Showing posts with label Gary Sanchez. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gary Sanchez. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

New York Yankees win offseason with acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton

Giancarlo Stanton
The first day of the winter meetings Monday was described as "quiet" -- except, of course, for the reigning National League MVP getting traded.

The New York Yankees acquired outfielder Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins in exchange for second baseman Starlin Castro and two prospects, right-handed pitcher Jorge Guzman and infielder Jose Devers.

Stanton hit 59 home runs for the Marlins in 2017, and he's going from a pitchers' park in Miami to a hitters' paradise at Yankee Stadium. He joins a lineup that already features Aaron Judge, who hit 52 homers last season, and Gary Sanchez, who hit 33 home runs last season.

Yeah, that's some formidable right-handed power there, and you can expect the pundits to tab New York as the favorite to win the American League East in 2018, if not the favorite to win the World Series.

There's no question the Yankees just won the offseason in this trade. There is no possible acquisition that any other team can make that would be bigger than acquiring a league MVP who is coming off a 59-homer season.

But let me tap the brakes on any effort to crown the Yankees now. Remember, the Boston Red Sox won the offseason a year ago at this time with the acquisition of left-handed ace Chris Sale. And although Sale did win 17 games for Boston, and although the Red Sox did win the AL East, they were eliminated from the postseason in the first round by the eventual world champion Houston Astros.

One big, splashy offseason move does not guarantee a championship the following season by any means. There still are questions with the Yankees. Do we think Aaron Boone is going to win a World Series in his first year as a major league manager? I'm not a fan of Joe Girardi, and I don't care that the Yankees let him go, but I'm not convinced Boone is an upgrade.

Will Stanton stay healthy? He was healthy in 2017, all right, but that was only the second time in the past five years that he's appeared in 120 or more games. And will he be as effective if he's asked to DH more frequently? It wouldn't be the first time we've seen an accomplished NL slugger struggle to adjust to a new role.

The other thing I wonder about the Yankees: Can they win a title with Sanchez behind the plate? For all his offensive skill, Sanchez is brutal at one of the most important defensive positions on the field -- if not the most important. I think it's hard to win a world championship with a poor defensive catcher, and Sanchez is that. He had a league-high 16 passed balls last year, to go along with 13 errors. That's terrible.

The Yankees are concerned about Sanchez, too, and I think that's one reason they hired former major league catcher Josh Bard to be Boone's bench coach.

It remains to be seen what this Stanton move will mean, if anything, for the Red Sox. Will they make a big move before these winter meetings are over? 'Tis the season to stay tuned to the MLB Network ...

Friday, November 18, 2016

New York Yankees trade catcher Brian McCann to Houston Astros for two prospects

Brian McCann
Cross Brian McCann off your list of available catchers.

The New York Yankees made the first notable trade of the offseason Thursday, sending the veteran to the Houston Astros in exchange for pitching prospects Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman.

McCann, who will be 33 when the 2017 season starts, has two years and $34 million remaining on his contract. The Yankees will send the Astros $11 million -- or $5.5 million a season -- to absorb some of that cost.

The left-handed hitter provided 20 home runs or more in each of his three seasons with the Yankees, but his slash line was a mediocre .235/.313/.418 over that same span. He was, essentially, a league-average hitter, and he was losing playing time in New York to 23-year-old Gary Sanchez, who took the American League by storm with 20 home runs in just 229 plate appearances after an early-August promotion.

Sanchez finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year balloting. He is both the present and the future behind the plate for the Yankees. McCann saw the writing on the wall and agreed to waive his no-trade protection to join the Astros.

From Houston's perspective, the Astros need a catcher because they are likely to lose defensive-minded Jason Castro in free agency. Despite McCann's declining numbers, he still represents a clear offensive upgrade over Castro, who hit .210 with a .684 OPS in 2016.

Houston parts with two live arms in Abreu, 21, and Guzman, 20. Abreu was ranked as the Astros' No. 7 prospect, and Guzman has at times topped 100 mph with his fastball. The Yankees are continuing a trend they started in the middle of last season, trading high-profile, high-priced veterans for prospects. McCann joins Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Carlos Beltran on a list of notable players to be dealt out of the Bronx over the past few months.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports is reporting that the Astros are not done. Apparently, Houston is on the verge of signing free-agent outfielder Josh Reddick to a four-year deal worth $52 million.

The Astros had a disappointing 2016 in which they finished 84-78, in third place in the AL West. They came into the year with much higher expectations after winning the AL wild card game in 2015 and pushing the eventual World Series champion Kansas City Royals to five games in the ALDS. Clearly, they are adding veterans to try to push their way back into the postseason next year.