that NY's 2024 draft and their next IFA period would be quite impacted also.
 

jon abbey

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I'd rather win a World Series than worry about a draft pick.
It's not just 'worrying about a draft pick', it would change their entire 2024 draft plus possibly mess up their 2024 IFA plans, but what deal do you think Snell will agree to? Assuming it's at least 3-4 years, it's a 5th giant contract on the books (Judge, Cole, Rodon, Stanton) at a time when they presumably want to throw $500M at Soto.

Anyway there are a lot of reasons to argue against it, I still think it's incredibly unlikely as Martino reported earlier today.
 

jon abbey

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If you want to feel old, Juan Soto just said his favorite player growing up was Robinson Cano (I thought he had previously said Ortiz and Manny? Maybe this is the version for NYY fans.).
 

Wingack

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Pretty sure it's just desperate Boras-driven nonsense to try to motivate some other bidders, it's pretty impossible to find a way that Snell to NYY makes sense for both sides. Snell's QO would mean that NY's 2024 draft and their next IFA period would be quite impacted also.
I hear ya, and I don’t expect them to sign him. Nor do I want them to if it winds up coming at the expense of resigning Soto.
 

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I'm not a big Snell fan, but I'd feel better with him in the rotation and Clarke in the bullpen as the next man up in case of injury, which of course there will be.

But even if the contract is less than expected it will be costly.

I guess my biggest concern isn't about the cost and loss of draft picks, but rather that the Yankees being willing to do it could mean someone isn't healing up as much as expected.
 

jon abbey

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Boras pulling out all the desperation stops today, here is his lackey Heyman's just published column trying to talk Yankee fans into a SP upgrade:

https://nypost.com/2024/02/19/sports/yankees-cant-be-taken-seriously-as-world-series-contenders/

There is a lot of entertaining stuff in here, here are my two personal favorites:

1) "As things stand now, the Yankees are putting a lot on Nestor Cortes, who had shoulder trouble and a 4.97 ERA last year, and Carlos Rodon, who had too many issues to name, plus a 6.85 ERA."

Further down:

"Cease was one of the best pitchers in the league in 2022, and the guess here is that 2023 is just a blip in what’s going to be an outstanding career."

OK, so all three of them had 2023s to forget and really strong stretches before that, but Heyman is trying to spin them in completely different directions.

2021/22 combined bWAR:

Rodon: 10.5
Cease 9.4
Cortes 7.1 (did not go into the rotation in 2021 until July 28, but was great in the 40 starts after that in 21/22 before NY broke him by using him on 3 days rest in game 5 of the ALDS)

Then toss in that CHW has such a high asking price for Cease (rightly or wrongly) that BAL eventually got sick of waiting for them to come down and got one year of Burnes instead of two of Cease. CHW wants Spencer Jones++, it makes no sense for NY who have a full rotation. Coincidentally, Boras is Cease's agent.

2) More Heyman:

"If they signed Snell, especially to one of those short-term, high-AAV deals that’s being thrown around in the press lately (it’s reported but not confirmed that they’re willing to pay something like $105 million over three years), the Yankees still would be giving up draft choices and international money. Plus, the real money cost would be about $70 million a year since they are up against the fourth-tier, Steve Cohen tax threshold of $297 million and would be paying 110 percent on just about all the deal. "

So first he introduces a new possible offer, presumably desperately floated by Boras, and then he can't even be bothered to do the simple math that he lists. 110 percent tax on $35M is shockingly not $70M total, but $73.5M. That's not why NY shouldn't sign Snell, just so lazy from our hero and his desperate boss.
 

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Eh, that's fine. It's a toe, not a shoulder.

I got drunk last year, came home and started rough-housing with my dog, kicked a very heavy piece of furniture very hard with my middle toe and fractured it. It healed in 3 weeks and I still feel it every once in awhile to this day but I run probably 15-20 miles per week on it without a hitch. If it's anything like that I'm guessing it won't impact him.