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Eight Days a Week

Ed Botti

We just went through an awfully busy week (or so) in the sports world.

All of the Yankee transactions that were consummated have been covered perfectly by my colleagues here at Start Spreading the News.

If you haven’t had a chance to read our coverage of these transactions, I highly recommend doing so.

So, instead of re-covering and giving my take on the transactions, and most likely providing repetitive content, I thought I would just give us a review of this busy week, and throw in a few comments and observations.

So let’s start at the center of the sports universe, the New York Yankees. This week we said hello and goodbye to some interesting and productive players, they made a rare trade with their ancient rivals to the north, and welcomed back a stalwart player that many of us were worried might leave.

Photo by Ron Sachs/CNP

Photo by Ron Sachs/CNP

In short, this past week we watched as the Yankees acquired Jameson Taillon from the Pirates for 4 prospects. They also traded Adam Ottavino to the Red Sox for who knows what, money or a player to be named later?

It’s not clear, but they needed roster flexibility and payroll relief. So the deal was done. Ottavino did a great job in 2019 pitching to a 1.90 ERA over 66.1 innings, his first year in pinstripes, and then had a less then steller 2020.

2020 was year that I believe cannot be used as a measuring stick for any player, so I was looking forward to seeing him rebound in 2021. His post season numbers were less then what we expected, and at 35 years old, the Yankees felt his best was behind him, and cut bait.

It’s hard to criticize the move. It leaves them with payroll flexibility that they can use either later this off season, or most likely at the July 31 trade deadline.

This trade marked the first trade between these two rivals since the infamous Kelly Johnson for Stephen Drew trade in 2014.

The physical examinations were completed and the ink dried on the contracts of DJ LeMahieu and Corey Kluber. The Yankees then came to terms with reliever Darren O’Day as a replacement for the void left in the bullpen when Ottavino was traded.

And finally, we said goodbye to starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who after not getting an offer to return to the Yankees, decided he’d rather go home to Japan and play, then play for any other team in MLB.

As far as I am concerned, Masahiro did his job for 7 seasons and was a great Yankee. His post season performances over the years were classic. Game 3 of the 2017 ALDS will forever be his greatest moment as a Yankee.

I will be rooting for him and the Rakuten Golden Eagles in 2021.

The Rotation as currently constructed looks to be Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon, Jordan Montgomery, and Deivi Garcia with Luis Severino looming sometime later this summer.

My dark horse in all of this is Michael King.

There is no doubt that all of them have high upsides. Is it out of the realm of possibility that they stay healthy?


“Roll the dice” as they say.

I am not going to re-hash all of those question marks and concerns, they have been well covered here at SSTN.

However, I did read something interesting this past week. Something that really shocked me. Let me start by prefacing that I am not a huge fan of some of these new statistics, such as WAR. However I know they are used by many, and do have value. I just stick with the basics.

What I learned is that if we exclude Gerrit Cole and his 5.6 WAR, the remainder of the projected starters according to FanGraphs’ Depth Chart projections have the following projected WAR.

Corey Kluber (2.9), Luis Severino (2.3), Jordan Montgomery (2.2), Jameson Taillon (2.1) and Deivi García (1.4).

OK, interesting enough, so how does that rank when compared to other rotations in Baseball?

Well here you go.

1) Yankees — 18.3 WAR 2) Mets — 16.7 WAR 3) Padres — 16.6 WAR 4) Dodgers — 14.5 WAR 5) White Sox — 13.4 WAR 6) Nationals — 13.3 WAR

Top of the list. Very interesting. The definition of high risk, high reward!

Time will tell, but Cashman has definitely seen a few of the Betfair Casino commercials!

Outside of the Yankees, this past week was also a busy week in other sports as well.

We saw that Tom Brady is still a force to be reckoned with, and that Patrick Mahomes is the best in the league.

Next week’s Super Bowl should be a good one.

One of the better quarterbacks in the league, Deshaun Watson, just five short months after signing a four-year, $156 million extension, has demanded a trade, and the Jets just may be his landing spot.

I have to imagine that the wheels are turning in Florham Park to make this happen. As a Giant fan, I really could not care less, but to all of my frustrated and long suffering Jet fan friends and relatives, I hope they make it happen, He is very good!

The blockbuster trade pulled off by the Brooklyn Nets (my favorite team) that established their “big three” of James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant, may just be establishing them as the team to beat out of the Eastern Conference.

The bad part is, I miss my Saturday/Sunday games at the Barclay center. I would have loved to see these guys in person.

But as an NBA fan, and a Brooklyn Net fan, my winter and spring look promising!

This past week we also saw Conor McGregor get knocked out in the second round. It wasn’t even that close. It may just be time for him to focus on his many other business ventures, and put the fight game in his past. He was a great one, but I think it’s over.

New Mets owner Steve Cohen is involved in yet another securities trading scandal for his involvement in the GameStop stock debacle. This followed him firing his brand new General Manager over a texting scandal, and trading away lefty starter Steven Matz to the Blue Jays.

Peace, Love and the Mets really was a long time ago!

New York Ranger and number 1 overall NHL draft pick Alexis Lafreniere scored his first of what (I hope) will be many goals. I can’t wait to see him in person at the Garden!

Rutgers Men’s Basketball team destroyed Michigan State 67-37.

Nolan Arenado may become a Cardinal.

Last but certainly not least, our old friend ARod signed an extension to continue on as ESPN Sunday Night Baseball analyst, then turned around and compared himself to Hank Aaron during a Michael Kay interview!

Yes, a crazy week indeed.

In my mind, the end of the Super Bowl always means the beginning of Baseball, and the drive to March Madness!!

Enjoy the Super Bowl! Pitchers and Catchers are right around the corner, and who knows, Cashman’s big risks may just work out!

Has anyone seen Brett Gardner?


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Start Spreading the News is the place for some of the very best analysis and insight focusing primarily on the New York Yankees.

(Please note that we are not affiliated with the Yankees and that the news, perspectives, and ideas are entirely our own.)


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