Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
With the 2020 MLB season still on pause, let's dip into the mailbag to answer some Yankees questions ...
@yy67045767 Do they re-sign Paxton, Tanaka, or LeMahieu after this season?
With the obvious caveat that this will be determined in large part on the field if the team gets to play this year, here's a guess for what will happen if there is no season. The likelihood of these players returning is, in descending order, Tanaka, LeMahieu and Paxton.
Tanaka has been a near-great Yankee, and is such a perfect fit for the city and team. He'll turn 32 in November and seems a candidate for a two or three-year deal.
LeMahieu was another natural Yankee last year. Remember that at-bat that ended in a game-tying home run in the ALCS, before the infamous Altuve homer wiped it out? The word epic doesn't come close to doing it justice.
DJLM has the slow heartbeat and cool temperament to both blend in and thrive here. He almost reminds you of the type -- "winning player" is the scout term, though it has fallen out of vogue -- who would have fit in during the late '90s dynasty. It would seem a shame to move on after one year and one pandemic.
Paxton is a terrific pitcher and clubhouse presence, and the Yankees like him. But the combination of his injury history and agent -- he's repped by Scott Boras -- makes him the least likely candidate to return.
We could see the Yankees making an offer that takes into account Paxton's many IL stints, and Boras doing better elsewhere while the Yanks hold the line.
In our humble opinion, the Yanks should do what they can to retain all three. These are the types of players you want.
@jwmula What's your take on Clarke Schmidt?
Schmidt is a very promising prospect who isn't quite ready. Scouts who watched Schmidt in spring training liked his raw stuff but believed that his fastball command and usage needed work. The current layoff is not helping with either of those projects, but the future seems bright.
@BigKingTroll How do they honestly justify a moral high ground on the Astros when they were the face of PED's for decades?
This is an interesting question, and one I've not only thought a lot about but talked through with a few Yankees people who remain in a lather about the Astros.
Steroids and electronic sign-stealing are similar in that they both violate the stated rules of the sport. The Yankees won championships with players who were taking illegal drugs.
Here's where I see the issues diverge: Those Yanks were part of an era in which every team had players using steroids (perhaps that is still the case, frankly). That doesn't change the moral equation, but it does impact the context.
In order to win the World Series in, say, 1999, roided-up Yankees defeated roided-up opponents on other teams. The 2004 Red Sox who came back to defeat the Yanks in the ALCS after being down three games to none had Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz.
This is not a level playing field argument. This is to say that while the Yankees did what everyone was doing regarding PEDs, the Astros were in a league of their own with sign stealing.
The Astros stand as the only team accused of banging on a trash can in 2017. My extensive reporting on this subject -- I'm writing a book on it -- leads me to conclude that while other teams were engaged in electronic sign-stealing, the Astros went way further than any opponent.
A moral high ground is a tricky thing to take in any context. Let he who has not sinned, yada yada yada. But the steroid era and sign stealing are hard to compare.
@hsg516 Even with the big contract, it's it time to let Giancarlo go? Health issues are getting in the way, should Yanks see what they can get?
That, my friend, is an untradeable contract.
@JerryBeach73 What do you think of the Yankees' all-black uniforms?
They would obviously never be so tacky as to force their players into those ugly shirts.
@matt12r Will #52 be retired??