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Recapping the Winter Meetings: Day Four

The Winter Meetings always end with the Rule 5 Draft and this go around the Yankees lost a fair bit of players in the MLB and Triple-A portions. Alongside that, we heard news the Yankees and Pirates may be discussing a trade, scholars found a lost No-Hitter, and a player from the KBO was posted.


Yankees Lose 3 Players in MLB, 4 Players in Triple-A Portions of Rule 5 Draft (Select 2):

Today in the 1st round of the Major League phase of the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, BOS selected RHP Garrett Whitlock, PHI selected INF Kyle Holder and CLE selected RHP Trevor Stephan from the Yankees. — New York Yankees (@Yankees) December 10, 2020

Four players were picked from NYY: Texas selected RHP Matt Wivinis (1st round), Boston selected RHP Kaleb Ort (2nd round), Los Angeles-AL selected C Gustavo Campero (2nd round) and San Diego selected OF Ben Ruta (2nd round). — New York Yankees (@Yankees) December 10, 2020

As the end of the 2020 Winter Meetings has been met with the Rule 5 Draft, the Yankees did get hit with losing some notable prospects. In the MLB portion of the draft, the Yankees lost RHP Garrett Whitlock to the Red Sox, SS Kyle Holder to the Phillies, and RHP Trevor Stephan to the Indians.

Whitlock, 24, was selected 4th overall by the Red Sox and he is recovering from 2019 Tommy John surgery. In 2018 he made it up to Double-A Trenton from Low-A Charleston and High-A Tampa. He posted a 1.86 ERA across 21 starts that season and a 3.07 ERA over 14 starts in Double-A in 2019 before the surgery.

Holder, 26, spent the whole 2019 season with Trenton Thunder (Double A) while hitting to a triple-slash of .265/.336/.405 along with 9 HR’s and 40 RBI’s across 412 at-bats. He also had 65 K’s to 41 walks and has good shortstop defense. He was supposed to start 2020 with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple A).

Stephan, 25, is a high chance arm who hasn’t had the success he needs at the higher levels. In 2019 he spent time between Tampa (High A) and Trenton (Double A) while pitching to a cumulative 4.73 ERA over 19 starts (20 games). He did have 91 K’s and only 29 walks over 80 innings though.

Each of these three players have a chance of coming back to the Yankees if the selecting team is not able to keep them on their roster for the 2021 season. The other 4 players selected, however, are now all officially part of their new franchises.

The Yankees did select two players in the Triple-A portion of the draft with LHP Matt Krook from the Tampa Bay Rays and RHP Reggie McClain from the Philadelphia Phillies.


The New York Yankees and Pirates Talking on Taillon and Bell?

Heard today from a couple sources that the Pirates and Yankees have had conversations involving Jameson Taillon and Josh Bell. Unsure on seriousness or scope, but it’s an interesting match. — Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) December 9, 2020

Jason Mackey, a beat reporter for the Pittsburgh Pirates reported yesterday that the Yankees were involved in some trade talks about RHP Jameson Taillon and 1B Josh Bell.

Taillon is an interesting starting pitcher as he is recovering from his second Tommy John surgery. He was a highly touted prospect and has had some success in the MLB with his best season coming in 2018. He had a 3.20 ERA over 32 starts (191.0 innings) with a 122 ERA+, 179 K’s and 46 walks. While you would expect a pitcher of his caliber to strike out more guys, this would be a good challenge for pitching coach Matt Blake. He will be going into his age 29 season for 2021.

Bell is another interesting name to consider as his 2020 season was not great as he hit .226/.305/.364 over 57 games. However, in 2019 (his lone All-Star season) he hit a much better .277/.367/.569 (.936 OPS) along with 37 HR’s, 116 RBI’s, and a solid 118:74 K:BB rate. His defense is not highly rated, but his being a switch hitter in Yankee stadium would likely held to improve his offense enough to offset this. With Luke Voit the Yankees first baseman, one has to think this would signal he is likely part of a bigger move too.


Retrosheet and Baseball-Reference Find a Long Lost No-Hitter:

Baseball’s record books are not chiseled in stone. Thanks to @Retrosheet and @baseball_ref, we’ve rediscovered a “lost” @MLB no-hitter — the first in American League history, by @Indians‘ Pete Dowling in 1901. @SABRGames story by @ContrarianGary: #SABR — SABR (@sabr) December 10, 2020

The American League and Cleveland Indians now have a new “first no hitter”. In some research put together by the people at Retrosheet and Baseball Reference, they have found that in 1901 the Indians pitcher Pete Dowling threw a long lost no-hitter.

The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) put together a great story about it, which you can find here.

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