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  • Tim Kabel

About the Off-Season: Meanderings of My Mind

About the Off-Season: Meanderings of My Mind

By Tim Kabel

January 13, 2024

***

We are almost at the midpoint of January already and more and more moves are being made each day in Major League Baseball. The 2024 Yankees' roster is really beginning to take shape. I will now wander from topic to topic like a depression-era vagabond stealing pies off windowsills. 


  • The Yankees officially signed Marcus Stroman the other day. Let us hope that Stroman does not become a straw man. 

 

  •   My friend Brian and I were discussing the off-season mentality of baseball players, agents, and executives today as compared to 20 or 30 years ago. Back then, teams usually had their rosters set before New Year's Day. It was rare to see free agents sign deep into January or beyond. That is something that older fans have to get used to now. There will be some players who will not sign until after Spring Training begins. Brian and I agree that this shift has occurred due in large part to agents such as Scott Boras, who hold out for as long as possible to get the best contracts they can for their clients. 

 

  • Many experts are saying that since the Yankees signed Stroman, they will not sign Blake Snell or acquire any of the other big ticket starting pitchers. I don't believe that to be the case. Even if the Yankees had signed Yoshinobu Yamamoto, they made it clear that they would also pursue depth in the starting rotation and were considering bringing back Frankie Montas. Montas signed with the Cincinnati Reds for 16 million dollars a year. The Yankees signed Stroman for 37 million dollars over 2 years. Consider Stroman an upgrade over Montas. I would not be surprised to see the Yankees continue their pursuit of Snell. Alternatively, they could make a trade, but their cupboards have been emptied somewhat. 

 

  • There have been articles over the past couple of days stating that Austin Wells wants to be the starting catcher and win a World Series with the Yankees. I think that's great. It's not as if Jose Trevino is Johnny Bench or Thurman Munson. He was a backup before he came to the Yankees and edged Kyle Higashioka out of the starting job. I think Wells is perfectly capable of taking the bulk of the catching time in the 2024 season. In fact, if Wells doesn't develop to that level, it could be a problem for the Yankees. 

 

  • I slipped up. I did something I swore I would never do again. I watched a Nicholas Cage movie the other night. I figured that eventually, one of his movies had to be good. After all, the National Treasure movies were very entertaining. Then, I watched The Old Way. It turned out to be the same way that all of his other movies are-horrible. I only shelled out $4 to rent the movie but still, I should have known better. It's an hour and a half of my life I can't get back. 

 

  • The one good thing about watching The Old Way was it made me realize that Aaron Boone is the baseball equivalent of Nicholas Cage. No movie starring Nicolas Cage will ever be good. No team managed by Aaron Boone will ever win the World Series. In the movie, Nicholas Cage spent most of the time brooding and staring off into space. All he needed was some bubble gum and a pinstripe jersey and they could have been twins 

  • I expect the Yankees to make more moves. I think they will acquire another starting pitcher, possibly some arms for the bullpen, and someone to play centerfield full-time until Jasson Dominguez returns. Cody Bellinger is still unsigned. 

 

  •  I also anticipate the Yankees will make a move in the infield. I suspect Gleyber Torres might be traded and if so, Oswald Peraza will be given the chance to play second base. The Yankees place a premium on defense and Peraza is a stellar defender. 

 

  • If the Yankees make more significant moves to improve the roster, it will definitely fall under the category of Boone-proofing. I know I annoy some people when I criticize Boone as a manager. There are those who believe that no matter who the manager was, it would ultimately be Brian Cashman calling all the shots. I don't believe that to be the case. I also do not believe that Boone has proven himself to be a very good manager. If the Yankees acquired so much talent that it would be difficult for them not to make the playoffs and potentially the World Series, that would be the ultimate in Boone-proofing. It would be as if they were saying "even Aaron Boone can't mess this up." It's a good theory but, I think that would be selling Boone short. He could still come up with a way to end the season in a better way. 

 

  • How and why did Jonathan Papelbon become a presence on the baseball landscape as a commentator. I don't recall hearing from him in years, and I rather enjoyed that. Now, he is spouting off on Alex Verdugo and Giancarlo Stanton, and who knows who else. Enough is enough. He should go back to whence he came. 

 

  • I predict Austin Wells will have an excellent rookie season and will win the Rookie of the Year award. 

 

  • I believe that both Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes will have very big seasons for the Yankees this year. 

 

  • Imagine a starting rotation for the Yankees in 2024 of Gerrit Cole, Blake Snell, Carlos Rodon, Marcus Stroman, and Nestor Cortes. Clarke Schmidt would be the long man out of the bullpen and the sixth starter. That would be an impressive group if they all stayed healthy. 

 

  • I believe that if Aaron Judge is healthy all season, he will put up another MVP-caliber season. 

 

  • Giancarlo Stanton will not be a member of the Yankees by the All-Star break. 

 

  • If the Yankees invest in all this onfield talent and struggle at the beginning of the year, I could see Boone being replaced by Brad Ausmus. I do not think Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner will let it go too far this year. 

 

  • I suspect that Aaron Boone will be ejected from games much less frequently this season because he will be mindful of not putting Brad Ausmus in a leadership role. The comparison may not work in Boone's favor. 

  • The signing of Marcus Stroman was a solid move in and of itself. If it is part of another addition to the starting rotation it is even better than that. 

 

  • Overshadowed by the Stroman acquisition, the signing of Luke Weaver is still not a big deal. I had forgotten he was even on the team last year. When I heard the news, my first thought was to wonder if he was related to Earl Weaver. 

 

  • One month from tomorrow, pitchers and catchers will report to spring training. I think there will be at least one more pitcher added to the team before then. Regardless, we are close to the beginning of the season.  

62 comments

62 Comments


Alan B.
Alan B.
Jan 14

Cage, because of his choices and not wanting to go to jail, has not exactly been the least bit picky of the roles he has taken way too often.


If Rondon & Cortes can combine for 57 or more GS, Yankees will be infinitely better this year, The combined for 26 last year.


I expect Austin Wells to have the most GP and most ABs by a Yankees rookie this year, Does he get even a sniff of ROY? No way, the voters just don't vote for Yankees for awards unless they really have no choice.


To me, both Stanton & Vedugo have until about the ASB to show they belong on this team. Potentially shorter if Pereira is rakin…


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Jonathan Silverberg
Jonathan Silverberg
Jan 13

Nicholas Cage is far from my favorite actor...quite far, and most of the movies of his I've sat through I regret, but Raising Arizona is terrific, and The Family Man is very good.

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Jonathan Silverberg
Jonathan Silverberg
Jan 14
Replying to

I agree it's high quality work...would never want to see it again.

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Melfman1
Melfman1
Jan 13

I don’t think the Yanks really need to add another pitcher at this point. Aside from the Blue Jays (who clearly gave the best 1-4 in the division), I think their current rotation matches up really well against everyone else in the AL East. I’d rather see them save some money to make a move to fill a hole at the trade deadline, if needed.

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jjw49
Jan 13

Wells will be starting catcher no later than May..... and if the Yankees can move Stanton what a wonderful world in Yankee Land!

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Len
Len
Jan 13

Disagree on Nick Cage. A very fine actor. THe more of him I see, the more I like him. Yes, he has made a bunch of bad films.

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Brian Mosher
Brian Mosher
Jan 13
Replying to

For a long while, he took every acting job he could get because he was in serious trouble with the IRS, millions and millions of back taxes because instead of paying them he was buying insane stuff like Tyrannosaurus skulls. That means bad directors, bad scripts, bad supporting casts, etc.


He was a quality actor, he's had 115 different awards niminations in his career, and that talent didn't just evaporate. Raising Arizona, Leaving Las Vegas, Wicker Man, National Treasure, etc., were all very impressive, but unless he wanted to end up in prison, he had to take whatever money he could get, as fast as he could get it.


I'm assuming he's either done with his repayment, or the payments…

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