Is This The End?

The Yankees announced today that Jacoby Ellsbury had surgery to repair a torn labrum yesterday, he will need six months to recover from the operation and is therefore out for the year.

This could be it for the Yankees and Ellsbury. Through five seasons, the numbers are ugly- .264/.320/.386, 39 homers, 102 steals, and 64% of total possible games played in. All for the “bargain” price of $105-million. Counting his team option which will be declined, the Yankees owe him around $47-million after this season. That’s a big check to write, but it’s hard to see what value Ellsbury would offer as a backup outfielder trying to come back from a serious injury in 2019.

So I suspect the Yankees to write that check, or trade a Ellsbury for a bad contract that is a better positional fit. The real question is, have they learned anything from this? For that answer, we have to wait until the offseason and free agency begins.

The Beauty of 162

When you go through a loss like last night, a bitter end to a terrible weekend, the worst thing in the world is waiting to watch the next game. In football, you have a whole week to stew over things. In hockey or basketball, it’s usually a couple of days. Baseball instead presents a steady diet of almost nightly games and that’s a blessing in this case because we all get to turn the page.

And here’s the better news, the Yankees have a really good chance to do so. Their next 26 games are against teams no better than .500, with most of them against teams that are really bad. The schedule is set up to give the Yankees a boost into the home stretch. For a club that has gone 18-20 over the last 38 games, they could use it.

Woof

It’s hard to think of a worse start to a four-game series in Fenway than the one the Yankees penned last night. Up 4-0, they pulled a struggling Sabathia after three innings and then watched their bullpen implode. When the smoke cleared, they had lost by eight and used their Saturday starter to soak up innings.

If the Yankees are going to turn the page, they obviously need to play better and they need their ace to step up tonight and deliver, something he hasn’t done much since June ended. The pressure is on and a loss tonight would put the Yankees in a precarious spot. The speculation is that Chance Adams, a former top prospect who is trying to regain his from after offseason surgery, is going to start Saturday. Asking a rookie making his MLB debut to dig you out of a 2-0 series hole is a tall order. Let’s see what happens.

Gray To The Pen

The Yankees recognized reality today and replaced Sonny Gray in the rotation with Lance Lynn. Gray came to the Yankees with a 44-36 record and a 3.42 ERA. In 32 starts he has a 12-15 record with a 4.85 ERA. Worse in 17 starts at the Stadium, he is 6-7 with a 6.70 ERA. The Yankees have to hope that he can figure things out in the pen, but it seems much more likely that he has made his last start for the Yankees and will be traded away this offseason.

In other news, J.A. Happ won’t be pitching in Boston this weekend because he has Coxsackie, or Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. If you have kids, you probably are familiar with that one, but I had never heard of an adult getting it until Noah Syndergaard came down with it a few weeks ago. Happ should be fine and back next week, but the Red Sox will get to face Luis Cessa.

And the Yankees decided to bring Luke Voit up to the club in place of Tyler Wade and he will DH tonight.

39 Years

On the anniversary of the death of Thurman Munson there is a new look at the crash that includes some really painful details and some amazing ones- he and Reggie were friends. You can read it here

Here’s to number 15.

Blogging the Deadline-UPDATING

Welcome to deadline day! Here’s what we know. The Nationals are not trading Harper, and may not trade anyone. Chris Archer is said to be in play for a number of teams and there are tons of rumors about almost everyone. Joel Sherman says that the Yankees are likely to only add an OF, if they do anything more. I’ll update as news happens.

2:15- Buster Olney reports the Angels are shopping some of their relievers.

2:22-Marlins are said to be close to trading Cameron Maybin, but not to the Yankees according to Joel Sherman.

2:26- Jon Heyman says Kevin Gausman is getting serious interest from NL teams.

2:29- Maybin is going to Seattle according to multiple sources.

2:45- 75 minutes to go.

2:49- Ramos going from Tampa to Philly according to multiple reports. Also word that the Orioles have made another trade.

2:52- Buster Olney reports that with the Ramos trade done, the Rays are turning their attention to trading Archer.

3:05- Multiple reports that the Cubs are getting Kintzler from Washington.

3:08- Sounds like the Pirates are the front runners for Chris Archer.

3:15- Sounds like the Orioles trade referenced earlier is Gausman, probably to Atlanta.

3:22- Jon Heyman reports the Giants are going after Matt Harvey.

3:23- Ken Rosenthal reports the Dodgers are close to getting Dozier from the Twins.

3:27- Heyman has Gausman going to Atlanta.

3:34- Sounds like Archer is headed to Pittsburgh.

3:39- Joel Sherman says Harvey will not go to the Giants.

3:52- Very quiet right now.

3:54- Joel Sherman says the Mets are not making any moves by the deadline.

3:56- Buster Olney says the Brewers are trying to land Schoop from Baltimore.

3:58- Rosenthal says it’s close.

3:59- If the Yankees don’t add a bat, it’s probably because Neil Walker is hitting .370/.455/.500 in July.

4:00- The deadline has arrived, but as long as the paperwork is in, trades may have happened that haven’t been announced.

4:01- Jon Heyman says the Reds kept Matt Harvey

4:10- Multiple sources says Schoop was traded to Brewers.

Interesting-UPDATED

The Yankees traded Adam Warren to Seattle tonight for international pool money. This is the third-straight day they have made a trade and they have received $3.75-million in international pool money back. They have also opened two spots in the 40-man roster and lowered their payroll by about $1-million.

I suspect this means the Yankees are going to try to swing another trade for a major leaguer that can help them. Warren was clearly the sixth or seventh option in the bullpen, but he was a viable option and they wouldn’t trade him without some idea of a way to improve the overall club. Tommy Kahnle is also probably coming back to the bigs soon.

Stay tuned.

7:30pm- And another trade as the Yankees send Tyler Austin and Luis Rijo to Minnesota for Lance Lynn and cash. Lynn is not having a good year, so this is odd. I worry that we are about to hear about an injured starter.

The Deadline Approaches

Just over 24 hours until the non-waiver deadline and the question dominating the conversation is what will Washington do? They appear to be stuck in neutral and they have a ton of free agents. If they open for business, it could be a massive deadline day. (Side note, Bryce Harper is not coming to the Yankees for a myriad of reasons but primarily because adding him now would put the Yankees over the luxury tax threshold and blow up all the work they did to get under it.). If Washington doesn’t open for business, it could be a really quiet deadline as a lot of players have already been traded.

We shall see and as usual, I will live blog it from about 2pm onwards tomorrow.

Smart

After a lackluster effort against the Royals the Yankees announced the following trade- Chasen Shreve and Giovanny Gallegos to St Louis for first baseman Luke Voit and international bonus pool money.

Voit is not a prospect. At best he is a guy who can play decently at first if the Yankees need it. Garret Cooper filled this role for part of last year and probably had more upside. So what makes this “smart”?

First. Shreve was going to be DFAed tomorrow to make room for Happ and that almost certainly meant losing him for nothing. Second, removing Gallegos from the 40-man allows the Yankees to add someone like Sheffield before the end of the year and the international bonus money allows them to take a flier on another pitcher like Gallegos. So, the Yankees turned two assets they didn’t want anymore into something in the form of a backup at first, more international money, and a new guy on the 40-man. That’s a smart move.

And, I expect the Yankees to leave that 40-man spot open for now. Perhaps another trade makes sense.

Ugh

And just like that, the Yankees take a big hit. Aaron Judge suffered a broken bone in his wrist when he got hit by a pitch in the first inning and the Yankees will be without their best player for around a month.

Add in the loss of Gary Sanchez, and the Yankees are down two premium bats. Their best replacement, Clint Frazier is on the DL with a concussion. Shane Robinson, a career journeyman who was added to the 40-man roster yesterday as a stopgap, is actually the only extra healthy outfielder on their roster. So I suspect the Yankees may jump back into the trade market. Anyone who can hit and play a bit of the outfield would make sense. My first call would be to Toronto to see what Curtis Granderson costs. If the answer is anything beyond a fringe prospect, try another team. This is a lot easier than trading for a starter.