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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Articles tagged: New York Yankees

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. takes funny shot at Yankees

Vladimir Guerrero Jr in a hat

Feb 17, 2020; Dunedin, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) looks on during spring training at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Even in the offseason, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. loathes the New York Yankees.

Guerrero appeared this week at a Toronto Blue Jays team event and gave an interesting answer to a question from a young fan. The fan asked Guerrero and his teammates which opposing team was the easiest to play last season.

“The Yankees,” Guerrero replied with a grin.

Here is the video.

The former MVP runner-up Guerrero was probably being a bit more shady than factual with that answer. The Blue Jays finished second to the Yankees in the AL East last year and were 8-11 against them in head-to-head play. Guerrero also performed a bit worse against the Yankees than against everyone else (with a .260/.313/.521 slash line versus the Yankees as opposed to a .274/.339/.480 slash line overall).

But we know that Guerrero has a fiery cannonball of hatred for the Yankees. Just a few months ago, the Blue Jays star took an even more savage shot at the Bronx Bombers.

Yankees make another big-name hire to their front office

Brian Cashman at a press conference

Mar 14, 2022; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman talks with media during spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are assembling a front office “Dream Team” of sorts.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported Thursday that the Yankees have hired ex-New York Mets executive Omar Minaya. The 64-year-old Minaya will serve as an adviser in the Yankees’ baseball operations department.

Minaya is best known for his years running the Mets as their GM. He was the architect of their 2006 team that won 97 games and a division title but also had a few whiffs during his time in Queens. In addition to his run with the Mets, Minaya served as GM for the-then Montreal Expos, as senior vice president of baseball operations for the San Diego Padres, and (in his most recent job) as a scouting consultant for Major League Baseball.

Heyman notes that the Yankees’ hiring of Minaya, a scouting guru, appears to be an attempt to balance out their analytics-heavy front office. Earlier in the week, the team already hired another very well-known MLB executive.

Legendary Yankees announcer could retire from 1 job

Michael Kay on the mic

Longtime New York Yankees announcer Michael Kay is known for both being the television voice of the Bronx Bombers and for hosting a radio show, but it sounds like he is ready to give up one of those gigs.

Kay has been hosting “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN Radio since 2002. The show is simulcast on YES Network. Kay’s contract is set to expire at the end of September. Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that Kay is giving serious consideration to retiring from radio. The 61-year-old has informed ESPN officials that he is planning to step away.

Though Kay has had contract extension talks with ESPN, the belief is that he is actually leaning toward retirement and not trying to create more leverage in negotiations.

Kay is planning to continue with his full-time role as the TV voice of the Yankees on YES Network. Marchand reports that he is also hoping to continue hosting ESPN’s “Kay-Rod” broadcasts alongside Alex Rodriguez. The program debuted last year as an alternate broadcast for select ESPN “Sunday Night Baseball” games and a postseason series.

ESPN has not thought about a potential replacement and is still trying to convince Kay to continue with the radio show. Kay, who took a classy stance amid Aaron Judge’s home run race last season, is extremely popular among Yankees fans.

Yankees hire former Executive of the Year

Brian Cashman at a press conference

Mar 14, 2022; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman talks with media during spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are bringing in an executive with plenty of credentials.

The Yankees announced Tuesday that they have hired former San Francisco Giants exec Brian Sabean to be an executive advisor. Sabean will be advising Yankees senior vice president and general manager Brian Cashman.

The 66-year-old Sabean has had a decorated front office career. He served as GM of the Giants from 1997 to 2014 and was named Executive of the Year in 2003. San Francisco also made four World Series appearances (winning three of them) during Sabean’s tenure with the rosters that he assembled.

After a couple of role changes, Sabean stepped down from his post as head of baseball operations for the Giants in 2018 but remained around the team in a scouting capacity. Now (after almost joining a rival club) Sabean will help the Yankees try to get back to the World Series for the first time in nearly a decade-and-a-half.

Anthony Rizzo had funny way of recruiting Aaron Judge to re-sign

Anthony Rizzo gesturing

Sep 24, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo (48) gestures to the dugout after hitting a two run home run in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Judge knew what the New York Yankees had to offer when he hit free agency, so there was not as much recruiting for the organization to do. That did not stop one of his teammates from sending a gentle reminder of what he would be leaving behind if he went elsewhere.

Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo bonded with Judge last year as both own dachshunds. While Judge was a free agent, Rizzo sent the outfielder a picture of their dogs together with a friendly warning about breaking them up.

“I did send him a couple of pictures of our dogs together, because we both have dachshunds, saying we can’t break them up,” Rizzo said on “The Book of Joe with Joe Maddon and Tom Verducci” podcast, via Ryan Chichester of WFAN. “But it was just more encouraging of, ‘What’s gonna be best for you and Sam?'”

Judge obviously did re-sign with the Yankees, so maybe the dog pictures had a minor impact.

Rizzo’s message to Judge about free agency earlier in the season might have been a little worrisome for Yankees fans. In the end, everything worked out, and Rizzo certainly did not push Judge away from returning. If anything, he did the opposite.

Yankees linked to trade for All-Star outfielder

Brian Cashman at a press conference

Mar 14, 2022; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman talks with media during spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After retaining Aaron Judge and also landing their top pitching target in Carlos Rodon, the New York Yankees may be going for the knockout punch.

Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported on Thursday that the Yankees are among the teams that have inquired about a potential trade for Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds. However, one obstacle is that the Pirates prefer starting pitchers to headline the return package while the top end of the Yankees’ farm system mainly consists of position players, Morosi adds.

Reynolds, who was an All-Star in 2021, is a switch-hitting power bat who mainly plays center field but has experience in left as well. He formally requested a trade from the lowly Pirates earlier in the offseason.

Beyond Judge, the Yankees outfield is littered with largely underwhelming platoon guys like Aaron Hicks, Harrison Bader, Tim Locastro, and 23-year-old Oswaldo Cabrera. While Reynolds won’t come cheap and has other top-flight teams after him, he would plug a lot of holes for the Bronx Bombers.

Aaron Judge wants to get 1 Yankee legend involved with organization

Aaron Judge looking on

Jul 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) goes to the dugout between innings against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Judge is back with the New York Yankees, and he wants to use his return to bring one legend closer to the organization.

Judge revealed Wednesday that he spoke to Hall-of-Fame shortstop Derek Jeter periodically as he was going through the free agency process. Once Judge had agreed to return to the Yankees, he said he had reached out to Jeter to ask what he could do to get the former shortstop involved in the organization again.

To be clear, there are no bad feelings between Jeter and the Yankees. Jeter just opted to head in a different direction after his retirement in 2014, most notably running the Miami Marlins, which ultimately did not work out. He has since been linked to a gig that he seems pretty unlikely to accept.

Still, credit to Judge for being proactive and trying to foster closer ties between Jeter and the Yankees. No wonder the team saw fit to give him a huge honor that will allow him to follow in Jeter’s footsteps.

Yankees being hampered by 2 contracts

Brian Cashman at a press conference

Mar 14, 2022; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman talks with media during spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have seen their payroll grow this offseason thanks to the contracts given to Aaron Judge and Carlos Rodon. The team could have done even more damage, but they are being hampered by two contracts.

The New York Post’s Jon Heyman reported in an article posted on Thursday that the Yankees might have had more interest in Carlos Correa if they didn’t already have two contracts on the books.

One of the contracts is for Josh Donaldson, who has one year left on his 4-year, $92 million deal. Donaldson is making $21 million in 2023 and owed $6 million for 2024 even though the Yankees are unlikely to pick up his option. Donaldson, 37, batted .222 with a .682 OPS. His power numbers dropped off last year compared to his previous years, though he is still regarded as a good defensive third baseman.

The other contract is for Aaron Hicks, whom the Yankees gave a 7-year, $70 million contract extension prior to the 2019 season. Hicks has been injured and awful the last two seasons, making the $29.5 million he is owed through 2025 a waste. Hicks batted .216 with a .642 OPS last season and resembled the player who struggled the first four years of his career, rather than the guy who had a strong 2018 season, leading to his contract extension.

The Yankees apparently tried to dump either player but had no luck.

The Yankees are projected to have a $230 million payroll for 2023, which puts them second in MLB, just behind the Mets.

Yankees land their No. 1 pitching target in free agency

Carlos Rodon throwing a pitch

Jul 9, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (16) throws a pitch against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are putting together a nice offseason.

Not only did the team retain Aaron Judge on a 9-year, $360 million contract, but they also just landed their top pitching target.

The Yankees have agreed to a six-year, $162 million deal with pitcher Carlos Rodon. The contract includes a no-trade clause.

That is some big money for the former No. 3 draft pick, but it’s worth it if he can repeat his success of the last two seasons.

Rodon went 42-38 with a 3.79 ERA in seven seasons with the Chicago White Sox to start his career. He dealt with injuries, and it wasn’t until 2021 that he finally put together a full, excellent season. The 30-year-old went 13-5 with a 2.37 ERA and had a ridiculous 185 strikeouts in 132.2 innings in 2021. He followed that up with a strong encore in 2022.

Rodon went 14-8 with a 2.88 ERA in 178.0 innings for the San Francisco Giants. He posted 237 strikeouts last season and made the All-Star team for the second year in a row.

Rodon has had shoulder problems and also underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019. If he is indeed past his injury prolems, then he will help the Yankees tremendously. If not, then the Yankees will have another big contract haunting them.

For now, he gives the Yankees another great southpaw option along with Nestor Cortes Jr. behind Gerrit Cole.

Report reveals potential Yankees’ backup option if they miss out on Rodon

Brian Cashman at a press conference

Mar 14, 2022; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman talks with media during spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees seem determined to spend more money even after signing Aaron Judge to a massive new contract, and free agent starting pitcher Carlos Rodon is at the top of their wish list. If they cannot land the left-hander, they reportedly have a backup option in mind.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post wrote on Tuesday that there is a “sizable gap” between the Yankees and Rodon in contract negotiations. Rodon is said to be seeking at least $30 million per year over seven-plus years. If the two sides can’t close the gap, Heyman says New York’s next choice will likely be Nathan Eovaldi.

Eovaldi, 32, will cost a lot less than Rodon in large part because of his injury history. The right-hander has undergone Tommy John surgery multiple times. Eovaldi, who has spent the past four-plus seasons with the Boston Red Sox, remained healthy throughout all of 2021 but dealt with back and shoulder injuries last season. He went 6-3 with a 3.87 ERA in 20 starts.

Heyman says Eovaldi should be viewed as a “distant second” for the Yankees, who seem determined to sign Rodon.

The Yankees are clearly willing to shell out at least one more massive contract even after giving Judge $360 million over nine years. They were said to be interested in another top free agent before he signed with a different team on Tuesday.