Thank God as the Mets and Yankees step in to save a boring afternoon as snow falls and the temperature plummets in the Northeast…a few thoughts.
Gleyber Torres – Yankees
This may sound odd, but Gleyber Torres did the Yankees no favors last year when he hit 24 home runs as their second baseman with only sixteen doubles while striking out at a rate just under thirty percent of his at-bats. The balance of his hits, or sixty-five percent of them went for singles.
The problem here is the Yankees lineup is littered with high powered home run hitters – who also tend to strike out in crucial situations at a high rate. Do they need another one?
At only 21, Gleyber Torres is young enough to take his talents anywhere he wants to, or more importantly in this case, anywhere the Yankees want him to.
The notion the Yankees want this all or nothing version of Gleyber Torres is difficult to comprehend. And therefore, it would behoove the Yankees to encourage for now and to demand if necessary later to have Torres as a hitter who complements Miguel Andujar in the lineup more than (pick anyone) Aaron Judge.
Andujar had a remarkable 47 doubles last year while striking out only seventeen percent of his at-bats. Balls hit in the gaps that go for doubles keep innings going and they drive in runs. The Yankees lineup gets longer and more productive with Gleyber Torres producing in a way similar to Andujar. Just a thought.
Justin Wilson – Mets
Add Justin Wilson to the growing number of players who want to be part of the New York Mets organization. Newly signed to a two-year $10 million deal, the reliever had this to say about why he chose the Mets over other offers:
Now, isn’t that refreshing? To make room for Wilson, the Mets DFA’d 2012 first-round draft pick, Gavin Cecchini, the 12th player selected.
Michael Conforto – Mets
From another New York Post story, Mets outfielder Michael Conforto is far ahead of where he was at this time last year. Returning too soon from shoulder surgery, Conforto had a dismal first half but came on ultra strong in the second half, giving him what appears to be a much-needed bump in confidence as he heads into this season as a key figure on the Mets team.
Of more significance though, Conforto took a back-handed swipe at his teammates while condemning himself for his propensity to swing for the fences. Choosing his words carefully, Conforto told the New York Post: “If you look at our team the last few years that could be a problem, especially with runners in scoring position, situational hitting, things that we didn’t do very well in the past and I think that is something that the team is really looking to improve upon,’’
Contact baby, contact. Now, Michael Conforto gets the chance to lead the way.
Giancarlo Stanton – Yankees
There are no do-overs in baseball, of course. But I’ve been wondering….would the Yankees (today) make the same deal they did for Giancarlo Stanton? Because solely from a financial standpoint, the deal has Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira written all over it as the years wind down.
Before you know it, and the Yankees surely do, players like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Luis Severino, James Paxton, et al. will be in the final stages of already expensive arbitration years, or on the cusp of, or already qualifying as free agents. Where is this money going to come from? And don’t say the Yankees bleed money – because no one plays the game that way anymore.
Put it this way, though. I’ll state the same thing about Stanton that I say about any over-valued “superstar,” including Harper and Machado making headlines today. The deal will be worth it if Stanton has an MVP type season that puts the Yankees over the top to end the decade long fast they’ve been on – to win a World Series title. Stanton had a credible year but fell short of reaching that level last season.
In New York, the return on a World Series title, especially in a city that labors under pain of the Giants, Knicks, and Jets will double the investment on Stanton overnight. Between ticket sales, jerseys, soaring television ratings, endorsements, concession sales, and the like, the money will be flowing in quicker than even Congress can spend it.
But just to be transparent, I’d bet a year’s pay that Brian Cashman (secretly) rues the day he made the trade for Stanton.