New York Yankees – MLB Trade Rumors 2020-09-20T14:20:59Z WordPress Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Brett Gardner Hopes To Play In 2021]]> 2020-09-19T00:03:35Z 2020-09-18T23:44:32Z Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner debuted in the majors in 2008, but it’s possible this will be the 37-year-old’s final season in the bigs. If it’s up to Gardner, though, that won’t be the case. He said Friday (via Bryan Hoch of that he would “love to” play in 2021.

The Yankees, with whom Gardner has spent his entire career and racked up 37.3 fWAR, have a $10MM option over him for 2021, but it’s quite possible they’ll decline it in favor of a $2.5MM buyout. The club re-signed Gardner for a guaranteed $12.5MM after last season, in which he slashed .251/.325/.503 with a career-high 28 home runs and 10 stolen bases across 550 plate appearances, but he has since posted a .198/.333/.387 line with five homers and three steals over 135 PA.

While Gardner has started more games in left than any other Yankee this year, they’ll continue to have Mike Tauchman and Clint Frazier in the fold as corner choices in a year. Either of those two or Giancarlo Stanton could be their No. 1 option at the position next season if Aaron Judge is able to man right on a regular basis. So, although he’s the longest-tenured Yankee, one of their heart-and-soul players and someone who has been rather productive throughout his career, Gardner could end up on the outs in the wake of a down season. However, even if the Yankees decline Gardner’s option, they could choose to bring him back on a more team-friendly deal.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Yankees Transfer James Paxton To 45-Day IL, Select Wynston Sawyer]]> 2020-09-16T22:44:16Z 2020-09-16T22:44:16Z The Yankees have moved left-hander James Paxton to the 45-day injured list and selected catcher Wynston Sawyer, per a team announcement. Sawyer will join the Yankees’ alternate site.

This ends the regular season for Paxton, who has been on the 10-day injured list with a flexor strain since Aug. 20. While the Yankees appear likely to make the playoffs, Paxton won’t be available then from the outset.

Paxton turned in another effective (albeit injury-shortened) campaign in 2019, the former Mariner’s first in New York, and the Yankees were counting on more solid production from him this season. Instead, the 31-year-old totaled 20 1/3 innings of 6.64 ERA ball and saw his average fastball velocity drop from around 95 mph to 92.1. Even if the 31-year-old Paxton pitches again during the fall, he figures to head into free agency in an unfavorable position in a couple months.

Sawyer, previously with the Orioles, Dodgers and Twins organizations, signed a minor league contract with the Yankees in February. He topped out in Triple-A ball from 2018-19, during which he amassed 254 plate appearances and batted .277/.370/.405.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees Activate Aaron Judge]]> 2020-09-16T19:17:07Z 2020-09-16T19:17:07Z The Yankees announced Wednesday that right fielder Aaron Judge has been reinstated from the 10-day injured list. His activation from the IL comes just one day after Giancarlo Stanton and Gio Urshela also returned from injury.

Calf injuries have limited the 28-year-old Judge to just 18 games in 2020, although he’s been as dangerous as ever when healthy enough to take the field. Through 71 plate appearances, the 2017 Rookie of the Year has slashed a Herculean .292/.343/.738 with nine homers and a pair of doubles. Unfortunately for Judge and for the Yankees, he’s now in his third straight season that has been considerably shortened by injuries. Judge went down with a calf injury in early August and returned about two weeks later. However, he aggravated that calf issue in his first game back and landed right back on the injured list.

Judge joins the Yankees amid a six-game winning streak that has all but eliminated any possibility of the team missing the playoffs. At 27-21, the Yankees are a virtual lock for a postseason berth — it’s now just a matter of which seed they’ll land in this year’s expanded format. They’re four games back from the Rays at the moment, which makes it unlikely that they’ll take the top seed in their division. But New York is also just a half game up over their current opponent, the Blue Jays. There are two remaining games in that series, which will prove pivotal as the two clubs jostle for the better postseason standing.

The Yankees will follow that series up with three games in Boston before traveling to Buffalo for four more games against the Blue Jays at their makeshift 2020 home site. They’ll close out the year hosting the Marlins for three games. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, play four against the Phillies this weekend, four against the Yankees next week and finish the season by hosting the Orioles for three.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Yankees Reinstate Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, Jonathan Loaisiga From Injured List]]> 2020-09-15T19:43:01Z 2020-09-15T19:16:15Z The Yankees announced that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, infielder Gio Urshela and right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga have all been reinstated from the 10-day injured list.  Miguel Andujar and Mike Ford were optioned to the alternate training site in corresponding moves, and the Yankees already had an open roster space since right-hander Clarke Schmidt was optioned after Sunday’s game.

Stanton hit the IL with a left hamstring strain back on August 9, and the Yankees and their fans are hoping that the slugger can finally enjoy a sustained run of healthy play after almost two full seasons of inactivity due to various leg injuries.  Stanton played in only 18 games in 2019 and appeared in 14 games this season before going on the injured list, with this year’s absence being particularly disappointing since Stanton was off to a huge start (hitting .293/.453/.585 with three homers in 54 PA).

However, Stanton’s return gives him time to get ramped up prior to the postseason, as the Yankees are starting to get healthy at perhaps just the right time.  Urshela will back to action after a minimal 10-day placement due to a bone spur in his right elbow, and the third baseman has followed up his breakout 2019 campaign with a strong .272/.358/.515 slash line and six homers in 120 PA this season.  Aaron Judge is also expected to soon return from a calf injury.

Loaisiga’s return is also welcome news for the Yankees, especially considering the rather unusual nature of his IL placement.  On September 4, the Yankees said Loaisiga was suffering from “a medical condition that prevents him from playing and necessitates placement on the injured list,” with manager Aaron Boone later specifying that the right-hander’s absence was not due to COVID-19.  Regardless, it is good to see Loaisiga back in relatively quick fashion.  The 25-year-old has a 3.18 ERA, 5.00 K/BB rate, and 10.6 K/9 over 17 innings this season.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton Likely To Return This Week]]> 2020-09-14T20:18:55Z 2020-09-14T20:18:55Z The Yankees seem set to get a pair of important reinforcements back, as manager Aaron Boone told Jon Morosi of MLB Network Radio on Monday that sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are likely to return from the injured list this week. Judge resumed swinging Monday, while Stanton did so on Sunday.

The Yankees have gone almost the entire past month-plus without Judge, who has been on the IL twice since Aug. 11 because of calf issues. He returned from his first stint Aug. 26, but Judge didn’t last the full game and went back on the IL after that. The injury problems cut off what was an excellent opening to 2020 for Judge, who has slashed an elite-level .292/.343/.739 with nine home runs in 71 plate appearances. The Yankees have primarily turned right field over to Clint Frazier, who’s having a terrific year at the plate in his own right, in Judge’s absence.

Stanton, meanwhile, hasn’t played since Aug. 8 on account of a left hamstring strain. Like Judge, Stanton got off to a great start this year with a .293/.453/.585 mark and three home in 54 trips to the plate. A corner outfielder for most of his career, Stanton saw all of his action at designated hitter this year before winding up on the shelf. New York has used various players at DH as subs for Stanton.

In spite of prolonged absences for Judge and Stanton, the Yankees have put up above-average offensive numbers this year, as they rank ninth in wRC+ (107) and 12th in runs (223). They were supposed to boast a stacked offense, though, and the fact that they haven’t has led to a relatively disappointing 26-21 start and a four-game deficit in the American League East. But if Judge and Stanton are their usual selves when they return, they could help the Yankees lock down a playoff spot and perhaps make a serious World Series run in the postseason.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Boone Provides Updates On Judge, Stanton, Paxton]]> 2020-09-11T17:19:35Z 2020-09-11T17:19:35Z The Yankees’ season has again been punctuated by injuries for high-profile players, but manager Aaron Boone tells reporters that both Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton could get at-bats at the alternate training site this weekend and return “shortly after that” if all goes well (Twitter link, with video, via SNY). On a less-optimistic note,’s Bryan Hoch tweets that Boone also acknowledged it will be “challenging” for lefty James Paxton to return this season.

Judge missed nearly two weeks early last month due to a calf injury and returned for just one game before heading back to the IL with further troubles in that same calf. Stanton, meanwhile, has played only 14 games in 2020 due to a hamstring strain that has sidelined him for more than a month now.

It’s the second consecutive injury marred season for the pair of former 50-homer sluggers. Both have been excellent when on the field — Judge is hitting .292/.343/.738 and Stanton .293/.453/.585 — but they’ve combined for only 125 trips to the plate. The timing of their return next week is pivotal. The Yankees are set to host the Blue Jays for three games beginning Tuesday, and they’ll travel to face them in a four-game set the following week. The Jays recently leapfrogged the Yankees in the standings and now hold a two-game lead over Boone’s club, which is clinging to the No. 8 seed after dropping seven of its past ten contests.

The news on Paxton isn’t good but also isn’t unexpected after last night’s update that he’d be shut down from throwing for a few days following soreness in his most recent throwing session. Paxton, who also underwent back surgery in February, has been limited to five ineffective starts for the Yankees so far in 2020 and has been out since Aug. 21 due to a Grade 1 flexor strain.

Boone didn’t completely rule out a return in 2020, and a lengthy postseason run for the Yankees would obviously improve his odds of healing up enough to make it back to the mound. However, the uncertainty surrounding his return date also creates the possibility that Paxton, a free agent this winter, has thrown his final pitch for the Yankees.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On James Paxton]]> 2020-09-11T01:07:04Z 2020-09-11T01:07:04Z Yankees southpaw James Paxton will go the next couple days without throwing after feeling soreness following Wednesday’s session, manager Aaron Boone told WFAN (via Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News). It’s unclear how much longer Paxton will be sidelined from the flexor strain that sent him to the IL on Aug. 21, but as Ackert notes, time is running out for him to return – at least to the Yankees’ rotation – during the regular season. Paxton’s problems, both in terms of injury and performance, are among the reasons the Yankees’ starting staff has disappointed this year. Although the 31-year-old dealt with his share of injuries in prior seasons, he typically fared well when healthy. In 2020, though, Paxton has stumbled to a 6.64 ERA over five starts and 20 1/3 innings.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees Sign Ryan Buchter]]> 2020-09-10T18:52:34Z 2020-09-10T18:47:55Z The Yankees announced Thursday that they’ve signed left-handed reliever Ryan Buchter to a minor league contract and assigned him to their alternate training site. Buchter, who recently elected free agency over an outright assignment from the Angels, will join the Yankees’ 60-man player pool and immediately become a viable depth option.

Buchter, 33, pitched just six innings with the Halos before being designated for assignment. He surrendered three runs and just five hits in that time, but his six walks probably didn’t encourage the team’s decision-makers. That said, Buchter has a track record as a solid bullpen piece dating back to his 2016 debut campaign with the Padres. The southpaw posted a sub-3.00 ERA each season from ’16-’19, logging a combined 2.87 ERA and 4.01 FIP with 9.9 K/9, 4.0 BB/9, 1.1 HR/9 and a 26.5 percent grounder rate along the way.

Despite those strong numbers, Buchter was non-tendered by the Athletics over the winter and had to settle for a minor league pact with the Angels in free agency. Last year’s results might’ve been a bit more smoke-and-mirrors than seasons prior, as Buchter’s 4.6 BB/9 and 1.59 HR/9 marks were easily career-worsts. His 2.98 ERA looked to be largely a function of a 91.4 percent strand rate, with fielding-independent metrics like FIP (4.96) and xFIP (5.08) casting considerably more negative light on his work.

That said, his track record and ability to miss bats in bunches makes him a fine depth pickup. An extreme fly-ball pitcher like Buchter isn’t necessarily an ideal fit for Yankee Stadium and the AL East in general, but it’s worth pointing out that he generates harmless infield flies at a higher rate than most pitchers. From 2016-19, 16.4 percent of the fly-balls he allowed were characterized as infield flies — just shy of seven percent better than the league average in that span. He’s surely benefited from playing his home games at the pitcher-friendly parks in San Diego, Kansas City and Oakland for much of his career, but the extreme fly-ball tendencies may not be quite as concerning as one would initially expect.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Giancarlo Stanton]]> 2020-09-08T03:19:38Z 2020-09-08T03:02:08Z
  • Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton “ran bases, hit off a machine and threw today,” Bryan Hoch of tweets, but it remains unclear when or if he’ll return in 2020. Even if Stanton does play again this year, it will go in the books as the second straight injury-ruined season for the ex-NL MVP, as he missed almost all of 2019 with health issues and has been on the IL since Aug. 9 with a left hamstring strain. The Stanton-less Yankees have struggled over the past few weeks and are now fighting for their playoff lives.
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    George Miller <![CDATA[Yankees Re-Sign Luis Avilan To Minor League Deal]]> 2020-09-06T22:18:45Z 2020-09-06T22:18:45Z The Yankees have reached an agreement on a new minor-league contract with LHP Luis Avilan, according to Kristie Ackert of the NY Daily News.

    Avilan, who signed with New York on a minor-league deal last winter, was released from the Yankees organization in late August amidst a bit of a roster crunch due to the injury bug repeatedly striking in New York. At the time, though, it was expected that the Yankees would make an effort to bring Avilan back in some fashion.

    Prior to his release, Avilan hit the 10-day injured list due to inflammation in his left shoulder. Outside of a dud (two runs and three hits in just one-third of an inning) in his last appearance before going on the IL—which may be connected to his shoulder issue—Avilan has really been quite solid for the Yankees this year. All told, he has managed a 4.32 ERA in 8 1/3 innings in pinstripes, while striking out more than a batter per inning, on average.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Yankees Release Adonis Rosa]]> 2020-09-06T03:49:13Z 2020-09-06T03:49:13Z
  • The Yankees released righty Adonis Rosa, the team announced.  Rosa had been pitching at the Yankees’ alternate training site.  Signing with the Yankees as a 19-year-old in 2013, Rosa has a 3.35 ERA, 3.79 K/BB rate, and 7.8 K/9 over 515 1/3 career minor league innings, starting 74 of his 114 career games in New York’s farm system.  Rosa’s MLB resume consists of a single game, a two-inning appearance on August 13, 2019.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Latest On Stanton, Judge]]> 2020-09-06T03:20:35Z 2020-09-06T03:20:35Z
  • Yankees manager Aaron Boone provided reporters (including ESPN’s Marly Rivera) with updates on injured sluggers Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, saying that Judge will increase his baseball-activity work on Monday.  Stanton, who Boone feels is “a little ahead of Judge” in terms of readiness, has already been taking part in baseball activities and is now running at 80 percent as he continues his recovery from a hamstring strain.
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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Yankees Reinstate Gleyber Torres]]> 2020-09-05T17:15:24Z 2020-09-05T17:04:13Z The New York Yankees have reinstated star shortstop Gleyber Torres from the injured list, per a team release.

    Torres hit the injured list on August 24th with a left hamstring strain. The move was retroactive to August 21st. It had been a slow start on the year for Torres, who was hitting just .231/.341/.295 when he went on the injured list. The 23-year-old Torres was an All-Star his first two seasons in the league while posting a combined triple slash of .275/.338/.511 with 62 home runs in 267 games.

    Tyler Wade has stepped in at shortstop while Torres has been out. The 25-year-old hasn’t done much at the plate, slashing .170/.250/.264 across 60 plate appearances. Wade is a fine utility piece for New York, but he has nowhere near the upside of Torres, who will look to regain his power stroke upon returning to the field.

    In a corresponding roster move, right-hander Albert Abreu was optioned to the team’s alternate training site. The 24-year-old Abreu made two appearances, surrendering 3 earned runs across 1 1/3 innings. Abreu is the Yankees’ 13th-ranked prospect per Baseball America.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Yankees Promote Clarke Schmidt]]> 2020-09-05T01:19:17Z 2020-09-05T01:00:23Z The Yankees have selected right-hander Clarke Schmidt’s contract, Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News was among those to report. They optioned righty Ben Heller in a corresponding move.

    The 24-year-old Schmidt, whom the Yankees chose 16th overall in the 2017 draft, has become one of their highest-regarded prospects, owing in part to impressive minor league production. He divided last season between High-A and Double-A, combining for a 3.47 ERA with 10.1 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 90 2/3 innings.

    In the wake of his 2019 performance, Schmidt earned top 100 prospect rankings at The Athletic (No. 51), Baseball America (No. 64), (82), and (94). Keith Law of The Athletic wrote that the former Tommy John patient has a chance to turn into a No. 3-4 starter in the majors.

    If Schmidt’s able to provide mid-rotation type of production immediately, it would be a boost to the playoff-contending Yankees, whose starting staff hasn’t lived up to expectations in 2020. Gerrit Cole hasn’t given the club the elite production it anticipated when it signed him to a nine-year, $324MM contract last winter; James Paxton has dealt with injuries and struggled when healthy; and J.A. Happ and Jordan Montgomery have fallen flat. The Yankees’ best starter has been Masahiro Tanaka, who has logged a 3.38 ERA/3.85 FIP over 26 2/3 innings.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yankees Place Gio Urshela, Jonathan Loaisiga On Injured List]]> 2020-09-04T19:24:01Z 2020-09-04T19:24:01Z The Yankees announced Friday that third baseman Gio Urshela and right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga have been placed on the 10-day injured list. Urshela is dealing with a bone spur in his right elbow, while Loasigia has “a medical condition that prevents him from playing and necessitates placement on the injured list,” per the team’s release. Manager Aaron Boone tells reporters (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler) that Loaisiga’s condition is not Covid-19 related. Infielder/outfielder Miguel Andujar and righty Miguel Yajure are up from the team’s alternate site.

    Urshela, 28, has continued last year’s breakout showing in 2020, getting out to a very strong .272/.358/.515 start at the plate and swatting six homers in his first 120 plate appearances. He heads to the injured list, alongside shortstop Gleyber Torres, less than a week after DJ LeMahieu returned from the injured list. The Yankees are also without key sluggers Aaron Judge (strained calf) and Giancarlo Stanton (strained hamstring).

    There’s no further information on Loaisiga at this point. It’s a rather ominous update on the 25-year-old righty, who has pitched quite well in 17 frames with the Yankees in 2020. Loaisiga has a 20-to-4 K/BB ratio and a 3.18 ERA in that short time, and he’s also induced grounders at a solid 48.8 percent clip. His absence will be felt by the Yankee pitching staff, but the greater concern is his overall well-being. Best wishes to the young right-hander on a full recovery.