NY's best possible roster (somewhat hypothetical)

jon abbey

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This is spun off from the Judge thread, where I mentioned that over the weekend, in one of my geekier moments, I wrote down the whole current Yankee roster to see how many spots I thought could be internally upgraded, based solely on talent, no contract or team control factors. The idea here is if the NY organization had to put together a team today to win as many games in the next few weeks as they could. I came up with 7 out of 25, which surprised even me, as follows (guys not on the 25 man roster now are starred):

1B: Bird* (replaces Carter)
2B: Castro
SS: Didi
3B: Torres* (replaces Headley)
LF: Gardner
CF: Hicks
RF: Judge
DH: Holliday

Bench: Fowler*, Austin*, Wade*, Romine (replacing Refsnyder, Gallegos, Torreyes)

SP: Severino, Pineda, CC, Montgomery, Adams* (replacing Tanaka)
RP: Chapman* (replacing Heller), Betances, Warren, Clippard, Holder, Shreve, Green

This doesn't include two more moves which NY would like to happen at some point in the next year or so, Clint Frazier in LF replacing Gardner and Miguel Andujar to 3B with Torres to 2B bumping Castro (whose defense is awful.) Also since Ellsbury is currently on the concussion DL, it doesn't include him, but clearly NY would like to move him as soon as possible.

So I don't think any of those is controversial except Adams for Tanaka, and again that's just because of the short term window of this exercise, I don't really think Adams is quite ready and I also think it would be dumb to give up on Tanaka now, not to mention I don't know how that would happen logisitically with his upcoming player option. Fowler and Wade both add flexibility (Fowler has played all 3 OF positions this year and is a good defender, Wade has played six positions, I think everything but 1B/C/P), and Austin would bump the unnecessary 8th reliever.
 

terrynever

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Thanks, Jon. I noticed the other night that Andujar had taken over the RBI lead in the Eastern League, if only for a night.
Torres has to clean up his defense. Five errors in first 15 IL games. And he needs at least 200 PAs in AAA before they can determine whether he is ready to help the big team in the second half.
Your list reveals no help ready in the bullpen, and that is obviously a place where Cashman will focus in late July.
 

jon abbey

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Where do Harper and Machado fit in?
I'm not sure Harper makes sense anymore with the emergence of Judge (assuming of course that he keeps this up), both of them are right fielders. You could of course move one to LF, but NY also has Frazier waiting there, with Rutherford and Florial a couple of years behind them. Supposedly NY's front office really wants Harper, so we'll see, still a year-plus to go. Machado would be a better fit, if Andujar doesn't work out and Torres is playing 2B or SS, but I don't think anyone expected these NY prospects to blossom this quickly.
 

jon abbey

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Your list reveals no help ready in the bullpen, and that is obviously a place where Cashman will focus in late July.
Well, it's more that I don't think any of the guys listed deserve to be bumped once Chapman is back, but they have plenty of live arms that they could convert permanently or temporarily if needed, you saw one yesterday in Domingo German, but Domingo Acevedo is the one I am watching, dominating AA as a starter currently and throws as hard as 103.

They could use a young, team-controlled, hard throwing lefty reliever, that would be the one thing I would give up genuine prospects for if I was Cashman. For instance, Felipe Rivero looks amazing, but if NY offered 4 or 5 position player prospects for him, could PIT really afford to say no?
 

Wingack

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This is spun off from the Judge thread, where I mentioned that over the weekend, in one of my geekier moments, I wrote down the whole current Yankee roster to see how many spots I thought could be internally upgraded, based solely on talent, no contract or team control factors. The idea here is if the NY organization had to put together a team today to win as many games in the next few weeks as they could. I came up with 7 out of 25, which surprised even me, as follows (guys not on the 25 man roster now are starred):

1B: Bird* (replaces Carter)
2B: Castro
SS: Didi
3B: Torres* (replaces Headley)
LF: Gardner
CF: Hicks
RF: Judge
DH: Holliday

Bench: Fowler*, Austin*, Wade*, Romine (replacing Refsnyder, Gallegos, Torreyes)

SP: Severino, Pineda, CC, Montgomery, Adams* (replacing Tanaka)
RP: Chapman* (replacing Heller), Betances, Warren, Clippard, Holder, Shreve, Green

This doesn't include two more moves which NY would like to happen at some point in the next year or so, Clint Frazier in LF replacing Gardner and Miguel Andujar to 3B with Torres to 2B bumping Castro (whose defense is awful.) Also since Ellsbury is currently on the concussion DL, it doesn't include him, but clearly NY would like to move him as soon as possible.

So I don't think any of those is controversial except Adams for Tanaka, and again that's just because of the short term window of this exercise, I don't really think Adams is quite ready and I also think it would be dumb to give up on Tanaka now, not to mention I don't know how that would happen logisitically with his upcoming player option. Fowler and Wade both add flexibility (Fowler has played all 3 OF positions this year and is a good defender, Wade has played six positions, I think everything but 1B/C/P), and Austin would bump the unnecessary 8th reliever.
I think Torres needs to put some work in, but I am all about the Yankees bringing up Wade to replace Headley/Torreyes. Unfortunately, I don't think it makes sense to bring up Frazier or Fowler unless you can give them fulltime at bats.

One thing that the Yankees are going to have to consider soon, is dumping Ellsbury somewhere. It doesn't have to happen in-season, but I doubt they go into next year with him clogging up a roster spot.

An outfield of Judge, Hicks and Frazier/Fowler would be young and exciting.
 

jon abbey

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Maybe not quite yet, but in a month or so, if you put Fowler in the role that Hicks had to start the season, where he played 3-4 times a week at all three OF positions, I think the time in the bigs would offset any development issues by him not getting enough ABs.

But again, I'm not actually advocating NY make all of those moves today, this isn't fantasy baseball and real world circumstances complicate things. My only point in making this list was to see how many internal upgrades I think NY has in the minors currently.
 

terrynever

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And it is a comprehensive list, cliff's notes for those of us who pay just passing attention to the minor leagues. But no winning team wants to disrupt the clubhouse comfort zone. Losing Ellsbury and Headley wouldn't be alarming but for some reason, I think replacing Torreyes with Wade might be considered unfair to a popular player who did a great job in April replacing Didi. Next spring, yes, but not this summer.
 

j44thor

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There was an article on ESPN today about how the success of Judge lessens the need for Harper, and gives the Yankees a ton of leverage, especially if they managed to sign him to a team-friendly deal.
I think the word there is flexibility not leverage. Unless Harper is hell bent on playing for the NYY there will be plenty of suitors giving Harper the leverage and not an individual team.
 

jon abbey

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And it is a comprehensive list, cliff's notes for those of us who pay just passing attention to the minor leagues. But no winning team wants to disrupt the clubhouse comfort zone. Losing Ellsbury and Headley wouldn't be alarming but for some reason, I think replacing Torreyes with Wade might be considered unfair to a popular player who did a great job in April replacing Didi. Next spring, yes, but not this summer.
Right, if they were 12 games below .500 instead of 12 games above, I think some of these moves would have been made already.
 

BaseballJones

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Here's the thing about Harper. Right now, looking at the Yankee outfield, you've got a very good threesome in Gardner, Hicks, and Judge. Hicks is either an anomaly or is coming into his own. Judge appears to be a freak of nature. What about Gardner though?

He's having a career year (almost at his career high in HR already, and has a career best 123 ops+). He's also soon to be 34. He's also a free agent after 2018. Same year as Harper.

So with all their young talent (and with Jacoby coming off the books soon after that), they'll be able to pay Harper. Imagine an OF of Harper, Hicks, and Judge, all in their primes?

If Hicks truly is this caliber of player, and Judge is what he appears to be, that would be one of the best outfields I've ever seen.

I actually think (and this pains me to say) that it's lining up perfectly for the Yankees to sign Harper.
 

jon abbey

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And then what do they do with Frazier, Fowler and Rutherford? All three are top 100 prospects, the first two are ready now. Maybe they convert Judge to 1B to try to keep him healthier?
 

terrynever

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They are so close to Cashman's vision of a payroll under the cap, why mess it up with a monster contract again? Yankees know better than anyone how dicey the free agent market can be.
 

jon abbey

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Well, they're almost certainly going to be under the cap next year and reset their luxury tax rate (which is their financial objective) and Harper isn't available until the year after, so that shouldn't really be a factor.
 

BaseballJones

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And then what do they do with Frazier, Fowler and Rutherford? All three are top 100 prospects, the first two are ready now. Maybe they convert Judge to 1B to try to keep him healthier?
They could trade them for more and younger prospects, thus deepening the farm system even more and lengthening the time that they'll have quality players coming up trough the system. Or trade them for a needed starting pitcher to replace CC. They're wonderful assets to have. Or maybe it allows them to deal
Hicks and keep one of these guys instead. Lots of options.
 

JerseyJay14

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I'm not sure Harper makes sense anymore with the emergence of Judge (assuming of course that he keeps this up), both of them are right fielders. You could of course move one to LF, but NY also has Frazier waiting there, with Rutherford and Florial a couple of years behind them. Supposedly NY's front office really wants Harper, so we'll see, still a year-plus to go. Machado would be a better fit, if Andujar doesn't work out and Torres is playing 2B or SS, but I don't think anyone expected these NY prospects to blossom this quickly.
there is no situation where Bryce Harper "doesnt make sense" :)

Matt Holiday will be 38 next year and 39 when harper is a free agent
Brett Gardner will be 35 next year and 36 when harper is a free agent
Jacoby Ellsbury will be 35 next year and 36 when harper is a free agent

Bryce Harper will be 25 next year and 26 when he is a free agent... you dont pass on harper because he is blocked by a trio of 35+ year old players. You can find a way to get harper in the OF, DH or 1B. the guy is dynamic. pair him with Judge/Sanchez/Torres/Didi and you have something going for quite a long time.
 

JerseyJay14

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Feb 2, 2009
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They could trade them for more and younger prospects, thus deepening the farm system even more and lengthening the time that they'll have quality players coming up trough the system. Or trade them for a needed starting pitcher to replace CC. They're wonderful assets to have. Or maybe it allows them to deal
Hicks and keep one of these guys instead. Lots of options.
Agree with this. Keep stocking the farm or convert them to either pitching prospects or ML pitching talent
 

jon abbey

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there is no situation where Bryce Harper "doesnt make sense" :)

Matt Holiday will be 38 next year and 39 when harper is a free agent
Brett Gardner will be 35 next year and 36 when harper is a free agent
Jacoby Ellsbury will be 35 next year and 36 when harper is a free agent

Bryce Harper will be 25 next year and 26 when he is a free agent... you dont pass on harper because he is blocked by a trio of 35+ year old players. You can find a way to get harper in the OF, DH or 1B. the guy is dynamic. pair him with Judge/Sanchez/Torres/Didi and you have something going for quite a long time.
None of those guys have anything to do with my statement, none of them has anything to do with NY's future (sorry Brett). Please read my post before responding to it in the future, thanks.
 

jon abbey

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I'm going to repost my post about NY's minor league SP depth from the NY rotation thread because I don't think most people realize just how many arms NY has been stockpiling, two more guys drafted last night to add to this:

=================================

NY has a ton of guys pitching very well in the minors right now, so I thought I'd assemble a list of the current rotation for the top three minor league teams, in part so I can reference it myself as the season goes on. Starred players are the most touted prospects, also I've ordered each five in rough order of potential:

AAA: *Chance Adams, Domingo German, Luis Cessa, Caleb Smith, Brady Lail
AA: *Domingo Acevedo, *Justus Sheffield, Ronald Herrera, Yefry Ramirez, Josh Rogers
A: *Albert Abreu, *Ian Clarkin, *Zach Littell, Taylor Widener, Erik Swanson

They have other guys like Kaprielian, Dillion Tate, Nolan Martinez and Drew Finley who are in their top 30 prospect list on mlb.com but have yet to pitch this year. The above list only includes guys who are healthy and pitching now.
 

jon abbey

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Looking back on this thread, kind of amazing that NY has moved six of those nineteen SPs in the last six months (Smith, Herrera, Ramirez, Clarkin, Littell, Kaprielian, plus Jorge Guzman who I didn't list above as he hadn't made high A yet) but their minor league pitching depth is still I think as strong or even stronger now than it was last summer, since they didn't promote any of these guys yet plus Sheffield/Abreu/German/Tate/Widener have all improved their stock in the interim.
 

jon abbey

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Bumping this thread I started in June 2017, I was sure NY would sign Machado coming into this winter, but the me of June 2017 evidently knew better from the first few posts here. The lineup I was hoping for in post 1 has a lot in common with the reality a year and a half later.

June 2017:

C: Sanchez
1B: Bird
2B: Torres
SS: Didi
3B: Andujar
LF: Frazier
CF: Hicks
RF: Judge
DH: Holliday

Voit has passed Bird for now (but a 2017-level spring from Bird would be interesting, both have options and tie goes to the lefty). Holliday was crushing it at that point before he got Epstein-Barr, but then that winter Cashman got Stanton while simultaneously getting rid of two years of Castro to free up 2B for young Gleyber (an underrated part of the Stanton v. Harper calculus). Put Stanton in at DH and that could be a lineup this summer after Didi is back.

This is spun off from the Judge thread, where I mentioned that over the weekend, in one of my geekier moments, I wrote down the whole current Yankee roster to see how many spots I thought could be internally upgraded, based solely on talent, no contract or team control factors. The idea here is if the NY organization had to put together a team today to win as many games in the next few weeks as they could. I came up with 7 out of 25, which surprised even me, as follows (guys not on the 25 man roster now are starred):

1B: Bird* (replaces Carter)
2B: Castro
SS: Didi
3B: Torres* (replaces Headley)
LF: Gardner
CF: Hicks
RF: Judge
DH: Holliday

Bench: Fowler*, Austin*, Wade*, Romine (replacing Refsnyder, Gallegos, Torreyes)

SP: Severino, Pineda, CC, Montgomery, Adams* (replacing Tanaka)
RP: Chapman* (replacing Heller), Betances, Warren, Clippard, Holder, Shreve, Green

This doesn't include two more moves which NY would like to happen at some point in the next year or so, Clint Frazier in LF replacing Gardner and Miguel Andujar to 3B with Torres to 2B bumping Castro (whose defense is awful.) Also since Ellsbury is currently on the concussion DL, it doesn't include him, but clearly NY would like to move him as soon as possible.

So I don't think any of those is controversial except Adams for Tanaka, and again that's just because of the short term window of this exercise, I don't really think Adams is quite ready and I also think it would be dumb to give up on Tanaka now, not to mention I don't know how that would happen logisitically with his upcoming player option. Fowler and Wade both add flexibility (Fowler has played all 3 OF positions this year and is a good defender, Wade has played six positions, I think everything but 1B/C/P), and Austin would bump the unnecessary 8th reliever.
 

jon abbey

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So you can see actually that besides the Stanton and Voit deals, Cashman has been spending his time upgrading every spot he can on the pitching staff. The staff above:

SP: Severino, Tanaka, Pineda, CC, Montgomery
RP: Chapman, Betances, Warren, Clippard, Holder, Shreve, Green

So in a season and a half, Pineda/Montgomery have become Paxton/Happ (Montgomery on the way back too), and Warren/Clippard/Shreve are Ottavino/Britton/Kahnle, the other seven there are the same.