Category Archives: Matt Bellantoni

Evaluating the Yankees Offseason Moves

The Yankees had quite an interesting offseason. It started with Giancarlo Stanton getting traded for basically just Starlin Castro and seems to have ended with trading for Brandon Drury. Let’s grade all the major offseason moves from November to February.

Acquiring Giancarlo Stanton: A++

Although Aaron Judge looks like the AL version of Stanton, it never hurts to have an NL MVP on the team. This was a great move because it not only brings another huge power bat to the middle of the lineup but it makes the Yankees the “evil empire” again. Also, Brian Cashman gave up NOTHING.

Enjoy this video of what the Yankees will be enjoying

Trading Chase Headley: A

This was another good move for Cashman; he was able to give away an expiring contract. The Yanks are very intrigued by the fact of getting under the luxury tax to prepare for next off-season’s free agents which include Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Headley didn’t have a spot on this team with Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar on the doorstep of the majors.

Re-signing CC: A

Sabathia was a huge part of the Yankees postseason run last year and it was only right to bring him back for this season. With the Yankees slim on 4 and 5 starters who are proven in the majors, CC made a lot of sense on a 1-year deal.

Acquiring Russell Wilson: B

OK, so obviously Wilson will never actually play for the Yankees ever but this was an interesting move. It wasn’t something the Yankees usually do but it makes sense. With such a young team, Wilson is going to come in and be able to tell the young guys like Judge, Torres, and Sanchez his success story and what he had to do to win a championship. Although this seems more like a Mets move, Wilson can’t hurt the Yankees, he can only help.

The Yankees future second basemen has smooth hands (Just kidding)

Acquiring Brandon Drury: C-

Drury is a solid player but Moustakas also made a lot of sense if Cashman signed him to a 1-year deal. That’s why I give this trade a C- because there were other options out there that maybe were a little more enticing. With a slow free-agent market, Moustakas could be looking at a 1-year prove-it-deal and the Yankees would’ve loved him at third with a short porch in right. Drury will be a good piece at a low price to play either third or second when Andujar or Torres either aren’t ready for Opening Day or start out slow.

Keep the Home Plate Umpire on the Field

The abuse of home plate umpires on their strike and ball calls has been a part of baseball forever. These humans that wear masks and pads to protect themselves from a collection of 102 mph Aroldis Chapman fastballs and 90 mph Noah Syndergaard sliders get strikes and balls correct over 90% of the time. Sure, calls like Jim Joyce on Armando Galarraga should not be a part of the game and it isn’t anymore. The current replay system has its flaws but all in all it has worked for the MLB. I simply can’t imagine a world where there wouldn’t be a human set up behind the catcher and calling the game. That is just how we have all grown up watching the game and playing it and the home plate umpire is part of the fun. Imagine if there wasn’t a human back there. Who would Bobby Cox have yelled at every night or Joe Girardi yelled at when A-Rod got drilled by Ryan Dempster. The human element should be part of the game for this reason alone. There aren’t robots calling holding penalties on offensive lines or offside penalties in soccer.

 

The only possible way that the automated strike zone would seem feasible would be for reviews. What happened when replay first came into the sport? The umpires on the bases didn’t leave the field and let a computer call safe and out. There were replays when coaches didn’t agree with calls. So why can’t the automated strike zone be implemented like this when it is ready. I can see a world where there is a human umpire behind the plate and coaches have a certain amount of strike-ball challenges per game. The call would be simple, replay operators would know right away if the automated strike zone was tracking each pitch. The umpire wouldn’t even have to leave the catcher’s box and a call could be made to him within seconds if a coach chooses to challenge a pitch. Just remember, the human umpire is correct on over 90% of strike-ball calls. There’s no need to change the game just yet, Rob Manfred.