We keep hearing it. The Yankees want to sign good players and bring them up and play them instead of signing high priced free agents. What, there are teams that don't want that?
So, why don't the Yankees just do it? They talk about it but when they have an obvious opportunity, they panic. Yes, I'm talking yet again about Rob Refsnyder.
Refsnyder appears to be consigned to AAA for a third consecutive season. Taking what seemed to be Refsnyder's second base position to lose in spring training is Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, who played second base for the first time last season: 38 games.
- December 8, 2015: Traded by the Chicago Cubs to the New York Yankees for a player to be named later and Adam Warren. The New York Yankees sent Brendan Ryan(December 17, 2015) to the Chicago Cubs to complete the trade.
|2016||26||New York Yankees||$7,857,143||5.150|
|2017||27||New York Yankees||$9,857,143|
|2018||28||New York Yankees||$10,857,143|
|2019||29||New York Yankees||$11,857,143|
|2020||30||New York Yankees||*$16,000,000||$16M Team Option, $1M Buyout|
|Earliest Free Agent: 2020|
How about catcher? In 2016 Brian McCann will play season 3 of 5 of his contract as the Yankees starter at $17 million per year. McCann's Yankee OPS+ for two seasons: 101 - one percent above league average. For $34 million so far. What should drive Yankee fans nuts is that the catching position was the one where the Yankees had depth into their minor leagues. Enough to trade Francisco Cervelli:
Wilson was a good relief pitcher for one Yankee season then:
- December 9, 2015: Traded by the New York Yankees to the Detroit Tigers for Luis Cessa (minors) and Chad Green (minors).
Cervelli became the Pirates starting catcher with very high marks for pitch framing, OPS+ 114, WAR 3.2. Why couldn't Cervelli have done that for the Yankees for the almost one million dollars he received from Pittsburgh? Cervelli will be paid $3.5 million in 2016 but that's still much less than the $17 million that McCann will receive from the Yankees.
But wait, the Yankees had even more young catchers: Austin Romine, John Ryan Murphy and Gary Sanchez.
In 2015 in 172 plate appearances (PA) Murphy had OPS+ 103, higher than McCann. So what happened to Murphy?
Sanchez is supposed to be ready but he's blocked by McCann. This was painfully obvious to any Yankee fan with any sense even before McCann was signed as a free agent. So what happens to Sanchez in 2016?
- backup McCann
- play full time in AAA
Neither is a good option.
Greg Bird looked really good in 178 2015 PA: OPS+ 138. However, Bird was blocked by Mark Teixeira who is a better batter and much better fielder. Bird, like Refsnyder, was consigned to AAA but then had surgery for an arm injury and is out for the season.
Who else? Oh, Aaron Judge. Finally people other than myself are noticing that Judge, a large corner outfielder, failed miserably in the second half of 2015 when he finally played at AAA. Judge seems at best one year away. And what if Judge is ready for 2017? Will the Yankees let Judge replace Carlos Beltran who will be 39 on April 24?
That's it. So what are the Yankees talking about? It's all yakety yak blah, blah, blah.