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  • Writer's pictureAndy Singer

SSTN Mailbag: Kiermaier vs. Grisham (cont.), Gil, And The Coaching Staff!


I've mentioned it multiple times in my ramblings at the beginning of the SSTN Mailbag, but I've actually quite enjoyed the playoffs this year. I'm not a fan of the expanded playoffs, but I do think that both the ALCS and the NLCS were riveting examples of baseball. Do I think the two teams that made the World Series are necessarily the best teams in baseball? No, I don't. Do I think that they make for a fascinating World Series matchup? Absolutely. The D'Backs are a talented, young roster that was a very different team in the second half of the season versus the first half of the season as some of their young players developed and found a new gear...oh, and their GM actually did something other than sitting on their hands at the trade deadline. Ditto the Texas Rangers. The Rangers have spent their way out of the MLB basement in just a couple of years, and have a fun mix of stars, veteran grinders, and young talent. All of this is good for baseball, and it puts a couple of different markets on the national stage, which is good for the growth of the game.


The biggest bummer for me is that I'm going to miss most of it. I leave on a work trip to Europe this weekend, and won't return until the series is over, unless it goes 7 games, which would be great. The last 6 or 7 years, I haven't been excited for the World Series; I'm normally still wringing my hands or really sad after a Yankee loss in the ALDS/ALCS. This year, the Yankees were out early enough that I was able to just enjoy the baseball without a rooting interest. I have to admit, it's been fun, and I'll miss watching Monty start, Corbin Carroll fly around the bases, and Scherzer try to atone for his recent struggles. I yearn for the Yankees to be in this position again, but I just like good baseball, and there's plenty of it out there right now.


As always, thanks for the great questions and keep them coming to SSTNReadermail@gmail.com. In this week's SSTN Mailbag, we'll answer questions about Kiermaier vs. Grisham again, update Luis Gil's status, and read the tea leaves regarding the coaching staff! Let's get at it:


Fuster asks: keeping in mind that neither Kiermaier nor Grisham are more than a stop-gap starter and better suited to back-up duty, what would you consider a reasonable salary offer for Kiermaier or a reasonable trade offer for Grisham?


It's kind of hard to gauge what Kiermaier's going to get in free agency. He'll play next season in his age-34 season, and is coming off his best season in quite some time. He's obviously one of the best defensive centerfielders in the sport, but he's reaching an age where speed and defensive skills can fall off precipitously and without much warning (see: Ellsbury, Jacoby). In reality, he did enough this season to earn a multi-year deal in free agency, but his age should temper the number of years. My best guess is that he'll ask for a 4-year deal, but I don't think any smart teams will be willing to go more than 2 or 3. To me, even 3 is risky, but I think someone will give it to him. That same team will also believe that he'll hold his defensive value, which gives him a reasonable performance floor. To me, that adds up to a contract that's somewhere in the 3 year/$36 million range, but it's entirely possible that I'm low. Given the Yankees strict adherence to the last luxury tax threshold, that doesn't seem like an efficient use of dollars to me, even at the low-end.


Grisham, on the other hand, projects to land an arbitration salary somewhere in the $4.9 million range, offers similar defense, better baserunning, and his pop likely plays up in Yankee Stadium versus Petco Park, one of the worst stadiums in baseball for left-handed power. The Padres reportedly are looking to shave costs all-around this season, so that will factor in to their trade discussions. The Padres are also said to be targeting controllable pitching assets. Baseballtradevalues.com indicates that trading Grisham for SP Clarke Schmidt (projected to earn $2.6 million in 2024 through his first year of arbitration) straight up is a bit of an overpay for the Yankees, but I think given the dearth of good centerfielders on the open market, they are undervaluing true centerfielders' trade value, generally. I actually think that's a pretty realistic trade proposal. I'm sure the Yankees want more than Grisham if they deal Schmidt, but I think it's a fair representation of value.


Frankly, I'm inclined to prefer a deal for Grisham (knowing full well that many of you prefer Florial...I don't for a host of reasons, and though the Yankees should have given him a real shot this summer when the team was going nowhere, I believe Florial should just be DFA'd). Kiermaier looks like an ideal fit for the Yankees, but I worry about his age and his salary relative to the Yankees' strict, slavish devotion to the luxury tax thresholds.


Steve asks: What's going on with Luis Gil? I know he had Tommy John, but we really haven't heard about him at all this year. Is he still in the Yankees' plans?


Gil will be one of the more interesting storylines to follow this off-season. Gil was fully recovered from Tommy John Surgery at the end of the year, even making a couple of cameo appearances at low-A Tampa to finish the year. Ignore the stat-line from his few innings there; most importantly, his tantalizing stuff reportedly remains intact from prior to his surgery. His appearances to finish the season were just to get him in game situations and give him some confidence that he was actually healthy heading into what should be a relatively normal off-season.


What's interesting is that Gil should be out of minor league options, which means that he would need to stick on the Major League roster or be exposed to waivers. In Gil's case, given his injury situation, I believe that he'll be granted a 4th option year, like so many rehabbing pitchers are. This will allow Gil to get sharp at AAA.


To answer Steve's question, yes, I do believe that Gil is still in the Yankees' plans; I'm just not sure what those plans look like. I wanted to cut bait on Gil as a starter almost two years ago, as a two-pitch pitcher without the requisite control or command to start. His stuff is electric, and he proved that he can get good big league hitters out. It would not surprise me at all if he begins the year at AAA as a starter, but is a key cog in the bullpen by the middle of the season. I think Gil could be a premium reliever on the Yankees, and I think they should plan for that transition now.


Bob T. asks: Any word on coaching staff changes other than Sean Casey?


You guys saw my thoughts on the Sean Casey news the other day. I think that Boone should be a gonner, but I'm fairly certain that's not happening. Given that Casey won't be back, I think it makes sense to also part ways with last season's Assistant Hitting Coaches Brad Wilkerson and Casey Dykes in favor of a new hitting staff entirely. Beyond that? I'm really not sure, and I don't think we'll know about the Yankees' coaching plans moving forward until Hal Steinbrenner emerges from his cave to discuss the end of the season and plans for the off-season. Rumor has it that it will happen any day now, but until then, I'm just as in the dark as the rest of you.

47 Comments


etbkarate
Oct 27, 2023

Have a safe trip!

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Andy Singer
Andy Singer
Oct 27, 2023
Replying to

Thanks!

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etbkarate
Oct 27, 2023

I've been in on Grisham for 2 years. I like his game!

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Oct 27, 2023

I forgot to add one thing Andy - Safe travels my friend.

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Andy Singer
Andy Singer
Oct 27, 2023
Replying to

Greatly appreciated - thanks!

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Oct 27, 2023

The only reason to sign Kermeier, or trade for Grisham, is for Cashman to rid himself of Florial. If Florial plays like he did in September, the first half of 2024 (my return date of Dominguez is at the ASB), then Cashman faces a lot more pointed questions. The other reason, is with Cashman's dislike of Florial, he will not hesitate to DFA him at any point, for whatever the reason, like, perhaps signing a free agent, trading for another OF (Kepler?), or just what Cashman & Co. think of as poor play, and handing CF temporarily to Pereira.


And I see you agree with me on Gil. But I do believe that due to the TJS, his second optio…

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Andy Singer
Andy Singer
Oct 27, 2023
Replying to

60-Day IL is specific to the 40-man roster, not the active MLB roster. The one piece I might have missed is that it is possible that he received his MLB salary due to being on the 60-Day IL.


On Florial: I understand that concern, however both Kiermaier and Grisham should be the type of players that are easily pushed aside when a prospect of Dominguez's caliber proves ready. The flip side is, I don't want Dominguez rushed back from injury; if that means letting him get comfortable at AAA for a month or so to get hot, I'm OK with it. As someone who threw hard with arm injuries, I can say for certain that it would behoove Dominguez …

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Oct 27, 2023

Maybe the Yankees and the Padres make a huge deal Grisham and some Soto guy...


Two lefty bats for the outfield.


Wouldn't that be nice?

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Andy Singer
Andy Singer
Oct 27, 2023
Replying to

I don't think his idea was that power-hitting righties would lead to championships; it was more so that getting good hitters was paramount to worrying about which side of the plate they batted from. To be frank, I subscribed to that idea as well, and was wrong.

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