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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

The Yankees have announced a number of stadium enhancements that will be implemented for the 2017 season.

The enhancements include a new interactive area for kids, a much bigger batter's eye deck for fans in center field, new bullpen landings in left field and right field, a new lounge in Section 134, and shaded party decks in sections 311 and 328.

The new area for kids will be shaped like a mini-baseball field with a soft artificial surface, and feature Yankees-themed playground equipment, including oversized baseballs, bases and baseball cards. >> Read about all of the new ehnhancements here

Gleyber Torres signs autographs prior to a game in the Arizona Fall League. (Mark Rebilas - USA Today)
Gleyber Torres signs autographs prior to a game in the Arizona Fall League. (Mark Rebilas - USA Today)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

Top prospects are presumably under some pressure to play to their scouting reports, and when they are on stage in the Arizona Fall League, the performance becomes magnified. Yankees infielder Gleyber Torres isn't fazed and might be tacking onto his already lofty expectations.

"I don't try to put too much pressure on myself," Torres told "I just want to show everybody my abilities and go out there and have some fun."

Torres, the Yankees' No. 2 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, is certainly demonstrating his talent thus far. Torres has dominated at the plate over the first two weeks of the AFL season. Torres owns a .412 batting average, .524 on-base percentage and an .882 slugging percentage in 21 plate appearances. Torres has ripped two doubles, two home runs and driven in four runs.

Torres, a shortstop by trade, is getting some reps at second base for Scottsdale as the Yankees continue to demand versatility among their middle infielders. Torres, 19, is at least a couple of years away from the big leagues, but he has two other players in the system to compete with for a chance to succeed Didi Gregorius or Starlin Castro, both of whom are under team control through 2019.

If Torres continues to develop at the plate, hones his skills at shortstop, while also learning second base, he could surely make an impact at the big league level as part of the Yankees young core.

Yankees' AFL Notebook

Note: All statistics are through Oct. 20 and organization prospect rankings (in parenthesis) are provided by

- Third baseman, Miguel Andujar (No. 7) is hitting .300 in 23 plate appearances, but has just one extra-base hit and zero RBI.

- Greg Bird has cooled down since his hot start, dropping his batting average to .261 in 26 plate appearances. Bird is still relegated to designated hitter duties for Scottsdale as he continues to take things slowly after losing the 2016 season to shoulder surgery. The Yankees hope to get Bird some reps at first base before the AFL season comes to an end.

- The Yankees added right-hander Nestor Cortes to the AFL roster this week. Cortes, 21, enjoyed a fine minor league season making appearances at four levels. Most of Nestor's time came at Low-A Charleston, where he threw 68 innings across 13 appearances (eight starts) and generated a 0.79 ERA. Nestor tossed combined 106 innings, going 11-4 with a 1.53 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 115 strikeouts.

- J.P. Feyereisen continues to struggle for Scottsdale, having allowed five runs (four earned), seven hits and four walks in just four innings.

- James Kaprielian (No. 9) was not as dominant in his second starting effort. The right-hander hurled three innings and allowed three runs (one earned) on two hits and a walk. Kaprielian's ERA stands at 1.50 in six AFL innings with six strikeouts.

- Brady Koerner has endured two rough AFL appearances, pitching to a 24.30 ERA across 3 1/3 innings. Koerner has allowed nine hits and walked four batters.

- Dillon Tate (No. 10) recently received a scathing scouting report, which I believe should be taken with a grain of salt. Tate was a first-round pick (No. 4 overall) just one year ago, so some growing pains should be expected and the Yankees will be patient in determining his fate as either a starter or reliever. Tate has allowed four runs (including two home runs) in four innings pitched. His latest effort, a one-inning appearance Wednesday in which he did not allow a run, was his best thus far.

- Tyler Wade (No. 14) received his first start in center field this week. The position change is part of the effort to find places to play the soon to be 22-year-old with Torres and Jorge Mateo (No. 3) forcing the issue of who plays shortstop at the upper levels of the farm system over the coming seasons.

Tags: Didi Gregorius , Greg Bird , Starlin Castro , Chris Carelli

 (Nick Turchiaro)
(Nick Turchiaro)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

Andrew Miller embarrassed hitters on the way to the ALCS MVP Award and I couldn't be happier for him. I also remain very pleased the New York Yankees chose to deal Miller for two top-100 prospects and others with upside.

I readily admit that while I'm happy for Miller, I do wish he pitched the Yankees into the 2016 World Series. Unfortunately, that was not happening. Miller, as good as he is, would not have been able to do such a thing for the Yankees this season, and might not have been able to in 2017. In 2018, during the final year of his four-year deal, who knows what would come about with the club or him for that matter.

Odds are that Miller, 32 in May, will be effective through the remainder of his deal. However, we have seen dramatic downward shifts with older pitchers, relievers in particular, throughout history. Further, what if Miller suffered an injury like Nathan Eovaldi, rendering him useless on the trade market in the future?

As great as Miller was down the stretch and thus far in the postseason, the Yankees would not have made up the number of games necessary to gain a playoff berth of their own. Sure, the Yankees lost some heartbreakers in September, but we cannot go back and assume Miller's presence would have mattered.

Even if we are generous and presume the Yankees grab a couple more wins because Miller is on the mound, they still would have come up short of a playoff berth.

The Yankees decided that this was the time to seize maximum value for Miller. The big southpaw is a fine commodity for the regular season, but his value intensifies when he can be used as he has been in the postseason. The Cleveland Indians knew this, and the Yankees capitalized by acquiring Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, Ben Heller and J.P. Feyereisen.

New York believed its chance to reach or deliver in the postseason this year or next was less likely to happen than Miller's prospect haul developing into major league talent. Combine that proposition with the chance that other top prospects already in the system mature at a time when the organization's buying power can be completely utilized (sometime in 2018 or 2019) and it is easy to see the allure of the trade.

As much as the Yankees sugarcoat the current transition as one which is built to grow and win, they understand that the correct thought process has them looking to build a sustainable winner for the future.

Frazier, a 22-year-old outfielder, is widely considered a good bet to not only reach the big leagues, but to become a force in it. The left-handed Sheffield, 20, has been mentioned by some as a potential steal in the deal, while Heller (who has already logged time in New York) and Feyereisen could certainly blossom in New York or elsewhere down the line.

The future is the Yankees' focus. The organization understood that Miller could have been kept around to provide above-average to elite production for potentially mediocre teams. Instead, he was used as an asset in their pursuit to build a young and strong core that could deliver much more than one endgame reliever can supply on his own.

Tags: Andrew Miller , Chris Carelli

 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

The Yankees could be in the mix to sign Edwin Encarnacion when he becomes a free agent after the season, reports national writer Jon Heyman

While Heyman notes that the Red Sox could be the most likely spot for Encarnacion, the Yankees and Rangers both have a chance to sign the soon-to-be free agent. 

Encarnacion, 33, hit 33 home runs and led the American League with 127 RBIs. So far in the postseason, he has hit three home runs and driven in nine runs.

Over the last five years, Encarnacion has averaged more than 38 home runs per season with Toronto. 

Tags: Boston Red Sox , Toronto Blue Jays

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the ninth inning during game two of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series at Wrigley Field. (Dennis Wierzbicki)
Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the ninth inning during game two of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series at Wrigley Field. (Dennis Wierzbicki)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The New York Yankees have built strong endgame relief crews since the mid-90's -- Mariano Rivera to John Wetteland, Jeff Nelson and Mike Stanton to Rivera, David Robertson to Rivera, Dellin Betances to Robertson, Betances to Andrew Miller and Betances and Miller to Aroldis Chapman. Presently, the Yankees do not boast such a combination.

Fortunately, there will be three elite relievers on the free agent market this offseason from which the Yankees can pursue to pair with Betances. Which is the best fit?

Aroldis Chapman

The fireballer is a certain target because of his recent stint in New York, combined with the fact that he stated directly after his trade deadline move to the Chicago Cubs that he would consider a reunion with the Yankees. The Yankees enjoyed a three-headed relief monster (Chapman with Betances and Miller) for half of the season, so getting back to two-thirds of the combination would be alluring.

Chapman was able to handle any of the supposed New York "pressure" after coming from Cincinnati and seemed to gel well with his teammates. Chapman was must-see baseball during a time that the club was anything but watchable. Chapman's performances are highly entertaining; simply stated, he puts fans in the seats.

That has to be a factor, considering Chapman, who turns 29 before next season, could be earning the top salary for a closer in major league history. The Yankees can sign Chapman without losing their first round draft pick by virtue of the trade negating his eligibility for a qualifying offer.

As for Chapman's performance, it was exactly as expected in 2016. He was very good in New York and then stellar for Chicago after the deal. Chapman is generally used for one inning appearances and has performed well thus far in the postseason (5 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 9 K). Since becoming a full-time closer in 2012, Chapman owns 181 saves, 1.84 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and a 15.7 K/9 ratio in 313 regular season innings pitched.

There is still the issue of his domestic violence history, which will never go away. Some fans took the trade in stride, deciding they could root for the player (and team) while not condoning his actions. Others took the opportunity to show their disdain for Chapman.

The way I see it, Chapman is a strong option. The financial cost is of little concern to the Yankees due to the fact that there is no draft pick to worry about losing, which has implications for a team that currently owns the No. 17 pick in the 2017 draft. The draft position could improve if teams ahead of them sign players who were tagged with a qualifying offer (and New York does not).

The Yankees absolutely need someone to team with Betances, and a familiar face who has had success with the club is hard to ignore. The fact that Chapman is a left-hander adds to his appeal in case the Yankees decide to employ a bullpen without defined roles.

Kenley Jansen

Jansen, like Chapman, is hitting the free agent market for the first time after seven seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jansen, a right-hander, has long been considered an elite closer. He has done so under similar media attention that he would garner in New York. Jansen, however, does not come with any of the off-the-field questions that saddle Chapman.

From a contract standpoint, it can be argued that Jansen should warrant very similar contract terms to Chapman. Jansen's statistics since 2012 match up nicely to Chapman's - 180 saves. 2.22 ERA, 0.86 WHIP with a 13.6 K/9 across 328 innings.

Jansen has displayed this postseason that he has the ability to lock down more than three outs per appearance and that he can handle any extra pressure that the playoffs present. Jansen has tossed 7 1/3 innings this postseason and has allowed four runs (all in one appearance) and struck out 13 batters. Jansen was spectacular in the deciding division series game, throwing a career-high 51 pitches, and then two scoreless frames in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series.

The one hinge with Jansen is that he will most certainly have a qualifying offer made to him. Of course, the Dodgers will be strong competitors for his services for one of the same reasons the Yankees would be comfortable with Chapman, familiarity. If the Dodgers go on to win the National League Championship Series and then the World Series with Jansen producing like he has to this point, it might persuade Los Angeles to stick with their man.

Mark Melancon

The last elite reliever available on the open market is also a former Yankee. Melancon, a right-hander, has pluses and minuses compared to Chapman and Jansen.

Melancon will not have a qualifying offer attached to him as he was traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Washington Nationals before the trade deadline. Melancon, 32 when the 2017 season begins, will not require the expenditure that the other two relievers will insist and the contract length might be a bit shorter in length as well. The Yankees are not penny pinchers by any means, but any bit of savings here and there does allow salary to be dispersed elsewhere across the roster.

None of this potential discount means the Yankees would be receiving a thoroughly lesser reliever for the price. Melancon has been among the top performing closers over the last few seasons. Since 2013, Melancon has racked up 140 saves with a 1.80 ERA and 0.91 WHIP with an 8.3 K/9 rate.

Melancon differs from Chapman and Jansen in that he is an extreme ground ball machine, generating 56.1 percent ground balls among balls put in play. Melancon is also better at avoiding walks than the other two relievers with a walk rate of two batters per nine innings throughout his career (Chapman - 4.1 BB/9, Jansen - 2.6 BB/9).

Finally, Melancon has been used to a larger workload, surpassing 70 innings in each of the last four seasons. However, like the other two relievers almost all of his appearances have been one inning or less of work.

In my view, the Yankees will likely pursue Chapman first. There will be significant competition from teams like the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers, and the Cubs to name a few teams with the money and the need for an elite reliever.

Chapman will probably be the first of the three relievers to sign, then Jansen and finally Melancon. If the Yankees are outbid for Chapman, I imagine they will be equally aggressive in their pursuit of Jansen or Melancon.

Chapman and Jansen could earn as much as $75-80 million across five seasons, bringing each to their age-33 season. Meanwhile, Melancon could earn a three-year, $39-42 million contract in my estimation, which would bring him through his age-34 season. Anything more than that for either pitcher could bring extremely diminished returns as the contracts conclude.

If the Yankees fail to sign any of the three hurlers, they will be forced to use Betances with Tyler Clippard at the end of games. The Yankees have some interesting arms in the system to aid Betances and Clippard, but their faith in Betances as closer might have been tested at the end of the 2016 season when he experienced significant failures.

I believe the club prefers to sign one of the established relievers and revert Betances back into the fireman role he seems to thrive in. With three exceptional choices, I would expect the Yankees to do everything in their power to get their wish.

Tags: Dellin Betances , Chris Carelli

Scottsdale Scorpions pitcher Dillon Tate of the New York Yankees against the Glendale Desert Dogs during an Arizona Fall League game at Camelback Ranch. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Scottsdale Scorpions pitcher Dillon Tate of the New York Yankees against the Glendale Desert Dogs during an Arizona Fall League game at Camelback Ranch. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees pitching prospect Dillon Tate won't do well in the major leagues unless he changes things with his routine, a professional scout told Randy Miller of

Tate, 22, was traded to the Yankees this season as part of the Carlos Beltran deal. After going No. 4 overall in the 2015 draft, Tate struggled in the early portion of the minor league season, having a 5.12 ERA through his first 65 innings.

His velocity, which topped out near 100 mph, has dropped closer to the lower 90s. 

"I can't get into too much of why I know this, but if Tate doesn't change his pre-game and if he doesn't change how he goes about his work, he'll never succeed ... period," the scout said, according to Miller. "He works hard. It's not his work ethic. It's how he works. It's what he does and his stubbornness in it. If he doesn't change that, he won't succeed."

In seven outings (17.1 relief innings) with the Single-A Charleston RiverDogs, Tate did improve, recording a 3.12 ERA. 

However, the scout still remained critical of Tate and the overall trade the Yankees made with Texas. 

"The Yankees didn't make out on the Beltran trade," the scout said. "The Rangers absolutely thought Tate was going to be a starter when they drafted him, and I could see why. Tate has a great arm. And he's a nice kid. A great kid.

"But Tate's a guy who's stubborn in the way that he goes about it, and unless he changes that, it ain't going to happen for him."

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

One scout's take should not damper expectations on Tate. The scout may be entirely accurate in his assessment, but before I rush out and decide the Yankees made a mistake with Tate, I'd like to see how he progresses in the Arizona Fall League and where he begins the 2017 season.

If Tate does make changes to his thought process, but he becomes a skilled reliever with two plus-pitches because he cannot master a third offering, I wouldn't label it a detriment to the Yankees.

Just look at the way that relievers are being used these days. Relievers are becoming more and more important to the construction of pitching staffs to the extent that I would argue they are as important as backend of the rotation hurlers. That is especially true if the reliever is considered among the elite in the game.

Finally, Beltran was a free agent to be with limited places to move him because no one wants him in the outfield. The Yankees turned a rental into a 2015 first-round pick (plus others), which is worth any perceived risk that Tate cannot become an effective major league pitcher.

Scottsdale Scorpions pitcher James Kaprielian of the New York Yankees against the Glendale Desert Dogs during an Arizona Fall League game at Camelback Ranch. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Scottsdale Scorpions pitcher James Kaprielian of the New York Yankees against the Glendale Desert Dogs during an Arizona Fall League game at Camelback Ranch. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees pitching prospect James Kaprielian, throwing in the Arizona Fall League, has pitched well and drawn comparisons to Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom, reports Randy Miller of

Mets first base coach Tom Goodwin, who manages Kaprielian's team, said he has been impressed with the pitcher's stuff in the short period of time he has watched him. Kaprielian threw three shutout innings in his AFL debut. 

"First time I've ever seen him," Goodwin said. "He's got live stuff. ... "I'd say he's more like Jacob deGrom with a fastball and slider and changeup. You hate to put names on the guy, but Kaprielian's got that kind of electric life."

The Yankees' 2015 first-round draft pick out of UCLA had a 1.50 ERA and a 0.61 WHIP in 18 innings with Single-A Tampa this season. A flexor tendor strain had kept him on the shelf for most of the year. 

Tags: Jacob deGrom , James Kaprielian

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The New York Yankees have a large contingent of prospects playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions in this season's Arizona Fall League (AFL), a few of whom the organization will be watching intently.

The league is traditionally meant to provide either an extended look at a prospect or as a means to increase reps missed by players during the regular season.

The Yankees sent eight players to Arizona this season, including Greg Bird and James Kaprielian, whose performance and health will be monitored closely with hopes that each can make an impact with the major league club at varying points in 2017. The other six players' production might not mean as much in the scope of next season for the big league club, but the results could sway future player development decisions.

Note: Prospect rankings according to MLB Pipeline

Bird burst onto the scene in 2015 when veteran first baseman Mark Teixeira went down with an injury. Bird launched 11 home runs and drove in 31 runs in 178 plate appearances. As a result, it was expected that he would play a large part in the Yankees' 2016 offense. Instead, he had to rehabilitate the surgically repaired labrum in his right shoulder.

Bird, who will be 24 at the start of the 2017 season, is minimally expected to compete for the starting first baseman job with Tyler Austin. If there is a platoon, Bird would get a majority of the reps as the left-handed hitter of the duo. Bird, the 2014 AFL MVP, is unable to play the field at this time, but hopes to get some reps at first base before the AFL season concludes.

Through games played Thursday, Bird is 3-for-8 with three doubles and two RBI. Assuming Bird leaves Arizona healthy and with expected results, it will certainly settle any nerves the Yankees have about their first base situation.

Much like Bird, Kaprielian came into the 2016 season amid great anticipation. The right-hander, who was the Yankees' 2015 first-round draft pick (No. 16 overall), was expected to climb the ladder quickly, with some optimistic pundits suggesting he could reach the majors in 2016. Unfortunately, Kaprielian suffered a flexor muscle strain in April, which took away his regular season after three impressive starts with High-A Tampa.

After a handful of innings in the instructional league, Kaprielian tossed three innings in his AFL debut, allowing just one hit and no runs, while striking out six batters. Kaprielian, the Yankees' No. 9 prospect, sat in the 94-96 mph range with his fastball and his ancillary pitches were said to be spot on.

Should Kaprielian make it out of the AFL unscathed and with similar production as he displayed early in the season and in Wednesday's performance, he could begin the 2017 season with Double-A Trenton, and jump levels in rapid time.

Third baseman Miguel Andujar climbed the prospect ladder in 2016 and garnered 570 plate appearances, so getting extra work in is not the reason for his attendance. More likely, the Yankees want to see if he can handle this level or not in order to determine his starting level in the system next season. Andujar generated an .817 OPS (251 plate appearances) at High-A Tampa, and then regressed to a .681 mark (319 plate appearances) at Double-A Trenton. Andujar, the No. 7 Yankees' prospect, is 3-for-6 with a triple in two AFL games.

J.P. Feyereisen, a right-handed reliever, was part of the Andrew Miller deal and at 23 years old, he could see the Yankee Stadium mound sooner than later. Feyereisen completed the season in Double-A, but had just 18 innings there. This could be another assignment meant to determine placement to start the 2017 season. Feyereisen has tossed one shutout inning for the Scorpions, allowing no baserunners and recording two strikeouts.

Brody Koerner, another righty, threw just 34 innings this season (five starts), so this is similar to Kaprielian in that he needs to get some work after missing a majority of the season. Koerner, whose highest level is High-A, has pitched to a 1.56 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 63 1/3 minor league innings. He had a rough effort in his first AFL appearance, coughing up three runs on four hits and three walks in 1 2/3 innings.

Dillon Tate was the headliner in the trade that sent Carlos Beltran to the Texas Rangers. Tate, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 first-year player draft, has not advanced as well as expected as he struggled to a 4.70 ERA and 1.60 WHIP this season. The right-handed Tate pitched better after the trade, but the Yankees would like to get him some work against higher-caliber players than he saw this season at Low-A, his highest level. Tate, the Yankees' No. 10 prospect, threw two innings in Tuesday's contest and allowed a solo home run, his only hit allowed, with three strikeouts.

Gleyber Torres is a shortstop who is going to be getting some time at second base in Arizona. Torres, the Yankees No. 2 prospect, was the main component in the Aroldis Chapman trade with the Chicago Cubs. The Yankees feel so strongly about Torres that they moved homegrown prospect Jorge Mateo to second base.

The Yankees have significant depth at the shortstop position, so seeing how Torres handles second base makes sense in an effort to make the organization's middle infielders as versatile as possible. Torres has played one game for Scottsdale (albeit at shortstop), going 1-for-4 with a home run in the early going of the AFL season.

Speaking of versatility, another shortstop, Tyler Wade, might be getting some playing time outside of his comfort zone while in Arizona. Wade will get limited playing time, but adding some experience in left field can only help the Yankees' No. 14 prospect's chances of reaching the big leagues. Wade has played in one of the Scorpions' three games, going 0-for-3 with a walk, run and stolen base.

Check back each Friday for a weekly update of the Yankees' prospects AFL performance.

Tags: Greg Bird , Chris Carelli

 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Yankees RHP prospect James Kaprielian allowed one hit while walking none and striking out six in three scoreless innings during his Arizona Fall League debut Wednesday night for Scottsdale.

He threw 40 pitches (29 strikes).

Kaprielian missed the majority of the regular season due to an elbow injury, which he said could've been caused by overworking himself.

His elbow first started bothering him in April and he was diagnosed with a strained flexor tendon in June.

Kaprielian was the Yankees' first-round pick (16th overall) in the 2015 MLB Draft. Through his first three starts for the Tampa Yankees (High-A) this season, he had a 1.50 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 18 innings.

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Yankees prospect Greg Bird went 1-for-4 with a double while serving as the DH for Scottsdale as the Arizona Fall League began Tuesday.

It was Bird's first game in over a year. He missed the entire 2016 season after having surgery for a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

3B prospect Miguel Andujar had a triple and a walk.

Also appearing in the game was RHP Dillon Tate, who was acquired from Texas this summer in the Carlos Beltran trade, and RHP J.P. Feyereisen, who was acquired from Cleveland in the Andrew Miller trade.

Feyereisen struck out two in a perfect ninth inning.

Tags: Greg Bird

New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia underwent arthroscopic right knee surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the Yankees announced on Tuesday

The surgery, which was performed by Dr. Ahmad, was a routine cleanup, and Sabathia is expected to be ready for spring training. 

Sabathia started 30 games for the Yankees in 2016, pitching 179.2 innings and earning a 9-12 record, 3.91 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. His ERA and WHIP were the lowest for the veteran pitcher since 2012, where he threw for a 3.38 ERA and 1.14 WHIP.

Sabathia's $25 million salary for 2017 became guaranteed when the lefty avoided injury to his left shoulder throughout the 2016 season.


Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

This will seemingly be yearly maintenance for Sabathia, who is coming off his best season since 2012. Sabathia's pitching resurgence actually began in September 2015 when he was fitted for a knee brace that aided his stability and landing from his windup.

The brace clearly provided Sabathia peace of mind and allowed him to concentrate on fine-tuning his ongoing transition from a power to finesse pitcher. Since working with the brace, Sabathia has tossed 208 2/3 innings and registered a 3.66 earned run average.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman noted in his end of season press conference that starting pitching will be an area addressed in the offseason. Sabathia will certainly be a part of the rotation, as his $25 million vesting option for 2017 kicked in at the end of the season.

The Yankees will be delighted if Sabathia is able to generate similar numbers in 2017 as he managed this season (3.92 ERA in 179 2/3 innings). In my opinion, so long as Sabathia's knee holds out, that type of production is attainable.

Tags: CC Sabathia

New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) bats against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. (Danny Wild)
New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) bats against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. (Danny Wild)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The traditional debates at the end of baseball seasons concerning a team's best offensive player, pitcher, rookie and on and on are fun retrospectives. I'd like to go off the beaten path and discuss the Yankees' Most Important Player of the Year - Gary Sanchez.

Sanchez single-handedly made the 2016 season exciting, relevant and potentially saved the organization from reverting to its old ways of conducting business.

The Yankees languished around the .500 mark from May 24 well-through the non-waiver trade deadline after a pitiful 9-17 start. There were glimpses of fire, but each was always meet with a "back-to-Earth" bucket of water. Once the Yankees decided to sell assets at the trade deadline, the harsh reality of a lost season set into fans' conscience.

But, Sanchez turned that around with a power display unseen in the sport. Sanchez was the quickest player to hit 18 and 19 home runs, surpassing a record that stood for 86 years. With every home run, fans felt validation for the deadline deals and as a bonus, the club snuck back into the postseason picture.

Once again, the Yankees were relevant and fans embraced them. Opponents didn't exactly look at the Yanks as a steamroller like the 2016 Chicago Cubs, but New York was being noticed as formidable, and a problem. That was a surprise considering how uninspired their play was a various points in the season.

Sanchez and the Yankees ultimately fell short of the postseason, each slumping at the wrong time. It was hard to be critical of Sanchez, but easy to understand why the rest of the team crumbled. There were multiple flaws and older players still clogged up roster spots despite the effort to mix youthful athleticism into the roster.

Sanchez's heroics were exciting, but he is the most important player of the 2016 Yankees' season because his production portends to the future success of the organization. There are players knocking on the 2017 door and those two years away that possess the same level of prospect hype, if not more so than Sanchez was labeled.

Sanchez's performance gives fans hope and the organization credence in their process. Fans can see the magnitude of adding Tyler Austin, Greg Bird, Dietrich Enns, Clint Frazier, Aaron Judge, Jorge Mateo, Jordan Montgomery and Gleyber Torres to the 25-man roster in the future. The front office can feel comfortable going forward with their in-system youth movement. The probability of creating a new homegrown core is real. Without Sanchez's impressive play, expectations might be significantly tempered.

Imagine Sanchez turned in a performance resembling Judge's .608 OPS in 95 plate appearances. Would that have been enough to make the Yankees throttle back the entire process? Would the Yankees bother considering a trade of catcher Brian McCann if Sanchez looked overmatched? Would the team use the freshly stocked farm system to trade assets for more experienced (and costly) players instead of testing their own farmhands in New York? That all remains to be seen, but I believe that the notion of falling back into old procedures would enter the brain trust's line of thinking.

Sanchez was a revelation and a spark plug. He added much needed excitement and provided the necessary confirmation that the Yankees' roster construction methodology is the correct one. Altogether, these traits made Sanchez the Yankees' most important player of the 2016 season.

Tags: Gary Sanchez , Chris Carelli

New York Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher (William Perlman-The Star-Ledger)
New York Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher (William Perlman-The Star-Ledger)

Nick Swisher is spending one week of the offseason as a New York Yankees coach.

Swisher was a guest instructor Monday with the Yankees instructional league team in Tampa, Florida. He worked with players in the new indoor facility at the team's minor league complex and watched part of an intrasquad game from the dugout.

Swisher is expected to be with team until the season concludes at the end of the week.

Slowed by knee injuries the past several years, Swisher appeared in 76 games with Atlanta and Cleveland in 2014. The 35-year old slugger played in 55 games last season for the Yankees' Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre team, then ended his season in July when his second child was born.

Alex Rodriguez, Orlando Hernandez and Tino Martinez have also been instructional league coaches this year.

Mitchell on the mound

Bryan Mitchell started and went 4 1/3 innings in the intrasquad game as Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild watched. Mitchell went 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA in five September starts after missing the first five months of the season due to a spring training toe injury that required surgery. The right-hander said he might make one more start before beginning his regular offseason program.

Hall of Fame instructor

Yankees special adviser Reggie Jackson also arrived Monday and talked extensively with outfield prospect Clint Frazier during and after batting practice. Jackson watched the intrasquad game with vice president of player development Gary Denbo and special assignment scout Jim Hendry.

Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press

New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Yankees reinstated first baseman Greg Bird off the 60-day disabled list on Monday after he missed the 2016 season with a torn labrum.

Bird, 23, is slated to play in the Arizona Fall League, YES Network's A.J. Hermann writes. He took batting practice for the first time last month since undergoing shoulder surgery in February.

Last season, Bird hit .261 with 11 home runs and 31 RBIs in 46 games.

Tags: Greg Bird

 (Kevin Sousa)
(Kevin Sousa)

Yankees INF Donovan Solano has elected free agency, the team announced.

Solano had been outrighted to Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre earlier Monday but refused the assignment.

Solano, 28, hit .227 with a .261 OBP and .455 SLG in nine games (23 plate appearances) for the Yankees this season.

He was with the Marlins from 2012 through 2015.


New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. (John Rieger/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. (John Rieger/USA Today Sports Images)

The Yankees have 10 players eligible for arbitration this offseason. MLB Trade Rumors has calculated estimated salary figures of what each player is projected to receive through arbitration negotiations:

Michael Pineda - $7.8MM

Dustin Ackley - $3.2MM

Nathan Eovaldi - $7.5MM

Adam Warren - $2.3MM

Didi Gregorius - $5.1MM

Donovan Solano - $700K

Dellin Betances - $3.4MM

Austin Romine - $900K

Aaron Hicks - $1.4MM

Tommy Layne - $1.2MM

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

 Running through the list, there are five players that make sense to tender contracts; Betances, Gregorius, Layne, Pineda and Romine. Betances might not be the closer, but there is no denying his value to the bullpen. Gregorius has established himself as a bonafide core player for the Yankees. Layne was very good down the stretch for the Yankees and at that price an experienced lefty makes sense. Despite his struggles, Pineda could be an extreme value if he measures up to his potential. Romine is needed in case the Yankees trade Brian McCann, and for insurance in case of spring injuries to Gary Sanchez or McCann if he stays.

I would argue that Ackley and Solano are the only sure-thing non-tender candidates. The club does not need Ackley at that price with a slew of capable (and better) young players in the system. I feel that Solano is not essential and certainly not someone they want to maintain a roster spot for with a big crunch ahead.

As for the rest of the group, there are arguments for and against tendering their contracts.

While Eovaldi will miss the season with Tommy John surgery (reason enough to non-tender him), the Yankees could actually decide to sign him to a two-year deal and have him for 2018. The Yankees would basically pay a one-year salary for the two seasons. I would consider Eovaldi insurance and potential upside for 2018.

I suspect the Yankees will bring back Warren, again because of the inexpensive cost and the experience he possesses. The argument against Warren would be the inconsistency in his performance. With questions surrounding both the rotation and bullpen, having Warren able to aid both could be a plus for the Yanks.

As for Hicks, I believe the Yankees will be willing to give him another shot in 2017, where he might get more at-bats than he received in 2016, which was a major disappointment. There is a chance that Brett Gardner will be traded and there is no assurance that players like Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin will flourish as the club hopes, making Hicks a worthwhile player. 

Tags: Adam Warren , Michael Pineda , Nathan Eovaldi

Jul 3, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild (58) makes a call to the bullpen during the ninth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 3, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild (58) makes a call to the bullpen during the ninth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have re-signed pitching coach Larry Rothschild to a one-year deal, the team announced Friday. 

Rothschild has spent the last six years with the team after replacing Dave Eiland in 2011. 

The Yankees had a 4.16 team ERA in 2016, which was 15th in all of baseball and was the highest ERA the staff has had under Rothschild. 

From 2002-2010, he held the same position with the Cubs. 

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

Rothschild's contract puts him in line with the remainder of general manager Brian Cashman's and manager Joe Girardi's final year on their respective three-year deals.

Rothschild came to New York with a wonderful resume, but I'm not entirely certain the Yankees have received everything they believed they would when they initially hired him. Keep in the mind the Yankees did not have many reclamation projects early on in Rothschild's tenure so his role was not severely tested, but over the last few seasons, there have been some disappointments.

Think about the talent that Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi possess. Each pitcher displayed some growth and then failed to take the next step, eventually becoming disturbingly inconsistent. Similarly, we witnessed a complete meltdown from Luis Severino from one season to the next as a starter, but he was sent to Triple-A to work through his problems. Why not keep Severino in the big leagues with Rothschild when the Yankees were going absolutely nowhere at the time?

Rothschild is back in 2017 because it is convenient and easier for Girardi. Rothschild's presence provides Girardi comfort, and in truth it would be unwise to tweak the chemistry now. If Rothschild cannot help the pitching staff improve on their very average 2016 season, he and his manager could be shown the door.

 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

For years, the New York Yankees preached wanting to change how they operate the franchise, and this season they followed through at each administrative level of the organization.

The Yankees did something they had not done since the early 90's -- trade veterans as part of a sell-off before the non-waiver trade deadline. Yankees GM Brian Cashman convinced ownership that this was the time to fill the farm system with as many top prospects as they could obtain for three talented players, two of whom are set to become free agents at the end of this season.

The Yankees also managed to push Alex Rodriguez out the door one season before his contract was set to expire, and took at-bats away from veterans like Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann. The club turned to three prospects to prop up a stagnant offense and it nearly worked well enough to secure a spot in the playoffs.

In my view, this all started with Cashman. He had to convince Hal Steinbrenner and the ownership group that selling at the deadline, testing the prospects and shifting underperforming veterans out of the starting lineup was necessary. Further, he forced manager Joe Girardi to begin to trust the process, and that had to be difficult knowing the skipper's loyalty to veterans.

Once Steinbrenner gave Cashman the OK, the GM made all the right moves and truly converted an already solid farm system into one of the top-five in the game. These were the deadline deals:

Aroldis Chapman for Adam Warren, Gleyber Torres (No. 17 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline), Billy McKinney and Rashard Crawford.

Andrew Miller for Ben Heller, Clint Frazier (No. 15 overall prospect), J.P. Feyereisen and Justus Sheffield (No. 78 overall prospect).

Vincente Campos for Tyler Clippard.

Carlos Beltran for Nick Green, Erik Swanson and Dillon Tate.

Ivan Nova for Tito Polo and Stephen Tarpley.

Tate and McKinney did not crack the top-100 overall prospect list, but each is a former first-round pick (respectively; 2015, No. 4 overall and 2013, No. 24 overall). Add those players to Jorge Mateo (No. 18 overall prospect), Aaron Judge (No. 22 overall prospect) and Blake Rutherford (No. 50 overall prospect) and the Yankees are primed to get contributions from more young players in the near future.

In my opinion, the most impressive of these deals is the Chapman trade. I believe the Yankees will be immensely happy with Frazier. However, Chapman came cheap, he was the only player worth watching for parts of the three months he was on the team, and then he brought back Torres and three more players, including a controllable major leaguer in Warren. Moreover, the Yankees might very well get Chapman back in free agency and would not lose a compensation pick in the process.

Cashman then convinced Girardi that the lineup needed to make space for the influx of talent the front office was calling up. The Yankees were not bringing Tyler Austin, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez up to the big leagues to play once or twice per week. They made Sanchez the primary catcher and Judge took over in right field. Austin began to split time with Teixeira at first base.

This created a balancing act for Girardi because the stance was they were not folding their hand, but rather using a different set of cards to rise to a better place in the standings. Girardi had to let the rookies acclimate to the big leagues and still utilize the veterans where he felt they fit best. Teixeira got the call against right-handers and McCann saw a good deal of action as the team's designated hitter with Rodriguez gone, and the veteran catcher shifted behind the plate for CC Sabathia's starts.

It was easy with Sanchez because he simply did not miss the ball much in his 202 at-bats (20 home runs). However, Judge had a more difficult time, striking out 42 times in 95 plate appearances. Judge ended up getting hurt, potentially saving a benching (my guess) from Girardi, especially as the Yankees crept toward the top of the Wild Card standings.

I believe Girardi needs some work where it comes to patience with the young players. For example, while the Yankees were closing in on a playoff spot, they did it with the young guys contributing. However, as soon as Austin began to scuffle, Girardi shifted to a waiver wire claim in Billy Butler.

Now, Butler performed well in the beginning, so riding a hot hand is one thing, but knocking a rookie backward for a lengthy period potentially impacts his confidence. The Yankees do not need Butler next season, so pushing him into a role to get to the postseason (of which he was not eligible to play) made little sense to me. Sure enough, Austin finished strong, so who knows when the turnaround might have developed had Girardi allowed Austin time to work through his struggles.

Girardi managed the bullpen in the same fashion this season. There has to be some more rope provided to the relievers who exhibit the most talent. Girardi's patience has to last longer than a couple of appearances. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre shuttle of relievers has to throttle back the number of trips in 2017 to the point I might argue to abandon the shuttle altogether.

Some of this is on Cashman, who has to bring in the right talent. The Yankees should be in the market for an elite reliever to tie to Dellin Betances, and find at least one legitimate middle reliever to match with Clippard. That would leave three spots to fill from within and there are plenty of options (both starters who do not crack the rotation and strict relievers). What Cashman cannot do is bring in the Kirby Yates and Anthony Swarzak types who Girardi can turn to because they possess MLB innings. Poor experience does absolutely nothing to aid a team.

The Yankees will likely be quiet regarding the addition of players to the offense from the free agent market this offseason. There could be some trades, but anything they do to try and improve their offense has to be in the same mold as they implemented last offseason.

Cashman added Aaron Hicks to be the fourth outfielder, and while it might not have completely worked out, the thought process was the correct one. Cashman's trade of Warren for Starlin Castro is another example of the type of move that makes sense in the short and long term. The method needs to remain the same: add young-controllable talent to complement the current roster for 2017 and beyond.

The Yankees might be competitive in 2017, but they must realize that this is the time to figure out what they have in the youthful players in the system, not when they can open the wallets in 2018 and beyond. The more experience they can provide their MLB-ready players in 2017, the better off for the players and the team going forward. The players will be tested and ready instead of trying to acclimate and learn. Now is the time to trust in them.

Cashman is all in, Steinbrenner agrees and Girardi has to completely transform and trust the process.

Tags: Aaron Hicks , Adam Warren , Alex Rodriguez , Brian McCann , CC Sabathia , Dellin Betances , Mark Teixeira , Chris Carelli

A general view of the soccer field prior to the New York City FC hosting the Vancouver Whitecaps at Yankee Stadium. ( Adam Hunger)
A general view of the soccer field prior to the New York City FC hosting the Vancouver Whitecaps at Yankee Stadium. ( Adam Hunger)

Yankees OF Eric Young Jr. elected free agency in lieu of accepting an outright assignment, the Yankees announced on Thursday

The 31-year old outfielder got only one at-bat with the Yankees this season. Young also made six appearances as a pinch runner and defensive substitution, scoring two runs and stealing one base after joining the team from Milwaukee on Aug. 31.

In addition, the team announced that RHP Blake Parker and RHP Kirby Yates were claimed off waivers by the Angels, and RHP Anthony Swarzak also chose free agency in lieu of an outright assignment.

Parker earned a 4.67 ERA in 17.1 innings in 2016, while Yates posted a 5.23 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 41.1 innings. Both players have been added to the Angels' big league roster.

Swarzak, who had a 5.52 ERA in 31 innings for the Yankees this season, is now a free agent.

Tags: Eric Young Jr. , Kirby Yates

 (John Rieger)
(John Rieger)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

After finishing the season with an 84-78 record, good for fourth place in the American League East, the New York Yankees can look at their pitching staff as a facet that excelled at various points in the season, but had holes throughout.


Masahiro Tanaka earns ace money, and in 2016 he pitched like he deserved it. The 27-year-old right-hander hurled a career-high 199 2/3 innings, generating a 3.07 earned run average (3.51 FIP). The ERA was good for third-best in the American League. Tanaka went 14-4 for the Yankees, and the team was 23-8 in his starts. He stopped losing streaks and kept winning streaks going. Tanaka is the unquestioned ace of this staff.

After Tanaka, CC Sabathia was surprisingly the team's next best starter. Sabathia, coming off his third-straight disappointing campaign and alcohol rehabilitation, finally discovered how to succeed without elite power pitches. There was a point in time in 2016 that Sabathia was the best starter on the team. Through June 16, Sabathia held a 2.20 ERA in 65 1/3 innings. He went into a funk, but then regained his composure and finished the season strong. Sabathia's final line -- 179 2/3 innings, 3.91 ERA (4.28 FIP) and 158 strikeouts -- provides some reassurance for the massive $25 million he'll earn in this final season in pinstripes.

Michael Pineda is an enigma, plain and simple. Pineda set a career-high with 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings in 2016, but put up a career-worst 4.82 ERA (3.80 FIP). Pineda often looks untouchable through parts of a game, and as though he is pitching batting practice in others. There is little doubt in his talent, but there is evidently something askew, or else the 27-year-old would be winning 15 or more games per season instead of the dismal six he managed this year.

Nathan Eovaldi came in with high expectations to slot in behind Tanaka as the team's number two starter after a fine 2015 season that was shortened by injury. Eovaldi never put it together (9-8, 4.76 ERA, 4.96 FIP in 124 2/3 IP) and then succumbed to an elbow injury which resulted in his second Tommy John surgery. Eovaldi will likely be non-tendered this offseason as he was set to play in his final season before becoming a free agent.

Ivan Nova won the fifth starter role out if spring training, but once again proved to be nothing more than an innings eater. The Yankees managed to get two players for Nova at the trade deadline, and to his credit Nova pitched well in Pittsburgh. He may well succeed elsewhere, but it was evident staying in New York was not his future.

Luis Severino also came into the season with immense anticipation to build on his impressive rookie campaign. Severino never looked comfortable as a starter, compiling a 0-8 record with an 8.50 ERA in 47 2/3 innings. He was demoted on two separate occasions and performed well at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (3.49 ERA in 77 1/3 innings).

What might have surprised some in the organization, is that Severino excelled working out of the Yankees' bullpen. His power fastball and slider worked well as a reliever as he allowed just two runs (one earned) in 23 1/3 innings. Expect Severino to be part of a large competition for what could be multiple spots in the Yankees' rotation, but if that fails he might be a great fallback option out of the bullpen.

Chad Green and Luis Cessa came to the Yankees from Detroit for reliever Justin Wilson last offseason. The Yankees felt they needed some depth at Triple-A, but it ended up that the duo provided much more than that.

Green was excellent at Scranton (1.52 ERA in 94 2/3 innings), which earned him some starts with New York. He had ups and downs (4.73 ERA in 45 2/3 innings), but he like Eovaldi he finished the season on the disabled list with an elbow injury, putting his 2017 season in question.

Cessa was steady at Scranton, and then was able to transform that into similar efforts in the big leagues. Across 70 1/3 innings with New York, Cessa had a 4.35 ERA (4.01 as a starter in 51 2/3 innings) and solidified the back-end of the rotation over the final weeks of the season.


When the season began, the team's unquestioned strength was the back-end of the bullpen. If having Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller was not enough, the Yankees traded four middling prospects for Aroldis Chapman and his 100+ mph fastball. The Cuban fireballer was suspended for the team's first 30 games for violation of the league's domestic abuse policy, but once he returned, the Yankees were tough to beat when holding the lead after seven innings.

Unfortunately, the Yankees offense was not generating enough leads to get the three-headed monster into enough games. Subsequently, Champan and then Miller were dealt within days of each other as the Yankees became sellers at the trade deadline.

Betances (73 IP, 3.03 ERA, 1.78 FIP, 15.5 K/9, 12 saves) was thrust into the closer's role and didn't miss a beat as the Yankees went on a run in August which pushed them back into the playoff picture. Almost out of nowhere, Betances developed mechanical flaws with his delivery, causing wildness and ineffectiveness. Betances was dreadful when the team needed him most in September and it seemed to get into his head.

Betances worked fewer innings in 2016 (73), which could be beneficial to next season. For the moment, Betances is the closer, but it is widely assumed the Yankees will make a run for Chapman in the offseason and Betances will fall back into a setup role, where he seems most comfortable.

Betances was assisted in the late innings by Adam Warren and Tyler Clippard after the trade deadline. Warren pitched much better than he did in Chicago (he was in the Chapman deal), but I wouldn't suggest the club should rely on him next season. He might be part of the equation, but I'm not certain he is the right person for a late-inning role.

Clippard was reliable as the eighth inning arm (2.49 ERA in 25 1/3 innings), and he most certainly will be a part of the Yankees back-end of the bullpen in 2017. Clippard has demonstrated for several years now that he can aid clubs as a setup reliever who continues to compile innings.

The biggest issue for the Yankees' pitching staff was their middle relief. In each of the last two seasons, the Yankees have used a shuttle approach with some of their younger relievers in an effort to get fresh arms and see if anyone would run away with a job. The Yankees also did their best to use reclamation projects to fill bullpen innings. Last season, there were some positive developments, but this year the group as a whole was inconsistent.

The Yankees did receive some decent efforts from left-handers Tommy Layne, who the club picked up off waivers, and Richard Bleier, who received his first taste of the big leagues at 29 years old. It would not be surprising to see these two receive first crack as the team's lefties in the 2017 bullpen.

Some other young pitchers I expect to make noise in the spring are Dietrich Enns, Jonathan Holder, Bryan Mitchell, and Jordan Montgomery. Holder was fantastic with Scranton, but had some issues with New York after getting a September callup. Mitchell missed a majority of the season due to toe surgery, but came back strong and could be in the mix for a rotation spot or as the Yankees' swingman -- the role he had locked down during spring training before the injury. Enns and Montgomery had excellent seasons in the minors, which should lead to an extended look next spring.

During the offseason, the Yankees are certainly going to keep an eye on both parts of the pitching staff. They could use one or two No. 2 or No. 3 type starters who won't cost their best prospects. I would also expect the Yankees to go hard after Chapman. If that fails, they could check in on Kenley Jansen or Mark Melancon. If nothing comes to fruition with an elite closer, I suspect they will seek a proven setup reliever to add to Clippard and Betances.

Tags: Ivan Nova , Adam Warren , Andrew Miller , Bryan Mitchell , CC Sabathia , Dellin Betances , Luis Cessa , Luis Severino , Masahiro Tanaka , Michael Pineda , Nathan Eovaldi , Richard Bleier , Tyler Clippard , Chris Carelli

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

General manager Brian Cashman spoke to the media during a press conference on Wednesday about the state of the Yankees. Here is what we learned...

  • Despite a bad first three months, Cashman called the last three months of the season an "exciting dynamic." 
  • He considers the Yankees to be a "work in progress" offensively. 
  • The team is unlikely to trade its top prospects for a top-tier pitcher this offseason. 
  • There is a want to upgrade the pitching staff. 
  • CC Sabathia will get knee surgery this offseason, but it is not considered serious. 
  • First base and right field are "areas of question" and will have competitions in spring training. Cashman said it is more than likely the team will use players within the organization at these positions. 
  • Brian McCann never asked for his no-trade clause to be waived, and Cashman said the catcher will have a role in 2017, but Gary Sanchez will be the starting catcher going into spring training. 
  • Dellin Betances will remain at closer unless something major happens during the next few months. However, Cashman said he is interested in bringing Aroldis Chapman back.
  • Prospect Clint Frazier is unlikely to begin next season in the majors. 

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

These end of season pressers are usually not full of surprising news; this one fell in line the others.

Cashman is absolutely correct regarding the offense being a disappointment in 2016 and an area of concern going forward. His notion to begin the offseason on the assumption that there will be internal spring training battles for right field and first base is expected, considering the lack of talent on the market that fits the new mold of roster construction for the Yankees.

Cashman touched upon various pitching subjects, saying numerous times his job is to grab as much talent as possible to fill roles. Avoiding use of top prospects for top-tier pitching talent seems short-minded, especially since there is surplus in areas of the farm system. However, it is possible that Cashman believes working on the bullpen for 2017 is more important, in that two pitchers from the collection of young arms (Luis Cessa, Dietrich Enns, maybe Chad Green depending on health, Bryan Mitchell, Jordan Montgomery and Luis Severino) will be able to supplement Michael Pineda, Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka as rotation options.

If the Yankees are not going to be active on the trade market, the easiest thing for him to do is re-sign Chapman and a couple of more experienced middle relievers to bolster that situation with Betances and Tyler Clippard. The production from shuttle of young arms regressed in 2016.

Finally, I've been saying all along that keeping McCann makes more sense than trading him. Sanchez's performance was amazing and he is the starter, but having McCann as insurance for rough patches makes sense. More importantly, in my view, the role as a mostly full-time designated hitter extends McCann's strength and provides the veteran a fine chance to generate an above-average offensive performance.

New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) celebrates hitting a two-run home run with New York Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (22) during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger)
New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) celebrates hitting a two-run home run with New York Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (22) during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The New York Yankees 2016 season was a disappointment as they missed the postseason for the third time in the last four years. The club's position players turned in uneven offensive performances, which was a major letdown and factored heavily in the team's 84-78 record. On the field, the Yankees turned in a slightly above-average effort as a whole.

In 2015, the Yankees received big comeback performances from veterans they were not expected to rely on; Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. Rodriguez missed the entire 2014 season due to a yearlong suspension for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy. Teixeira suffered through another injury-plagued season in 2014, which diminished expectations for 2015. Both men had resurgent efforts, with Rodriguez hitting 33 home runs and Teixeira going yard 31 times.

The Yankees came into the 2016 season relying on Rodriguez and Teixeira in hopes of duplicating their roles for what was the second highest scoring offense in the American League in 2015. Unfortunately, the elder duo was emphatically bad for much of the season.

Rodriguez was such a disappointment (.598 OPS) that the Yankees basically pushed him into an early retirement one year before his contract was due to expire. Teixeira, who was in the final year of his eight-year deal, decided to call it quits not long after Rodriguez made his last appearance. Teixeira declined with the bat (.654 OPS), but still managed to play well in the field (two defensive runs saved).

At the top of the lineup the Yankees could not get fully productive seasons from Jacoby Ellsbury or Brett Gardner. Each had stretches of positive production, but more often than not they were never in sync with each other. Further, both players have become less than eager base stealers and it has hurt the club.

Neither player had more than 40 extra-base hits in 2016, so the need to turn some of their singles into doubles via the stolen base could have helped ignite the team. Instead, when they did get on they languished at first base. Ellsbury stole 20 bases, while Gardner swiped just 16, but their running was virtually nonexistent in the second half (four each). Having two table-setters at the top of the lineup that failed to bring the wares consistently was detrimental to the overall offensive production of the club.

In right field, the Yankees received excellent production from Carlos Beltran (22 home runs, .890 OPS) until he was dealt at the trade deadline. After Beltran was traded, the Yankees called up Aaron Judge to take over the role full time. Judge homered in his first plate appearance but his stint in the majors was marred by strikeouts. Judge struck out 42 times in 95 plate appearances and then missed the final 18 games with a shoulder injury.

Judge, one of the club's top prospects, coming up to the big leagues was actually the second such move the Yankees made after the deadline. They first brought up catcher Gary Sanchez, who immediately supplanted Brian McCann as the primary catcher.

McCann was not driving the ball as much as he had in 2015, nor was he knocking in runs as he had that season. McCann was already losing at-bats against left-handed pitching to backup catcher Austin Romine, so the switch to Sanchez, long considered the catcher of the future, made sense.

Sanchez did more than hit 20 home runs in 202 at-bats, he proved he upgraded his game behind the plate and maybe most importantly, he matured. The knock on Sanchez was never his hitting ability, but rather whether he would kick bad habits and work hard to get better. Sanchez took control of the pitching staff and went on a historic home run tear which cemented his role for the near future.

What lies ahead for McCann is up in the air. He is a trade candidate, but holds a full no-trade clause. I believe moving McCann might not be the best idea. He could serve as the team's primary designated hitter (at least against right-handers against whom he hit 17 home runs and registered a .770) and spell Sanchez behind the plate as the team's backup. Sanchez's run was impressive, but there will be slumps and it would be nice to turn to McCann if there are rough patches.

McCann staying in New York would leave Romine on the outside looking in. If McCann is not moved, the Yankees will surely try to trade Romine to a team looking for a solid backup catcher.

Staying up the middle, the Yankees have what seems to be a very good double-play combination for the next few seasons. It is true that the Yankees have a couple of prospects within years of making noise up the middle (Jorge Mateo and Gleyber Torres), but Didi Gregorius and Starlin Castro, both 26-years-old, should keep the spots in good shape in the meantime.

Gregorius continued his fine defensive skills at shortstop, but for the second straight season improved his offensive production. Gregorius set career highs in virtually every offensive category including doubles (32), home runs (20), RBIs (70) and OPS (.751). Defensive metrics do not favor Gregorius (-9 defensive runs saved) compared to the eye test, which saw him make some spectacular plays; though his 15 errors were a career-high.

Castro, received in an offseason deal from the Chicago Cubs, acclimated well to his new position at second base, even showing signs of mastering the role. He had his spells of nonchalance which affected his play at the keystone (-8 defensive runs saved), but his results at the plate were exactly what the Yankees hoped they would receive. Castro set a career-high in home runs (21) and also drove in 70 runs.

At third base, Chase Headley started out the season in a severe batting slump, but worked his way out of once the calendar turned from April to May. From that point, Headley was among the better performers on the club with the stick. Headley finished the season with a .713 OPS (.756 from May 1 through the end of the season). Headley had a much better time in the field this season, reversing a terrible 2015 performance, when he made 25 errors. Headley cut that number down to 10 in 2016 and generated seven defensive runs saved, which is more in line with his career numbers.

Off the bench, the Yankees received varying performances. Aaron Hicks got off to a horrible start at the plate, which severely limited playing time. The season was surely a disappointment for Hicks (.610 OPS) who the Yanks hoped at the worst would thrive as a right-handed hitter, but that never came to fruition. Hicks did manage four defensive runs saved in his time in the outfield.

Ronald Torreyes stuck with the team from Game 1 through 162 as the utility infielder. He stayed incredibly focused despite getting at-bats in between wide swaths of time. Torreyes' .680 OPS and average defense across three infield positions (-1 defensive runs saved) is solid for a utility player.

When Judge got the call, he was accompanied by Tyler Austin, who began to see a prominent role at first base to spell Teixeira, due to the veteran's nagging injuries. Austin, once a top MLB prospect, made it back from injuries of his own and turned in a fabulous season in the minors. Austin, who can also play right field, compiled a .758 OPS (90 plate appearances) with the Yankees and each of his four home runs gave the Yankees late leads. Austin figures to battle Greg Bird for the first base job in 2017, but both could make the 25-man roster.

Overall, the Yankees offensive production was not nearly enough to push them into the postseason. While there were some bright spots, the club never got the entire offense clicking together for extended periods of time. Contrary to 2015, the Yankees were unable to dominate opposing pitchers for more than one or two games at a time.

Next season, the Yankees will have plenty of at-bats for Austin, Bird, Judge and Sanchez, but they'll have to be balanced by the veterans who remain with the club through an offseason which could see significant roster changes.

Tags: Aaron Hicks , Alex Rodriguez , Austin Romine , Brett Gardner , Brian McCann , Chase Headley , Didi Gregorius , Gary Sanchez , Greg Bird , Jacoby Ellsbury , Jorge Mateo , Mark Teixeira , Ronald Torreyes , Starlin Castro

New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner watches an exhibition game with his wife Joan (left) during New York Yankees spring training at Legends Field. (The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE)
New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner watches an exhibition game with his wife Joan (left) during New York Yankees spring training at Legends Field. (The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE)

Former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner is one of 10 finalists that the Today's Game Era Committee will consider for Hall of Fame election for the Class of 2017, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced on Monday.

Any candidate that receives votes on 75 percent of the ballots cast by the 16-member committee will earn election to the Baseball Hall of Fame and will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 30, 2017, along with any electees from the 2017 Baseball Writers' Association of America election.

Steinbrenner bought the Yankees in 1973 and helped guide the franchise to seven World Series titles before he passed away in 2010. The Yankees had a .565 winning percentage and won 11 American League pennants in Steinbrenner's 37 years as the team's owner.

The other finalists include Harold Baines, Albert Belle, Will Clark, Orel Hershiser, Davey Johnson, Mark McGwire, Lou Pinella, John Schuerholz, and Bud Selig. 


Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

Steinbrenner's candidacy comes with obvious credentials offset by major indiscretions during his tenure as owner of the Yankees.

The organization won 11 pennants and seven World Series titles during his realm, which should be more than enough for induction if taken alone. Steinbrenner was at the forefront of utilizing free agency as a means to build a squad; essentially the driving force behind multi-million dollar contracts in the sport. Steinbrenner's win at all costs mantra and hunger to win a World Series championship each season bred a similar desire amongst the Yankees' fanbase.

Unfortunately, a discussion about Steinbrenner's winning ways and contributions to the game, cannot be held without speaking to his recklessness while owner of the Yankees. In 1974, Steinbrenner plead guilty to charges of making illegal campaign contributions to Richard Nixon's campaign, and pled guilty to felony charges for obstructing justice. He was suspended for two years by baseball's commissioner Bowie Kuhn (the time was later reduced to 15 months).

In July 1990, Steinbrenner was also banned from day-to-day management of the team after paying a bookie $40,000 to dig up dirt on one of his players, Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, because of a personal dispute surrounding Winfield's charity. Steinbrenner was not reinstated until 1993 and from that point on he was a little less inclined to interfere in the day-to-day goings on of the team.

Steinbrenner would likely be a shoo-in for election if the decision was to be made strictly based on his contributions to the game itself, but being removed from his role as owner on two separate occasions will be a hard matter to ignore.

Much like the players have dealt with from the beginning, what they do off the field has significance to voters, so Steinbrenner's mistakes away from baseball should not be disregarded. In that light, I'm not certain he will gain election, but if he does, it certainly calls into question what would seem to be diminished election standards.

New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira waves to fans after he is pulled from the field in his final Major League game against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. (Danny Wild/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira waves to fans after he is pulled from the field in his final Major League game against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. (Danny Wild/USA Today Sports Images)

Mark Teixeira hugged one teammate at a time as he walked off the field, initially near his familiar spot at first base and then right down the line in the New York Yankees' dugout.

He tipped his cap to the crowd as it offered a standing ovation, patting his chest with his glove and saying, "Thank you."

And with that, one of baseball's most prolific switch-hitters said goodbye to the game.

Teixeira was honored by the Yankees during a 12-minute ceremony Sunday prior to his final major league game. He went 0 for 3 against the Baltimore Orioles, his hometown team, and was replaced at first base by Tyler Austin with one out in the seventh inning so he could soak up the cheers as he walked off the field, fully composed.

The switch-hitting slugger was given several gifts before the game and received a standing ovation from a scattered crowd still filing in on an overcast afternoon as the Yankees got set to play their season finale. Teixeira waved to fans and doffed his cap as one video board posted "Thank you Tex!" while the large one in center field displayed his career achievements and rolled through various highlights.

Once the game started, the entire crowd joined in when the Bleacher Creatures chanted Teixeira's name during roll call. >> Read more

Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press

Tags: Mark Teixeira , Baltimore Orioles

Mark Teixeira waves to fans after he is pulled from the field in his final Major League game against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. (Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports)
Mark Teixeira waves to fans after he is pulled from the field in his final Major League game against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. (Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports)

Kevin Gausman pitched the Orioles into the AL wild card playoff game, allowing two runs and eight hits in 7 1/3 innings in Baltimore's 5-2 win at Yankee Stadium, the career finale for the Yanks' Mark Teixeira.  >> Read the full AP recap on

  • Matt Wieters hit two two-run homers, one off Yankees starter Luis Cessa in the fourth and the other off Tommy Lane in the sixth.

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

Well, the Yankees were unable to avoid watching a team celebrate a playoff berth on their own field after all. Worse, the Orioles become the second AL East club to spray champagne inside the visitor's clubhouse this week.

The best way to describe the Yankees' season is to say they severely underachieved early, slowly turned things around, excited and exploded after the trade deadline, but disappointingly faded down the final stretch.

On the mound, the club received ace pitching from Masahiro Tanaka and a quality comeback from CC Sabathia. The Yanks solidified the infield up the middle with Didi Gregorius and Starlin Castro hitting 20 and 21 home runs respectively, while each drove in 70 runs. The Yankees lost two veterans to retirement in Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, but witnessed the emergence of catcher Gary Sanchez, who hit his way into Rookie of the Year candidacy with 20 home runs in 201 at-bats after being called up in early August.

The finish to the season, the Yankees third without a playoff appearance, is certainly discouraging, but the organization has stepped in a new direction regarding stocking the farm system and roster construction. The movement toward favoring youth over declining veterans is enough to make me look forward to what could be a prosperous future with a new core.

What's next...

The Yankees pack their bags and get ready for next season, while the Orioles meet the Blue Jays or the Tigers in the AL wild card game Tuesday.

Tags: Baltimore Orioles

Mark Teixeira makes his final appearance as a Yankee Sunday. (Anthony Gruppuso)
Mark Teixeira makes his final appearance as a Yankee Sunday. (Anthony Gruppuso)

The Yankees play their final game of the season Sunday at Yankee Stadium against the Orioles, who are still in contention for a wild card berth.

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Orioles Yankees
Michael Bourn, RF Brett Gardner, LF
Adam Jones, CF Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Manny Machado, 3B Gary Sanchez, C
Mark Trumbo, DH Brian McCann, DH
Matt Wieters, C Mark Teixeira, 1B
Chris Davis, 1B Didi Gregorius, SS
Jonathan Schoop, 2B Aaron Hicks, RF
Hyun Soo Kim, LF Ronald Torreyes, 3B
JJ Hardy, SS Donovan Soloano, 2B

Who's Pitching for the Yankees: RHP Luis Cessa (4-3, 4.18 ERA) makes his ninth career start Sunday for the Yankees. Since entering the rotation Aug. 20, Cessa is 2-3 with a 3.72 ERA.

Who's Pitching for the Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman is 2-1 with a 0.80 ERA in five starts this season against the Yankees, who have scored five runs and struck out 32 times in 33 2/3 innings. None of those runs have been the last two times he faced New York, including a 5-0 victory Aug. 28 when he allowed seven hits and recorded nine strikeouts.

Tags: Baltimore Orioles

Kevin Gausman starts against the Yankees Sunday. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) (Brad Penner)
Kevin Gausman starts against the Yankees Sunday. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) (Brad Penner)

NEW YORK -- Kevin Gausman has been nearly flawless against the Yankees this season.

On Sunday, the Baltimore Orioles entrust Gausman to deliver again as they attempt to secure an American League wild-card spot in the regular-season finale at Yankee Stadium, which will be Baltimore-area native Mark Teixeira's final game in pinstripes.

Baltimore's (88-73) quest for the wild card lasts into the final day because it blew a 3-0 lead in Saturday's 7-3 loss. Manager Buck Showalter hoped to get Wade Miley into the seventh but the decision backfired when the Yankees tied it and scored four times in the eighth off Brad Brach.

Now they turn to Gausman, who was officially announced as the starter hours before Saturday's game. The Orioles (88-73) are tied with the Toronto Blue Jays, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Detroit Tigers. Baltimore also clinches with a Detroit loss Sunday in Atlanta or Monday -- if necessary -- at home against Cleveland.

The Orioles have good reason to place their trust in Gausman. >>Read more at . . . .

Oct 1, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. (Anthony Gruppuso)
Oct 1, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Despite falling behind early, the Yankees found a way to rally, beating the Orioles, 7-3, in the penultimate game of the regular season. >> Read the full AP recap on

  • Austin Romine came through with the big hit of the game, a two-run single, giving the Yankees the lead for good in the eighth. Brett Gardner added a two-run hit of his own for insurance. 
  • Luis Severino had a short outing, getting lifted with two outs in the fourth inning. He allowed three runs on five hits and two walks. 
  • The Yankees fell behind by three early, but came back, thanks in large part to Tyler Austin. 
  • Austin drove in a run with a single in the fifth and tied the game on a homer in the seventh. 
  • Chase Headley hit an RBI double in the sixth, his 17th double of the year.
  • Dellin Betances pitched a scoreless ninth inning. 

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

I wrote Friday that the Yankees had some important factors to address in this final series. Almost all of them came into play today.

First, Severino took the mound as a starter to take the final turn for Masahiro Tanaka. The Yankees rightfully decided was no point for Tanaka to make the start with the playoffs no longer on the table. Plus, the Yanks needed to see how Severino would handle another start, as he has struggled in the spot.

Severino was off again today, bringing to question what his role might be next season. I still believe that the Yankees begin spring with Severino as a starter and simply see how he is with a clean slate. It is nice to have the bullpen fallback option, especially since the 22-year-old excelled as a reliever this season.

I touched upon the Yankees need to get Betances some work before the season ends in an effort to fix the mechanical flaws he has dealt with the last two weeks. In my opinion, Betances' mechanical flaws have led to some mental issues, which a positive appearance or two can go a long way in resolving. Betances was solid today, striking out three batters, while throwing 12 of 17 pitches for strikes.

The final area I touched on concerned the Yankees roll as a spoiler to the Orioles' chances of reaching the playoffs. The Yankees entered this series vowing they would play hard to win. In a complete turnaround from Friday's loss, the Yankees woke up late in Saturday's contest, scoring runs in their last three at-bats to erase a three-run deficit. The Yankees checked a lot of boxes today.

What's next...

The Yankees conclude their season on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium. RHP Luis Cessa (4-3, 4.18 ERA) gets the start against RHP Kevin Gausman (8-12, 3.66 ERA). 

Tags: Baltimore Orioles

 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

The Yankees and Orioles play the second game of their three-game series on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. 

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Orioles Yankees
Adam Jones, CF Brett Gardner, LF
Hyun Soo Kim, LF Aaron Hicks, CF
Manny Machado, 3B Starlin Castro, 2B
Mark Trumbo, DH Billy Butler, DH
Matt Wieters, C Mark Teixeira, 1B
Chris Davis, 1B Chase Headley, 3B
Jonathan Schoop, 2B Austin Romine, C
Michael Bourn, RF Tyler Austin, RF
JJ Hardy, SS Ronald Torreyes, SS

Who's Pitching for the Yankees: RHP Luis Severino (3-8, 5.75 ERA) -- will be making the start Saturday in place of Masahiro Tanaka, who has been shut down with a right forearm strain. Is 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in nine September appearances. Threw two outings of scoreless relief against the Orioles in early September. 

Who's Pitching for the Orioles: LHP Wade Miley (2-5, 6.38 ERA) -- had one of his best starts of the year last time out, throwing 8.2 innings of one-run ball against Arizona. Gave up four runs on five hits in five innings of work against the Yankees on Sept. 4. 

Tags: Luis Severino , Baltimore Orioles

 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Michael Pineda did not have his best stuff and could not escape the fifth inning, as the Yankees fell to the Orioles, 8-1, on Friday night at Yankee Stadium. Read the full AP recap on

  • Pineda did not have one of his better outings, lasting just 4.1 innings before being lifted for James Pazos. Pineda was charged with five runs on six hits, although he did strike out five. 
  • Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo both hit home runs off Pineda in the fifth, the latter ending Pineda's night. Jonathan Schoop added a third home run in the inning off Pazos. 
  • Mark Teixeira drove in Gary Sanchez with a sacrifice fly in the fourth. Teixeira was removed from the game in the next inning for Tyler Austin. 
  • Five Orioles pitchers combined to three-hit the Yankees. 

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees were eliminated from postseason contention Thursday night, so they had two potential reactions for tonight's contest; come out fighting as the spoiler or fold. They did the latter.

Much of the blame lies with Pineda, a true enigma on the mound this season. Pineda somehow managed to strike out 207 batters this season, a career high, but also finished the 2016 campaign with a 4.82 ERA (a career-worst mark) in 175 2/3 innings. Pineda didn't have much to give tonight, his performance as sloppy as the conditions at Yankee Stadium.

Pineda, who has one more year of arbitration control before becoming a free agent following the 2017 season, has failed to develop into the pitcher his talent suggests he could be. Since the Yankees sport a number of potential starters who are younger and arguably possess more upside at this stage, Pineda is a potential trade candidate this offseason. The question is whether the Yankees can get a return that makes more sense than trying to wring out every last inning they can out of Pineda and hope he finds his way.

What's next...

The Yankees and Orioles play the second game of their three-game series on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. RHP Luis Severino (3-8, 5.75 ERA) will start in place of Masahiro Tanaka for the Yankees. Wade Miley (2-5, 6.38 ERA) is set to go for Baltimore.

Tags: Mark Teixeira , Michael Pineda , Baltimore Orioles

New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) looks on from the dugou against the Kansas City Royals during the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium. (Peter Aiken)
New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) looks on from the dugou against the Kansas City Royals during the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium. (Peter Aiken)

Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will not make his scheduled start Saturday and Luis Severino will pitch in his place, the Yankees announced Friday. 

"No Tanaka," Joe Girardi told reporters after Friday's game. "We just decided it's the most starts he's had here. It's the most innings he's had. It's the third-most innings he's had in his career. He's healthy. He threw a really good bullpen a couple of days ago, but it just doesn't make any sense to us."

Tanaka, who missed his last start with a forearm strain, played catch earlier in the week and hoped to pitch against the Orioles. Instead, Tanaka's season will come to an end. He finishes the year at 14-4 with a 3.07 ERA in 199.2 innings. 

Severino will be making his 11th start with the Yankees this season. He is 3-8 with a 5.75 ERA in 67.1 innings at the major league level in 2016. 

Tags: Luis Severino , Masahiro Tanaka

New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez (13) takes the field to play third base during the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. New York Yankees won 6-3. (Anthony Gruppuso)
New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez (13) takes the field to play third base during the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. New York Yankees won 6-3. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Alex Rodriguez is back on the field for the New York Yankees in his new role as an instructor.

A-Rod arrived Friday at the Yankees' minor league complex in Tampa to work with prospects taking part in instructional league.

Wearing white pinstripe pants and a dark blue Yankees T-shirt, Rodriguez talked with Clint Frazier, Blake Rutherford and Jorge Mateo after early hitting drills on Derek Jeter Field. He also spent time talking with coaches and players during regular batting practice.

Rodriguez wore a No. 13 uniform while in the dugout during Friday's game against Toronto.

"It still fits. That's a good thing," Rodriguez said with a smile. "It feels great to be back in pinstripes."

Rodriguez is scheduled to meet with the players in the clubhouse before Saturday's game with Baltimore.

The 41-year-old played his final game with New York on Aug. 12. He signed a contract to work with minor leaguers in the Yankees farm system through 2017.

"We owe the game," Rodriguez said. "In many ways it's our responsibility and privilege to pay it forward." >> Read more 

Tags: Alex Rodriguez

New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda (35) sets to pitch in the second inning against Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. (Kevin Sousa)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda (35) sets to pitch in the second inning against Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. (Kevin Sousa)

The Yankees open up their final series of the season on Friday night against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium. 

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Orioles Yankees
Adam Jones, CF Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Hyun Soo Kim, LF Chase Headley, 3B
Manny Machado, 3B Gary Sanchez, C
Mark Trumbo, DH Brian McCann, DH
Matt Wieters, C Mark Teixeira, 1B
Chris Davis, 1B Didi Gregorius, SS
JJ Hardy, SS Aaron Hicks, RF
Jonathan Schoop, 2B Mason Williams, LF
Michael Bourn, RF Ronald Torreyes, 2B

Who's Pitching for the Yankees: RHP Michael Pineda (6-11, 4.68 ERA) -- Pineda has been strong throughout the month, pitching to a 1.90 ERA in five September starts. Despite the strong numbers, he has not pitched more than 5.2 innings in any of those starts. 

Who's Pitching for the Yankees: RHP Yovani Gallardo (5-8, 5.63 ERA) -- threw six innings of two-run ball last time out against Arizona, a no-decision. Has given up nine earned runs in 14.1 innings in September. Allowed seven earned runs in just 1.1 innings against the Yankees on Aug. 26. 

Tags: Michael Pineda , Baltimore Orioles

 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The New York Yankees turned a ho-hum season into one of excitement as they made a run into postseason contention amid roster turnover. While the run came to an official end Thursday night, the final series of the regular season still carries importance to the Yankees.

Last look at some kids

The Yankees have been trying to strike a balance between winning and getting their youngsters playing time. Manager Joe Girardi has vowed to play the weekend to win, so not much has changed in that respect, but the leash for the young players might be extended some with the club's playoff aspirations stifled.

One of the players the Yankees should get a final look at is Luis Severino. While Masahiro Tanaka wants to throw one last start this weekend, there is no reason to put any more stress on his balky forearm at this point in the season. As for Severino, the Yankees would be wise to take the chance to see how he concludes the season as a starter.

Severino has endured a rough sophomore season in the big leagues as a starter, but found some success as a long man and fireman out of the bullpen since his most recent call-up. His future still points to being a starter, so one more look at him in the role could aid the Yankees in deciding his offseason program. Further, a positive performance might provide Severino some confidence heading into next season.

Tyler Austin, Mason Williams and maybe even Rob Refsnyder should get some starts this weekend, again in an effort to provide more information to help the club decide those players' respective 2017 fates.

Teixeira's final at-bats

Mark Teixeira might not start more than one game this weekend, but he'll likely get a shot Sunday, when the club bids farewell to their first baseman of eight years. Teixeira has enjoyed a fine finish to the season (four home runs, 10 RBI, .901 OPS in 56 September plate appearances, including two huge homers this week) despite his playing time dwindling after he announced his retirement.

Teixeira has been a fine mentor to Austin and others in the clubhouse and he's certainly enjoyed being a cheerleader in his final days in pinstripes. Teixeira was an integral part to the Yankees' 2009 World Series championship club and contributed to the club's success in many ways throughout his tenure in the Bronx, so one more chance for the fans to say goodbye is deserving.

Betances needs some work

In my view, Dellin Betances needs to pitch Friday and Sunday regardless of save situations being available. I wrote earlier this week that workload has not been an issue for Betances, despite the common thought among fans that he is physically tired.

Betances believes he has suffered through some mechanical issues, leading to a recent performance slump, and in my estimation he has developed some mental problems as a result. Like Severino, Betances requires a chance to shed some demons with a couple more appearances. At worst, Betances gives the Yankees another sample of work to determine the mechanical flaws and they work to put them in check for next season.

Foil Orioles' playoff hopes

Finally, the Yankees have the ability to play a significant spoiler to a division rival, the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles hold a slim lead over two teams for the Wild Card, where a Yankees series win or sweep could push the Orioles out of the postseason picture.

Maybe this will help fuel the Yankees' fire?

For teams on the outside looking in, especially when playing against division foes, a chance to shred the opponent's dreams is unquestionable motivation. That is especially true for a team that was just eliminated and then taunted by the team's network in full public display. Preventing the vision of another champagne celebration by an opponent in the visitor's clubhouse is certainly incentive-laden.

There will be no bubbly and goggles for the Yankees or situating their rotation for a playoff series, but there are some factors that will keep the team interested in playing hard in their final three games of the 2016 season.

Tags: Dellin Betances , Luis Severino , Mark Teixeira , Masahiro Tanaka , Mason Williams , Rob Refsnyder

GEICO SportsNite: Yanks beat Sox 00:01:21
Sweeny Murti recaps the Yankees' 5-1 win over the Red Sox and officially being eliminated from playoff contention.

CC Sabathia allowed one run and four hits and struck out eight in seven-plus innings as the Yankees beat the Red Sox 5-1 in David Ortiz's final game in the Bronx. >>Read more at . .. .

  • A year after cutting his season short to enter rehab for alcohol abuse, Sabathia (9-12) finished the season with a 3.91 ERA in 179 2/3 innings in 30 starts.
  • The Yankees completed a sweep of the AL East champion Red Sox with the victory, but were eliminated from the playoffs when the Blue Jays defeated the Orioles.
  • Starlin Castro, Jacoby Ellsbury and Aaron Hicks all had RBI doubles for the Yankees, who also scored on a bases-loaded walk off Robby Scott.
  • Xander Bogaerts homered off Sabathia for Boston's run.

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

Despite tonight's win, the finishing touch of a sweep of the Red Sox, the Yankees have been eliminated from postseason contention.

It took a good deal longer than many expected, especially after the Yankees traded their three best players before the Aug.1 non-waiver trade deadline. Thinking the Yanks would get themselves back into playoff contention and not be eliminated until Game 159 seemed far-fetched at the time.

The Yankees' season can be viewed at first as a disappointment in accordance with the yearly championship expectations. But, the way the season found a second life with a sizable roster turnover was impressive, and ultimately more exciting than anticipated. Further, the Yankees have constructed a stronger and deeper farm system to build from -- and -- trade from this offseason, making the future look bright for the organization.

What's next...

The Yankees begin their final series of the year Friday in the Bronx against the Orioles at 7:05 p.m. Michael Pineda (6-11, 4.68 ERA)  faces Yovani Gallardo (5-8, 5.63).

David Ortiz is assisted by former Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera as a painting given as a gift to Ortiz is unveiled at Yankee Stadium. (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)
David Ortiz is assisted by former Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera as a painting given as a gift to Ortiz is unveiled at Yankee Stadium. (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)

NEW YORK -- Playing in the Bronx one last time, Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz was given a 30-second standing ovation at Yankee Stadium instead of the usual boos.

There were many fans in Red Sox colors in Thursday night's crowd, which chanted his nickname "Pa-pi! Pa-pi!" Only a smattering of booing could be heard.

Ortiz struck out in the second inning against CC Sabathia, dropping to 0 for 10 in the three-game series and hitless in his last 14 at-bats against the Yankees. Ortiz walked in the fourth and was replaced by pinch runner Brock Holt, then received another ovation as he jogged to the Red Sox dugout. Ortiz pointed to the Yankees dugout in thanks as he headed to the third base side.

Hitting .315 with 37 homers and 124 RBIs, the 40-year-old designated hitter is having among the greatest final seasons in big league history.

During a pregame ceremony that lasted about 5 minutes, Ortiz was presented an oil painting of himself and a leather-bound book with handwritten letters from current and former Yankees. The Red Sox had honored a pair of Yankees greats before their Fenway Park finales, Mariano Rivera in 2013 and Derek Jeter the following year. >>Read more at . . .

New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) pitches during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. (Bob DeChiara)
New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) pitches during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. (Bob DeChiara)

The Yankees and Red Sox conclude their series from Yankee Stadium at 7:05 p.m. on Thursday night.

The Yankees will honor Red Sox DH David Ortiz with a pregame ceremony before his final game at Yankee Stadium.

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Red Sox Yankees
Aaron Hill, 3B Brett Gardner, LF
Andrew Benintendi, LF Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Xander Bogaerts, SS Gary Sanchez, DH
David Ortiz, DH Starlin Castro, 2B 
Chris Young, RF Didi Gregorius, SS
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF Chase Headley, 3B
Ryan Hanigan, C Brian McCann, C
Travis Shaw, 1B Aaron Hicks, RF
Devon Marrero, 2B Tyler Austin, 1B

Who's Pitching for the Yankees: LHP CC Sabathia (8-12, 4.02 ERA) looked great in his last outing, pitching seven scoreless innings and allowing only four hits and three walks. Sabathia has pitched at least six innings and allowed no more than one run in three of his last five starts.

Who's Pitching for the Red Sox: LHP Henry Owens (0-1, 7.79 ERA) has only appeared in four games for the Red Sox in 2016. His most recent outing was on Aug. 21 when he allowed eight earned runs on six hits and five walks in five innings.

Tags: Boston Red Sox

Mark Teixeira reflects on career 00:03:03
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira sits down with SNY's Sweeny Murti to look back on his 14-year career.

Mark Teixeira hit a two-out grand slam in the ninth inning to complete the Yankees' comeback from 3-0 down as they beat the Red Sox, 5-3, on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

The Red Sox had clinched the AL East title earlier in the evening due to Toronto's loss.

  • The Yankees loaded the bases with none out in the ninth inning against Craig Kimbrel and drew within 3-1 on Brian McCann's bases loaded walk. 
  • Teixeira's grand slam to right center field with two outs gave the Yankees the win.
  • In a scoreless game in the eighth inning, Mookie Betts' two-run double gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead.
  • A passed ball by Gary Sanchez later in the eighth inning increased Boston's advantage to 3-0.
  • The Yankees managed just one hit in six innings against Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz.
  • Bryan Mitchell tossed seven scoreless innings while allowing two hits, walking five, and striking out two.
  • Adam Warren was charged with two runs in just 1/3 of an inning.

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

There isn't much worse for a team than to watch their biggest rival celebrate a division title on their own field while being eliminated from postseason contention at the same time. Mark Teixeira prevented both from happening with his first career walk-off home run.

Games like tonight's truly make me wonder 'what if' when it comes to this team. The Yankees seemed to be on the way to their worst season in recent memory after a horrid April. They sold at the trade deadline and invested in youth. Then they began to win and crept into the postseason hunt. Unfortunately, they lost three tough games in which they held a lead to these very same Red Sox less than two weeks ago, which put them in a tailspin at the wrong time.

Had the Yankees played .500 in April and won those games in Boston, not only are they not watching David Ortiz laugh at them one last time, but they would actually be battling the Red Sox for the division title.

What's next...

The Yankees wrap up their series with the Red Sox on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. at Yankee Stadium. 

CC Sabathia (4.02 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) faces Henry Owens (7.79 ERA, 2.13 WHIP).

Tags: Adam Warren , Brian McCann , Bryan Mitchell , CC Sabathia , Mark Teixeira

New York Yankees starting pitcher Bryan Mitchell (55) pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning at Rogers Centre. (John E. Sokolowski)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Bryan Mitchell (55) pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning at Rogers Centre. (John E. Sokolowski)

The Yankees and Red Sox continue their series from Yankee Stadium at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday night. 

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Red Sox Yankees
Dustin Pedroia, 2B Brett Gardner, LF
Xander Bogaerts, SS Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
David Ortiz, DH Gary Sanchez, C
Mookie Betts, RF Brian McCann, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B Starlin Castro, 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF Didi Gregorius, SS
Brock Holt, 3B Mark Teixeira, 1B
Andrew Benintendi, LF Chase Headley, 3B
Sandy Leon, C Mason Williams, RF

Who's Pitching for the Yankees: RHP Bryan Mitchell (1-2, 4.50 ERA) -- lost his last start in Toronto, going six innings and allowing three runs (one earned) at Rogers Centre. Threw 4.2 innings against the Red Sox on Sept. 17, getting charged with three earned runs. 

Who's Pitching for the Red Sox: RHP Clay Buchholz (8-10, 5.00 ERA) has moved back into the starting rotation this month, going 3-0 with a 3.97 ERA in four starts. Beat the Yankees on Sept. 16 at Fenway Park, where he allowed two runs over six innings. 

Tags: Boston Red Sox

New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) pumps his fist after they beat the against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. New York Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3. (Kim Klement)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) pumps his fist after they beat the against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. New York Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3. (Kim Klement)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

Yankees closer Dellin Betances maintains his role simply because the team's first two choices were traded at the non-waiver deadline. Betances might not be trusted with the job without similar circumstances next season, but the Yankees cannot figure that out by shutting down the reliever before the season ends.

Betances has failed to maintain control over the closer's job since enjoying a strong beginning (14 games, 15 1/3 innings, nine saves in 10 chances, 0.57 ERA, 25 strikeouts and five walks) after Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman were traded. Betances has faltered in staggering fashion over his last eight appearances. In six innings pitched during those outings, Betances owns a 15.00 ERA, allowing nine hits, walking eight and striking out 11 batters. He has also made three big errors during the span.

Fans' faith in Betances has understandably waned, due mostly in part because his failures have come with a playoff position on the line. Yankees manager Joe Girardi is trying to look at the full body of Betances' work, versus focusing on the recent struggles.

"He'll bounce back," Girardi told "I'm not concerned about Dellin. This guy's really good.

Girardi's contention - which is also Betances' - that the big right-hander is having mechanical issues, is certainly a possibility. We have seen Betances lose it mechanically before; the issues typically blamed on his massive frame and keeping all the moving parts working in time with each other. Each time, Betances eventually got back on track.

When Betances was battling Miller for the closer role before the 2015 season, the former ran into control problems, which thrust the latter into ninth-inning duties. Miller never let go of the job, and Betances settled into the seventh/eighth inning role where he could provide the Yankees with more than three outs when needed. Betances excelled for the second straight season.

Betances and Girardi have scoffed at workload questions, and they might have a point. Betances has appeared in virtually the same number of games this season as the last two, but he has tossed fewer innings each year and has thrown fewer pitches per appearance.

















While the appearances and the quantity of pitches thrown have diminished, Betances has been asked more often to come in with less rest than in 2014 and 2015.


0 Days Rest

1 Day Rest

2 or more days rest













Of the 24 times in which Betances was asked to work on back-to-back days this season, 10 of them have occurred since he took over the closer role in August. The added stress of working in consecutive days - and as the closer - could certainly cause some fatigue that is not noted in the number of appearances or pitches thrown.

Betances' usage in multiple innings and the pressure of the situation he has entered into the game has also changed season to season since he began dominating batters in 2014.


Multiple-inning Appearances


Ninth Inning & Beyond














Betances has pitched in much fewer multiple-inning appearances this season. This makes sense because he has had to close games in the last two seasons, which in turn amps up the leverage metric (anything over 1.00 is considered "high pressure"). The biggest difference between this year and previous seasons is the increase in the number of times he has been asked to pitch in the ninth inning or beyond. This is not to say that the pressure, in terms of the game situation to which the metric is devised, is new to him (in fact it has dropped slightly this season).

Is Betances having mental issues with the role? Betances and Girardi have intimate this is not the case, however who could blame him if he was feeling some cerebral strain? Across two straight days, Betances completely imploded, once against the Los Angeles Dodgers when a fielding error of his own led to a loss, and then versus the Boston Red Sox when handed a three-run lead and just two outs to nail down, he allowed four runs (plus an inherited runner to score). The losses began a major tailspin for the Yankees, of which they have been unable to recuperate.

Whatever the Yankees do now with Betances will directly impact how they handle next season. The Yankees have not been shy about their willingness to re-sign Chapman, and there are two other elite relievers on the market this offseason (Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon), who could supplant Betances if New York decides their homegrown reliever better serves them in the eighth inning.

There are two options for dealing with Betances over the remainder of the season. One is to shut him down once the team is mathematically eliminated and the other is to run him out there any time a "closer" opportunity arises.

In my view, the Yankees should continue to utilize Betances so he can work on what he believes are mechanical flaws. If he is fortunate enough to figure things out, it could go a long way toward disallowing similar issues next season.

Improved performances over the next few games could also demonstrate that he can get through a rough patch many closers endure, and that the stress of the position is not to blame for his performance. Alternatively, if Betances is shut down, he might carry the bad taste in his mouth and the problems he is having could carry over to the next season.

The closer role is an emotional one, a responsibility that some wonderfully talented relievers have failed to produce in the same fashion they had as setup men. Betances might fall into that mold, but shutting him down now will not help the Yankees decide if he is the right man for the job in 2017.

Note: Statistics come from

Tags: Christopher Carelli

GEICO SportsNite: Yanks win, 6-4 00:01:47
Sweeny Murti reports from Yankee Stadium, where Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius led the Yankees to a 6-4 win over the Red Sox.

Gary Sanchez homered again and the Yankees recovered after blowing a late lead as they beat the Red Sox, 6-4, on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

  • With the game tied, 4-4, in the seventh inning, Tyler Austin's two-run homer gave the Yankees a 6-4 lead.
  • Tyler Clippard struck out David Ortiz with two on and two out in the ninth inning to seal the win.
  • The Red Sox had tied it at 4 in the seventh when Aaron Hill hit a solo homer and Dustin Pedroia hit an RBI single.
  • Didi Gregorius hit a solo homer in the sixth to put the Yankees up 4-2.
  • The Red Sox had drawn within 3-2 in the sixth inning after getting an RBI single from Dustin Pedroia and an RBI groundout from Mookie Betts.
  • Gary Sanchez gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead with a two-run homer (his 20th of the season) in the first inning.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury's RBI single in the fifth inning increased the Yankees' lead to 3-0.
  • Luis Cessa allowed two runs on five hits while walking one and striking out two.

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees youngsters had a big part to play in tonight's victory.

Though Cessa did not get the win, he did leave with the lead. The 24-year-old right-hander was impressive after digging a hole for himself in the sixth inning, by setting down David Ortiz, Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez to end the inning with two runners on base.

Sanchez continues to amaze, hitting his 20th home run in just his 48th game of the season, tying an 86-year-old record for fastest to the mark (51 career games). Sanchez has become must-see at this point, but I hope fans are reasonable where it concerns his production next season.

Gregorius, 26, ripped his 20th home run of the season, something not many would have expected from the shortstop after his trials and tribulations early last season. Gregorius, Starlin Castro and Sanchez create a very good middle of the field combination from both an offensive and defensive perspective.

Finally, Austin, after being pulled from the starting lineup, hit another opposite field home run. It's too bad the Yankees gave up on Austin so quickly, because he has some impressive hitting skills. They need to be able to show some patience with the young players and not overreact to slumps. Yankees manager Joe Girardi will surely be tested with this next season.

What's next...

The Yankees continue their three-game series with the Red Sox on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. at Yankee Stadium. 

Bryan Mitchell (4.50 ERA, 1.72 WHIP) faces Clay Buchholz (5.00 ERA, 1.37 WHIP).

Tags: Didi Gregorius , Gary Sanchez , Jacoby Ellsbury , Luis Cessa , Tyler Clippard , Danny Abriano

New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch against the Boston Red Sox in the first inning at Fenway Park. (David Butler II)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch against the Boston Red Sox in the first inning at Fenway Park. (David Butler II)

Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka -- who is recovering from a right forearm strain -- played catch on Tuesday, plans to long toss on Wednesday, and hopes to start Saturday at Yankee Stadium, reports Chad Green of LoHud.

However, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said the team will not allow Tanaka to start if there's any risk.

"It's a possibility that'll be a discussion that we will be forced to have," Cashman said about allowing Tanaka to start. "We haven't had those. I haven't sat with our doctor, our manager and our trainer. But if there's any risk, there's no reason to do so."

Cashman added that there was no "bad news" after Tanaka was examined by a doctor earlier Tuesday.

Tanaka missed his last start due to the forearm strain.

The 27-year-old Tanaka is 14-4 with a 3.07 ERA this season. He last pitched on Sept. 21, giving up four runs and seven hits in six innings against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees' chance of reaching the playoffs sits at zero percent, according to FanGraphs' latest update, even though they are mathematically alive for the second wild card spot. Regardless of Ahmad's recommendation, the Yankees should still consider shutting their ace down for the rest of the season.

The Yankees' elimination number is two entering today's games, so chances are they will not go undefeated over the next six games combined with the Orioles going 1-5 in their final six contests. In addition, the Yankees have three other teams in front of them to leapfrog before getting to the Orioles.

Having Tanaka pitch in a meaningless game makes little sense, and I would venture to guess the Yankees will end up believing the same.

Tags: Masahiro Tanaka

New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Cessa (85) throws a pitch second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. (Kim Klement)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Cessa (85) throws a pitch second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. (Kim Klement)

The Yankees begin a three-game series with the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. 

Follow the game live on

Red Sox Yankees
Dustin Pedroia, 2B Brett Gardner, LF
Xander Bogaerts, SS Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
David Ortiz, DH Gary Sanchez, DH
Mookie Betts, RF Starlin Castro, 2B
Hanley Ramirez, 1B Chase Headley, 3B
Brock Holt, 3B Didi Gregorius, SS
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF Aaron Hicks, RF
Sandy Leon, C Austin Romine, C
Andrew Benintendi, LF Tyler Austin, 1B

Who's Pitching for the Yankees: RHP Luis Cessa (4-3, 4.30 ERA) looked strong in his most recent outing, lasting six innings and allowing two earned runs on six hits and two walks while striking out six. Cessa is going for his first win since Aug. 26. 

Who's Pitching for the Red Sox: LHP David Price (17-8, 3.91) was solid in his last outing, pitching seven innings and allowing three earned runs on six hits while striking out five. Price has not lost a decision since Aug. 7. 

Tags: Luis Cessa , Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the New York Yankees in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. (Andrew Fielding-US PRESSWIRE)
Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the New York Yankees in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. (Andrew Fielding-US PRESSWIRE)

In an article published Tuesday in The Players' Tribune, David Ortiz thanked the Yankees and its fans for the many years of intense rivalry that the designated hitter was honored to be a part of. Some of the highlights of the note include:

  • "Listen, Yankee fans. I gotta admit something to you. And I'm serious about this. I got love for you."
  • "When I came to this country and I was trying to make it to the big leagues, I looked at guys like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, and I was almost in awe. When I got to play against the Yankees my first few years, I would watch some of the things Jeter would do in the field like I was just a fan."
  • "Our rivalry with the Yankees made me who I am. The intensity of that competition is what I'm gonna miss the most when I'm done."
  • "Playing against the Yankees was just different. It was war."
  • "But back in the day, everybody in my country dreamed of going to New York. Not even as a ballplayer, I'm talking just for the opportunity to work a regular job. We looked at New York City like the American dream. The Yankees were like a symbol of everything. If you wore a Yankees hat, maybe your cousin or uncle sent it down to you from New York, and it was like that hat was a symbol of everything you were dreaming to be."
  • "Some players are born to be Yankees, you know what I'm saying? I was born to play against the Yankees."
  • "But that's why I'm gonna miss this rivalry so much. Because we were perfect opposites. Everything we had in Boston, New York had an answer for it."
  • "Yankee fans, I got one final thing to tell you. Thank you. For real. You pulled the best out of me. When you boo me, it's one of the best feelings in the world."

To read Ortiz's article in full, visit

New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (Dan Hamilton/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (Dan Hamilton/USA Today Sports Images)

Aaron Hicks and Mark Teixeira homered in a five-run ninth inning and the New York Yankees hung on to beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-5, Monday at Rogers Centre. >> Read more

  • Teixeira hit a one-out home run off Jason GrilliDidi Gregorius followed with a single and Hicks homered to right field to break the 3-3 tie.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury hit an RBI single and Gary Sanchez a sac fly off Danny Barnes that gave the Yankees a 7-3 lead.
  • Dellin Betances walked two batters and made an error in the bottom of the ninth inning before he was pulled without recording an out.
  • Tommy Layne came in and allowed two runs on a bases-loaded walk and Dioner Navarro single, but got Russell Martin to ground into a fielder's choice and Troy Tulowitzki to foul out to end the game.
  • Manager Joe Girardi, starting pitcher Luis Severino, pitching coach Larry Rothschild and bench coach Rob Thomson were all ejected by the second inning.
  • Jonathn Holder allowed two runs in the third inning on a Tulowitzki RBI double and Michael Saunders RBI single that gave the Blue Jays a 3-1 lead.
  • Brett Gardner went 3 for 4 with three runs scored and Ellsbury went 2 for 4 with two RBIs. Sanchez hit an RBI ground out in the first inning.

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees' performance over the 14 games previous to Monday's seemed to demonstrate the club had no fight left in them, which seemed ridiculous considering they were closing in on a playoff spot after a seven-game win streak. But, J.A. Happ provided a spark by "having his teammate's back," to which Severino added gasoline by retaliating in kind.

The ensuing melee showed the club still has some battle left in them. Beyond coming to a teammate's aid in a brawl, the Yankees managed to dig out of a 3-1 deficit, scoring one run in the eighth inning and five runs in the ninth, which also shows some semblance of resiliency.

Unfortunately, wanting to claim a postseason spot and having the ability to do so are two different things. The Yankees grabbed a win tonight, but simply did not have the manpower at their disposal when they needed it most; against the true talents in the division.

What's next...

The Yankees begin a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. at Yankee Stadium. Luis Cessa (4-3, 4.30 ERA) faces David Price (17-8, 3.91 ERA).

Tags: Aaron Hicks , Brett Gardner , Dellin Betances , Gary Sanchez , Jacoby Ellsbury , Luis Severino , Mark Teixeira , Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak looks on as New York Yankees staff and players restrain catcher Gary Sanchez during a bench clearing brawl in the third inning at Rogers Centre. (Dan Hamilton/USA Today Sports Images)
Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak looks on as New York Yankees staff and players restrain catcher Gary Sanchez during a bench clearing brawl in the third inning at Rogers Centre. (Dan Hamilton/USA Today Sports Images)

New York Yankees right-hander Luis Severino was ejected after hitting Toronto's Justin Smoak with a pitch in the second inning Monday night, leading to an angry shoving match between the teams.

Both benches and bullpens emptied and several scrums broke out near home plate after Severino threw inside to Smoak with his first pitch of the inning and then hit him in the leg with his second.

There was plenty of jostling in a large mass of players, but it did not appear any punches were thrown.

The scrap came after Blue Jays lefty J.A. Happ threw consecutive inside pitches to Chase Headley in the top of the inning, hitting him with the second. That led to a warning from plate umpire Todd Tichenor.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi was ejected for arguing the warning. New York pitching coach Larry Rothschild and bench coach Rob Thomson were ejected along with Severino following the second melee.

Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, hit on the elbow by a pitch from Severino in the bottom of the first, walked in from his position and exchanged words with the New York dugout after Headley was hit.

Both benches and bullpens cleared that time, too, but no punches were thrown. >> Read more

Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press

Tags: Chase Headley , Luis Severino , Toronto Blue Jays

New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. (Bill Streicher)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. (Bill Streicher)

The Yankees look to win the final game of their four-game series with the Blue Jays in Toronto on Monday at 7:07 p.m. 

Follow the game live on

Yankees Blue Jays
Brett Gardner, LF Devon Travis, 2B
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Josh Donaldson, 3B
Gary Sanchez, C Edwin Encarnacion, DH
Billy Butler, DH Jose Bautista, RF
Chase Headley, 3B Russell Martin, C
Mark Teixeira, 1B Troy Tulowitzki, SS
Didi Gregorius, SS Michael Saunders, LF
Aaron Hicks, RF Justin Smoak, 1B
Ronald Torreyes, 2B Kevin Pillar, CF

Who's Pitching for the Yankees: RHP Luis Severino (3-8, 5.70 ERA) will start for the Yankees for the first time since Aug. 14. Severino has been sensational since moving into the bullpen, allowing only one earned run on seven hits in 15 innings. Prior to his transition to the bullpen, Severino had a 8.58 ERA in his nine starts this season.

Who's Pitching for the Blue Jays: LHP J.A. Happ (20-4, 3.28) has allowed more than three runs just twice in his last 14 starts, and has not allowed more than four runs during that span. In his last outing, Happ allowed two earned runs on six hits while striking out eight in five innings. 

Tags: Luis Severino , Toronto Blue Jays

 (Tommy Gilligan)
(Tommy Gilligan)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The New York Yankees made a surprising push to a potential playoff appearance in August and early September, only to fall back with an awful two-week stretch of play.

Meanwhile, the Yankees' farm system also provided some unpredictable results, as the organization's top five affiliates qualified for their league's postseason play, and included one league title.

This week we will recap the postseason results for each of the affiliates and provide the regular season statistics for the organization's Top 30 prospects, according to Our previous report indicated the final regular season records from each affiliate.

Rookie Short Season - New York Penn League McNamara Division - Staten Island Yankees

Record: 45-33, 2nd place, 2.5 GB, won wild card

Staten Island, in a quest to repeat as New York Penn League champions, was eliminated in the league semifinals to eventual league champion State College.

Class A - South Atlantic League Southern Division - Charleston RiverDogs

First-half Record: 42-27, first place - First-half Champions

Second-half Record: 34-36, 3rd place, 9 GB

The RiverDogs were defeated by Rome in the best-of-three South Atlantic Division Series. Charleston's 76 regular season wins in 2016 was a franchise record.

Advanced A - Florida State League North Division - Tampa Yankees

First-half Record: 41-25, first place - First half champions

Second-half Record: 35-31, 4th place, 8 GB

Tampa defeated Dunedin two games to one in a three-game series to win the Florida State League North Division Championship. In the Florida State League Championships, Tampa lost three games to one to Bradenton.

Double-A - Eastern League Eastern Division - Trenton Thunder

Record: 87-55, 2nd place, 2.5 GB, won wild card

Trenton eliminated regular season division champion Reading, 3-1, in the best-of-five games East Division Championship Series. The results were not as positive for the Thunder in the Eastern League Championship, as they were swept by Akron.

Triple-A - International League North Division - Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders

Record: 91-52, 1st place, Regular Season Division Champions

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre swept Lehigh Valley 3-0 in the League Division Series. The RailRiders went on to win the International League Governor's Cup with a three games to one victory over Gwinnett. It was the RailRiders' first league title since 2008. Outfielder Jake Cave was named the series' most valuable player.

The RailRiders were not finished, as they then went on to defeat the Pacific Coast League Champions, El Paso, in the Gildan Triple-A National Championship by a score of 3-1 behind five innings of one-run ball from Jordan Montgomery and a decisive first-inning, three-run home run by Chris Parmalee. It was the RailRiders' first national championship, and the first time since 2011 that the International League representative walked away with the title.

Yankees Top 30 Prospects

Note: Statistics are for the 2016 minor league regular season (players who played at multiple levels are combined and noted). Prospect rankings via

No. 1 - Clint Frazier, OF - 463 combined PA, .263/.335/.396, 16 HR, 55 RBI

No. 2 - Gleyber Torres, OF - 536 combined PA, .270/.354/.421, 81 R, 11 HR, 66 RBI, 21 SB

No. 3 - Jorge Mateo, 2B/SS - 499 PA, .254/.306/.379, 33 XBH, 65 R, 47 RBI, 36 SB

No. 4 - Aaron Judge, OF - 399 PA, .270/.366/.489, 19 HR, 65 RBI

No. 5 - Blake Rutherford, OF - 127 combined PA, .351/.415/.570, 15 XBH, 3 HR, 12 RBI

No. 6 - Justis Sheffield, SP - 125 1/3 combined IP, 3.09 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 129 K, 53 BB

No. 7 - Miguel Andujar, OF - 551 PA, .273/.332/.410, 42 XBH, 62 R, 12 HR, 83 RBI

No. 8 - Domingo Acevado, SP - 93 combined IP, 2.61 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 102 K, 22 BB

No. 9 - James Kaprielian, SP - 18 IP, 1.50 ERA, 0.61 WHIP, 22 K, 3 BB

No 10 - Dillon Tate, SP - 82 1/3 combined IP, 4.70 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 55 K, 27 BB

No 11 - Wilkerman Garcia, SS - 237 PA, .198/.255/.284, 14 XBH, 21 R, 1 HR, 13 RBI

No 12 - Dustin Fowler, OF - 563 PA, .281/.311/.458 53 XBH, 67 R, 12 HR, 88 RBI

No. 13 - Chance Adams, SP - 127 1/3 combined IP, 2.33 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 144 K, 39 BB

No. 14 - Tyler Wade, 2B/SS - 571 PA, .259/.352/.349, 28 XBH, 90 R, 27 SB

No. 15 - Billy McKinney - 485 combined PA, .246/.342/.338, 27 XBH, 52 R

No. 16 - Luis Torrens, C - 210 combined PA, .250/.350/.337, 12 XBH

No. 17 - Ian Clarkin, SP - 98 IP, 3.31 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 72 K, 30 BB

No. 18 - Drew Finley, P - 27 1/3 IP, 4.26 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 20 K, 9 BB

No. 19 - Jordan Montgomery, SP - 139.1 combined IP, 2.13 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 134 K, 45 BB

No. 20 - Chad Green, SP - 94.2 IP, 1.52 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 100 K, 21 BB

No. 21 - Hoy Jun Park, SS/2B - 502 PA, .225/.336/.329, 29 XBH, 32 SB

No. 22 - Mason Williams, OF - 171 combined PA, .298/.315/.380, 12 XBH, 24 RBI

No. 23 - Jake Cave, OF - 462 combined PA, .268/.330/.427, 43 XBH, 55 RBI

No. 24 - Dietrich Enns, SP - 135 combined IP, 1.73 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 124 K, 56 BB

No. 25 - Kyle Holder, SS/2B - 367 PA, .290/.323/.347, 40 R, 16 XBH

No. 26 - Donny Sands, C - 119 combined PA, .286/.328/.375, 2 HR, 13 RBI

No. 27 - Trey Amburgey, OF - 283 combined PA, .274/.313/.381, 40 R, 22 XBH, 11 SB

No. 28 - Leonardo Molina, OF - 328 combined PA, .226/.290/.382, 9 HR, 36 RBI

No. 29 - Freicer Perez, P - 52 1/3 IP, 4.47 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 49 K, 25 BB

No. 30 - Nolan Martinez, P - 7 IP, 3.86 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 3 K, 4 BB

Didi Gregorius follows through on his seventh-inning homer. (Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports)
Didi Gregorius follows through on his seventh-inning homer. (Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth to take a one-run lead, but Toronto came back with two in the bottom of the inning for a 4-3 win Sunday in Canada. Read the full AP recap on

  • The Yankees avoided being shut out for the fourth game in a row when Didi Gregorius homered in the top of the seventh to tie the score at 1.
  • After Jose Bautista's RBI single in the eighth gave Toronto a 2-1 lead, the Yankees offense came to life in the ninth. Mark Teixeira and Billy Butler led off with singles, and both were replaced by pinch runners. Chase Headley moved the runners up. Mason Williams tied it with a single and Ronald Torreyes hit a sac fly to give the Yanks the lead.
  • The Yankees gave it right back in the bottom of the inning. Dellin Betances walked Melvin Upton Jr. to start the inning. Betances was replaced by Tyler Clippard, who gave a single to Kevin Pillar that moved Upton to third. Ezquiel Carrera's squeeze bunt scored Upton as Pillar advanced and then went to third and Carerra to second on Clippard's throwinng error. Josh Donaldson was intentionally walked before Clippard allowed Edwin Encarnacion's game winning single.
  • Yankees starter Michael Pineda pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits with seven strikeouts.

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees finally got on the board after 33 straight innings of scoreless ball. The slump was not exactly eradicated, scoring three runs, which was still not to pull out a victory.

Instead of commenting on the poor timing of the worst offensive slumps in over 40 years and the impending elimination from a postseason slot, let's focus on the kind of player regorius has become.

At one point last season, fans were begging the Yankees to trade the now 26-year-old shortstop. He slowly stepped out of Derek Jeter's enormous shadow and began to show signs of becoming more than a glove-first player as last summer wore on.

This season, Gregorius has taken his offensive game to another level. With his 19th home run today, Gregorius sits just one RBI short of the team high, currently owned by injured second basemano. Gregorius' season OPS, now over .750, is about 50 points higher than his previous career high.

Gregorius might not be the youngest of the new core of players to expect in the 2017 lineup, but he is likely to be one of the more reliable players in the upcoming season. That is certainly not something we would have thought in May 2015.

What's next...

The Yankees and Blue Jays play the final of their four-game series on Monday at 7:07 Toronto. The Jays J.A. Hapy (20-4, 3.28 ERA) faces a Yankees starter to be named.

Tags: Toronto Blue Jays
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