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About the Off-Season: Meanderings of My Mind

About the Off-Season: Meanderings of My Mind

By Tim Kabel

November 18, 2023


It's a Saturday during the off-season, so it's time for me to wander from topic to topic, like the fishmongers of yore going through the various neighborhoods of the city. and offer my observations.

* Yesterday, the Yankees traded Jake Bauers to the Brewers for two minor league outfielders, who are years away from the Major Leagues. I did not think Bauers had a place on this team and frankly, anything they received for him is gravy, as they say. That leads me to a question: what would be the vegan equivalent to saying something is gravy?

* It seems that Brian Cashman had a discussion with Giancarlo Stanton and his agent Joel Wolfe to address Cashman's remarks last week. Cashman stated that Stanton is injury prone and his frequent trips to the IL are part of the reality of having him on the team. Cashman reports that everything is now fine between him, Stanton and the agent. Just to be clear, i don't have any problem with what Cashman said factually. He was 100% accurate. However, there are just certain things that shouldn't be said in public. It's like the old expression, "don't air our dirty laundry."

* If they made a movie about the way Brian Cashman has handled his job over the last few years, it would not be called Brian's Song. It would be called Brian's Wrong.

* When I wrote the other day that the Yankees needed to make a big move soon, I was not referencing a trade of Jake Bauers. Well, it's a start.

* The Yankees have been recently linked to Manuel Margot. He is not the big-ticket item that many Yankee fans want the team to acquire. He is adequate at best. The team has enough adequate on the shelves already. They don't need him.

* Speaking of players whom the Yankees don't need, Trevor Bauer wants to return to the Major Leagues and indicated a desire to play for the Yankees. If the Yankees did sign him, i would have to consider rooting for another team. At the very least, I would never watch any of the games he pitched.

* Brian Cashman's behavior lately reminds me of a rebellious teenager. Hal Steinbrenner acts like a befuddled and frustrated straightlaced parent at his wits' end. It sounds like the makings of a bad sitcom. They could call it The Hal With it, or Life with Brian or even I Need Some Cash, Man.

* This weekend would be a good time for the Yankees to make a substantial move. That way, their fans and the rest of the MLB could think about it over the Thanksgiving holiday. It would be a good way of starting the off-season.

* The Yankees currently have six catchers on the 40-man roster. They have five infielders and five outfielders. According to my calculations, that's too many catchers. Something has to give. As Dolly Parton once famously said, "you can't put 50 pounds of mud in a 5-pound sack."

* I would imagine the Yankees will trade or somehow release at least one of their catchers fairly soon.

* My candidates for the most likely players on the Yankees 40-man roster to be traded are, in no particular order, Everson Pereira, Gleyber Torres, Ben Rortvedt, Kyle Higashioka, Clarke Schmidt, and/or Michael King. I would like to add Giancarlo Stanton and, DJ LeMahieu but, it might be more difficult to find a trade partner for those two. To be clear, I am not advocating trading King, Schmidt, or Torres. I just believe it might happen.

* If the Yankees do acquire quality outfielders and strengthen the starting rotation, they will also need to augment the relief corps. If they desire to be more competitive, especially in close games, they will need to bolster the bullpen. Conceivably, that could be done by adding a major starting pitcher and then shifting either Schmidt or King back to the bullpen, if they are still on the team.

* It was nice to see Gerrit Cole win the Cy Young Award and also to find out that Ron Guidry was mentoring him on some level. It's certainly not a surprise. When you think about it, Ron Guidry is probably the greatest living Yankees starting pitcher.

* When I think about the greatest single-season performance by a Yankees' player that I have ever seen, I come down to three choices: Ron Guidry in 1978, Don Mattingly in 1985 (although 1986 wasn't bad either), or Aaron Judge in 2022. You can keep any of Alex Rodriguez's seasons.

* If the Yankees are going to be successful next season, they will have to blend veterans, youngsters, homegrown talent, and acquisitions from trades and free agency. The influx of youth last season was a good sign. They need to add to that by acquiring players from other organizations who are young, athletic, and fit the needs of the team.

* Whenever possible, the Yankees need to acquire solid left-handed hitting moving forward. That has always been a key to the Yankees success, no matter what the analytics people say. If it's a left-handed power hitter, that's even better.

* One thing that frustrates me about many Yankees' fans is when they say the team needs to acquire someone who is a star. When the team does that, many of those same fans will say well, he was too expensive or they shouldn't have acquired him, they should have acquired someone else. For example, if you want a left-handed outfielder who is athletic and hits for power, don't complain when the team signs Cody Bellinger.

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