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About the Off-Season: Meanderings Of My Mind

About the Off-Season: Meanderings Of My Mind

By Tim Kabel

December 16, 2023


I am back to my normal Saturday version of this article. I will be bouncing from topic to topic like the ornaments from my tree when the cats knock them down. 


  • The Yankees traded Billy McKinney to the Pirates about a week after signing him to a minor league contract. That is a good move because they picked up international signing bonus money for a player who was not in their long-term plans. 


  • I would imagine that after trading for and then extending the contract of Tyler Glasnow, the Dodgers are less likely to sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto. That is, unless the Dodgers sign Glasnow to a contract like the one they gave to Shohei Ohtani, where they pay him $15 now and the other 700 million in the future. 


  • I am becoming more confident that the Yankees will sign Yamamoto. The Dodgers seem to have fallen back to Glasow and most of the pundits had them and the Yankees as the co-favorites to sign Yamamoto.  


  • If the Yankees do sign Yamamoto, I imagine they would then begin working on filling out the roster. I suspect they will make a strong move for Cody Bellinger. 


  • Many readers have disagreed with my suggestion that the Yankees trade Giancarlo Stanton because they feel such a trade would be impossible. Let me clarify my position. The Yankee should make every effort to trade Stanton but if they cannot and he continues to deteriorate, they should embrace the concept of addition by subtraction, and simply release him. 


  • I was hoping to receive a Jasson Dominguez jersey or at least a shirt, for Christmas from my wife. However, she read Dr Semendinger's comment that she should hold off on getting one because Dominguez might have been traded in the Juan Soto deal. Thanks, Boss. I will now have to content myself with an Oscar Gonzalez Jersey. 

  • I would not be surprised if the Yankees start working Clayton Beeter into the bullpen in spring training. He could potentially fill the role that Michael King occupied before going into the starting rotation. 


  • A lot of people are saying that Hal Steinbrenner will be reluctant to spend more money. Well, last season he did spend quite a bit to retain Aaron Judge and to bring in Carlos Rodon. It seems that Hal and Bran Cashman thought that was enough. They were confident that last year's team would be competitive. It was not. In fact, it had one of the worst showings for the franchise in over three decades. They may now be willing to bring in much more talent and expensive contracts than they have in the past. 


  • For a long time, the Yankees had dominant relief pitching. Think back to Sparky Lyle, Rich Gossage, Dave Righetti, Mariano Rivera, and Aroldis Chapman.The longer Josh Hader remains on the market, the greater the chance the Yankees could snatch him up. 


  • It seems like the Yankees are no longer going to settle for moves that are good enough. Instead, they are making moves that are the best of all the available options. If they manage to acquire both Juan Soto and Yoshinobu Yamamoto,there is reason to be optimistic they will continue to make moves by going after Cody Bellinger and others to make this the best team they possibly can. 


  • I asked my wife to get me the new cookbook by Erin French from the Lost Kitchen for Christmas. Hopefully, Dr Semendinger didn't talk her out of that as well 


  • If the Yankees do sign Yamamoto and Bellinger, one of the best parts about it is that they are both under the age of thirty. Yamamoto, like Soto, is only twenty-five.The Yankees are finally getting younger. If Peraza is able to secure a starting position, preferably at third base, and they are able to get rid of Giancarlo Stanton and possibly DJ LeMahieu, the starting lineup will be relatively young overall, with only Judge and Rizzo being over thirty.They will be even younger as a team when Jasson Dominguez returns. That is important because the Yankees and their fans want the team to be competitive not just now, but in the future as well 


  • I realize there are many fans who don't want to see Oswald Peraza as the starting third baseman. However, DJ LeMahieu is declining and is probably best suited to a utility role.There really are not a lot of great third base options out there. Matt Chapman is not spectacular offensively and would be very expensive. I don't think he's worth the cost. As I noted the other day, they could always bring in Justin Turner on a one-year contract as insurance for Peraza. But,If they did that, John Sterling would enter the witness protection program so Turner wouldn't hit him with any more foul balls. 


  • I told my wife that I would like a Juan Soto jersey or t-shirt. She said that due to the fact he's only here on a one-year contract, she needs to run it by Dr Semendinger before she buys such an item. 


  • if the Yankees do sign Yamamoto, they could bring in Frankie Montas on a one or two year deal at a lower cost to provide rotation depth and to possibly allow Clarke Schmidt to work out of the bullpen. Since the Yankees included Michael King, Jhony Brito, and Randy Vasquez in the trade for Soto, they need to add depth to the starting rotation.  


  • As an example of the philosophies that it's never too late to try new things and that you shouldn't give up on your dreams, my novel, A Resurrection in Bonners Ferry was featured in a segment on Amazon Live the other day as one of the top 20 books of the year, as selected by a host of several reading podcasts. It was very humbling and flattering. 


  • We are down to 9 days until Christmas. Once you get into the single digits, things really start to move quickly. It would be wonderful if the Yankees signed Yamamoto and then Bellinger before Christmas. 


  • For all the grief which I correctly gave Brian Cashman, so far I have to give him a lot of credit for the movies he has made this off-season. Bringing in Soto and Verdugo improved the team. Even the move to sign Billy McKinney to a minor league contract and then trade him for international signing bonus money was very sharp. Let's hope he keeps up the good work. 


  • If the Yankees continue to acquire more talent and improve the team, it will be incumbent upon Aaron Boone to get off to a fast start. If the team does not, and once again hovers around the .500 mark, Brad Ausmus will be sitting right there, ready to take over. 


  •  The Yankees have started making major additions to this team and appear committed to continuing that process. Therefore, I don't think they will sacrifice another year to Boone's poor managerial decisions.The hiring of Brad Ausmus was the ultimate step in Boone-proofing. I imagine Boone will have a very short leash this season. 


  • As we round the corner and head toward Christmas and the end of the year, I am increasingly optimistic about the changes the Yankees have made to the team. The combination of the acquisitions they made as well as the influx of their own young talent makes me feel that this could be a very solid team in 2024 and beyond. 


  • I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to wish my beautiful, kind, thoughtful, generous, and wonderful wife, Stacey, a happy birthday. I truly won the lottery when she came in to my life. She may get gifts today for her birthday but, having her as my wife is a gift every day.  


Mike Whiteman
Dec 16, 2023

I've often thought that while Clay Holmes is a nice reliever, I'm not sure he's a true lockdown closer. Relievers are really poor risks on long term deals, but I'd love to see the Yanks get Hader on a high salary, low duration deal.

Mike Whiteman
Dec 16, 2023
Replying to

Maybe three years, $90M? Wow, that would be a lot of $$$$ for a 60 inning pitcher!


Dec 16, 2023

after signing Yamamoto, going after Bellinger is NOT the next step

next, is accepting the Marlins' offer for re-acquiring Stanton by sending Luzardo and Puk to the Bronx.

Lizard King jerseys for all!


Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Dec 16, 2023

Great job Tim!

I was going to add some "editor's comments" into the piece, but changed my mind. I didn't want to take away from your commentary.

A few quick points:

1> There is still time to get the Dominguez jersey!

2> Get a Julia Child cookbook instead

3> Get a Juan Soto jersey and buy me one too. :)

Most important - Happy Birthday to your wife!


Gomer Pyle
Gomer Pyle
Dec 16, 2023

Congratulations on the success of your novel. I read the blurb on the book, and although I do not dabble much in fiction, I may need to make an exception here.


Dec 16, 2023

Josh Hader is needed.

dr sem.png

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