AL East Notes: Yanks, Stroman, Tanaka, Orioles

Last night, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington appeared on WEEI radio and discussed a number of topics, including Stephen Drew, Masahiro Tanaka and David Ortiz. That post has been updated this morning to include the full audio of Cherington's 18-minute interview. Elsewhere in the AL East…

  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports notes that the Yankees have a 40-man roster crunch right now, but Alex Rodriguez's likely suspension would clear one spot. The Yankees will still need to clear more via trades or DFA, as they've yet to officially announce the signings of Brian Roberts and Matt Thornton, despite agreeing to deals with that duo on Dec. 17. Signing Masahiro Tanaka would require further roster manipulation (Twitter links).
  • Blue Jays manager John Gibbons isn't ruling out the possibility of top prospect Marcus Stroman making the team out of Spring Training, though he did caution that it's a long shot, tweets Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.
  • Nicholson-Smith also tweets that Gibbons says the Blue Jays are keeping tabs on Tanaka.
  • Wei-Yin Chen's recovery from surgery to remove bone spurs from his knee "hasn't been as seamless as some others have been," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said on WBAL Radio (via MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko). Though Showalter said he expects Chen to be fine, he did say his recovery has been slow and that the team is "keeping really close tabs" on Chen.
  • From that same piece, Showalter says Manny Machado "feels great." The manager added that his gut feeling is that Machado can be healthy by Opening Day, but the organization will not rush him. The O's will use Ryan Flaherty as their Opening Day third baseman if Machado isn't ready, writes Kubatko.


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39 Comments on "AL East Notes: Yanks, Stroman, Tanaka, Orioles"


frogbogg
1 year 7 months ago

I find it odd…. how much an Arod suspension helps the Yankees.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

All depends on the length of it. A short length suspension (say 50-65 games) hurts them financially as far as that $189 mil mark goes, however if (and it’s a big if) he’s healthy and plays, they have their best 3B on the field.

A long suspension (say a season length) helps them out big time financially but they’d have a below average 3B all year

Bleed_Orange
1 year 7 months ago

Arod may be a below average 3B now. 2 hip surgeries, age, wear and tear, and the fact that he can’t put “stuff” into his body to speed recovery…. he’s probably just a DH from here on out.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Very true but he’s still their best 3B nonetheless. Unless they played Kelly Johnson there (though he’s only played 3 games at 3B) and he has a great season offensively like he did in 2010 when he played 154 games and had an .865 OPS. He’s basically the only guy they have who can possibly have a better offensive season than A-Rod, and I doubt that happens.

ed27
1 year 7 months ago

The odds of Kelly Johnson having a season with an .865 OPS (if he plays 100 games or more) are about the same as the A-Rod ruling coming down with a no suspension decision. I wish the team would give Nunez a real shot at the position. He is injury prone but so are a number of the players signed by the team (Brian Roberts for example) and he performed very well at the position late in the year. He might infuse the lineup with some much needed youth, add to the speed of Gardner and Ellsbury, and at least allow Johnson to be the utility guy he was signed to be.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

“The odds of Kelly Johnson having a season with an .865 OPS (if he plays
100 games or more) are about the same as the A-Rod ruling coming down
with a no suspension decision”

Haha, pretty much. Then again he has power and is now batting in very left handed friendly Yankee Stadium. I wouldn’t throw at least an .800 OPS. Yeah .865 >>>> .800, but don’t be shocked to see a high number.

ed27
1 year 7 months ago

I agree–his home OPS against RHP will definitely be higher than his road OPS. That is why he has to be used as a utility infielder to give Roberts breaks at 2B (if he even holds up enough to be a starter) or the eventual starter at 3B. If he has to play 125 games or more as a regular it won’t be a pretty sight.

Timothy Rissland
1 year 7 months ago

Have you seen Nunez play defense? The guy is a total dud at any position, let alone one he has minimal experience at. How many games did he play there at the end of the year like 3? I personally only can recall 1. Not to mention dont forget how terrible his offense was last year which is supposedly his “strength.” So were basically talking about a no field, light hitting infielder who still doesnt know how to run the bases. No Thanks.

ed27
1 year 7 months ago

I have watched him at third. That is why I was a bit surprised at his improved defense in September. He played 14 games there (120 innings) and had only 2 errors. Admittedly, it’s a small sample but he was much improved over playing at short where so many of his errors were on throws. He also hit .260 in 2013 and is still learning how to handle big league pitching. He has an upside. If he learns to be more patient at the plate he might be able to fill the role at third. Let’s face it–who else is there right now who can be considered a good option?

alphabet_soup5
1 year 7 months ago

A-Rod hit roughly the same as Alex Gordon and Yoenis Cespedes from 2012-2013. He definitely isn’t what he used to be, but if he comes back healthy he’ll be able to hit.

pastlives
1 year 7 months ago

Is this true, how does this make sense? Isn’t the cap based on AAV, wouldn’t A-Rod getting suspended for the full year lower his AAV and thus the teams luxury tax number by far less than 30M or whatever he’s making?

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

If A-Rod is suspended for the full year, his money is not counted towards the payroll at all. It’s basically pro-rated. Say he gets banned for 81 games (half the season), then it’s about $13.5 million towards the payroll

Shorter suspension hurts their salary cap numbers, longer suspension the more it helps.

pastlives
1 year 7 months ago

he’d be making 13.5M, but that wouldn’t be the number going against the cap would it? I thought the number going against the cap was always the AAV of the contract. For example, if a player signed a 2/20 contract, it would be 10M against the cap even if he was making 1M in year 1 and 19M in year 2. Does that change in regards to A-Rod? If not, the amount saved by the team against the cap is much lower than the amount he loses from being suspended..

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

“he’d be making 13.5M, but that wouldn’t be the number going against the cap would it?”

Yes it would, I’m pretty sure of that.

pastlives
1 year 7 months ago

Ya that’s everything I’ve heard too, I just haven’t heard any kind of explanation as to why suddenly the rules change in this case.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Perhaps they changed in the past CBA? Or maybe this was always the case? I think it’s heavily talked about now more so in the past because the game’s highest paid player will likely be suspended, along with the larger luxury tax hit.

East Coast Bias
1 year 7 months ago

It isn’t a rule “change.” It’s a different part of the same rule.

Usually, yes it is the AAV that is counted towards the lux tax. In suspensions, however, the money gained from suspended player affects the tax directly for that year only.

There are also other situations where AAV is not used, like Vernon Wells coming to NYY from LAA. Yankees paid their end of the remaining contract in two installments, one in 2013, one if 2014. Those numbers affected the lux tax directly for respective year, and not as the average.

pastlives
1 year 7 months ago

Thanks, good to know! I remember being confused about the Wells thing so thanks for clearing that up too.

Christopher J. Mills
1 year 7 months ago

Baseball doesn’t have a salary cap. They may end up still having to pay luxury tax if his contract puts them over $189, but they will not have to pay him the money. And as far as I know, if they don’t have to pay him, it won’t count against their luxury tax number.

MB923
1 year 7 months ago

Only way he gets no $ would be if he is suspended for the year.

PosadaBlackLabel
1 year 7 months ago

I don’t know that when it’s all said and done they’ll be under 189 anyway, but a suspension of 100-120 games would probably help the team most overall. They’d save a ton of money and get their 3B back for the stretch run and I’m going to assume they’ll be in the playoff hunt. That’s what I’m rooting for at least as a fan.

dmm1047
1 year 7 months ago

It’s been nearly 4 months and still no word from the arbitrator. Is the guy a bit “slow” or what?

rdillon99
1 year 7 months ago

The arbitration concluded in late-November, which is only about 7 weeks ago (not 4 months)… and the implications for this decision are huge to the parties involved (it is worth ~$25M to Arod), so the arbitrator should take some time to adequately consider all of the evidence instead of hastily slapping together his reasons for decision.

LazerTown
1 year 7 months ago

This is also most likely not the only case that he has currently. He doesn’t just sit around, he has other work to do, just handles mlb cases when they come.

Wek
1 year 7 months ago

He needs to watch out for his own job as well *cough*Shyam Das*cough*

1 year 7 months ago

The roster crunch could mean it’s the end of Wells’ time with the Yankees. Unless they’ve got a Suzuki or Gardner trade in the works.

$3513744
1 year 7 months ago

i can’t believe it needs to take this to end his time with the yankees.

jjs91
1 year 7 months ago

Well if they trade gardner it will probably be for a guy on the 40 man roster. If i had to guess they’ve been trying to trade one of their catchers, ichiro or warren for the past couple of weeks.

Erik Trenouth
1 year 7 months ago

Stroman would have to absolutely blow everyone away in the spring to make the rotation. There are too many things that are keeping him out. There are about 9 guys currently ahead of him on the depth chart; he isn’t on the 40 man roster yet, so they would have to add him, which means DFAing someone; the Jays may be better served delaying the start of his service time clock; a little more seasoning in the minors would in no way be a bad thing, as he hasn’t even reached AAA yet.

pastlives
1 year 7 months ago

9 is a bit of a stretch, I’d say Dickey/Buehrle/Morrow and then if we’re going on pure talent I would probably pick Stroman. I agree I don’t see him making the team out of spring training, but if they don’t add any starters via trade/free agency then I could definitely see it happening.

Erik Trenouth
1 year 7 months ago

I didn’t say that there are 9 guys better than him. I would put him 4th right now in that category. But there are about 9 guys ahead of him on the depth chart due to options remaining, their place on the 40 man roster, and their contracts.

Tekoa Hook
1 year 7 months ago

I know it’s not necessarily what’s best for him or the organisation but as I fan I wouldn’t mind seeing him make the rotation just to change things up and have something to be excited about, maybe the hype would give the team a boost who knows. If he competes great and if he gets lit up it’s not the worst thing that could happen, sure it’s not ideal but it’s worth a shot.

TO647
1 year 7 months ago

Let’s see if AA signs Jimenez/Santana/Garza first, before giving Stroman a shot as a starter. Remember, Happ is ahead of him on the depth chart, even though Stroman has better stuff. The only way Stroman is breaking camp with the team is: 1) An injury to a starter in spring, or 2) If AA doesn’t sign a starter. Expect him to start the year in Triple A.

Blake
1 year 7 months ago

arod must go

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 7 months ago

but he wont.

Blake
1 year 7 months ago

He was bad news from the beginning

PosadaBlackLabel
1 year 7 months ago

That’s an extreme exaggeration… He has 2 MVPs, a World Series ring, and plenty of great years for the Yankees. Only the past couple of years have been a headache

Guest
1 year 7 months ago

It seems like the clubhouse would be a MUCH better place without all the drama he brings with him.

1 year 7 months ago

If Chen is going to take more time to come back, they need to make an acquisition along the lines of Arroyo. The rotation is weak enough without Chen being slow to heal.