SSG Baseball – The New York Yankees have endured a lot of losing the past few years as its GM carousel continues to spin, but just under a year ago the team brought in a fresh face into the fold in young Tom Moysak who took over as Yankee GM in the midst of a disappointing run stemming from the 2016 season in which the team lost 100 games. The last time the Yankees/Highlanders franchise lost 100 games was in 1912, at 102, losing a franchise record 103 games in 1908. Fast forward 100+ years later and we are in the midst of a baseball era where starting pitchers are no longer prized commodities and the bullpen is king, among many noticeable differences from the dead ball era so many years ago. Hal Steinbrenner hopes that Moysak will be a key part of the organization’s future for years to come.
Today we will be looking into the Yankees revamped roster, and some of the notable moves the “new” Yankee GM has made and determine whether they will hurt or help the team, and give this starving Yankees fan base hope that there will be a 28th championship in the Bronx.
The most notable move, noted among other executives in the league, was the trade between the Angels and the Yankees which saw RP Nick Hagadone, OF/DH J.D. Martinez, and OF Prospect Juan De Leon go to the Angels in exchange for 3B/DH Kyle Seager and promising SP Alfredo Flores.
GM’s Take: “I was a young GM at the time. Had I really looked into it and saw that Kyle Seager can’t hit anymore, and his AAV was a preposterous $19 million, I would have backed away from the deal, unless maybe some more prospects were involved. I learned my lesson there. I let other GM’s sweet talk me into doing it which is something I learned not long after I made the deal.”
It’s very clear that Moysak regrets this decision and it will haunt him for the remainder of Seager’s contract barring a trade, although league reports say that interest has been little to nonexistent since the Yankees put him on the block. The Tigers inquired, but their asking price was too high for the Yankees liking, as they are in the midst of what Tom Moysak calls a “rebuild on the fly”.
Another trade with the Cleveland Spiders was thought to be one of Moysak’s great blunders at the start of his GM career. The team sent OF Prospect Ira Mullins, SP Lance McCullers Jr. and Gosuke Katoh and received 2B/C Tony Wolters, SP prospect Al Arms and 3B Grofi Cruz.
GM’s Take: “I was trying to get a lot of value out of McCullers, which this was, at the time of the deal but I quickly regretted it as we saw the pitching staff struggle mightily this past year. We’re actively looking for ways to better our pitching staff.”
This is another trade that won’t necessarily haunt them as much as the Seager deal, but it would have been nice to have a young arm in Lance McCullers to round out the much improved Yankees rotation this off season.
Now we’ll take a quick look at the additions and subtractions the Yankees made this off season as they’ve been one of the more active teams in this off season on the trade front, with a few Minor league signings of notable veterans.
Notable added players (from in game list in OOTP)
SP Danny Hultzen via trade (SEA)
SP Tyler Skaggs via trade (CLE)
RP Felipe Rivero via trade (SEA)
2B/IF UTIL Shane Mardirosian via trade (SEA)
RP Charlie Furbush via trade (CLE)
LF Bob Lewis via trade (CLE)
RP Iden Nazario via trade (TOR)
C Yadier Molina (MiLB Contract)
OF Robbie Grossman (MiLB Contract)
Notable players lost (OOTP)
J.A. Happ (Retired)
OF Jacoby Ellsbury (CLE)
1B Conrad Gregor (CLE)
2B Francis Azcona (CLE)
C Miguel Flames (TOR)
A look into next season: Obviously the Yankees have been busy this off season, which is no indicator of how well the team will do once it steps on the field for Opening Day 2020, but the record shows that Tom Moysak is looking to actively improve the roster from a disappointing 101 loss season. Losing Jacoby Ellsbury will hurt their offensive numbers but the team hopes to make up for it with elite defense and contact. “The power will come” says Moysak “We got Israel Avila, Manny Sanchez and Hugh Brooks which we think is a pretty formidable 3-4-5 combination and will serve us well in Yankee stadium”
The Nightmare That Will Never End: When asked about Kyle Seager, the first year GM gave a long sigh “We obviously hope that Seager’s bat can play in Yankee stadium. No question he’s a plus defender but we would like to see more out of his bat in a full season of work”. Seager only played in 83 games in 2019 sporting an abysmal .315 slugging % and a .600 OPS (276 AB).
The Yankees rotation is almost completely overhauled and Moysak has given us a look into what he believes will be the opening day roster
“Skaggs certainly stands out as a potential ace for this staff, although we’re still in the process of determining who goes where.” said Moysak.
As far as the lineup goes, the team is looking to add an offensive piece to complement their defense. “We’re looking for a righty bat to sort of offset the heavy amount of lefties in our lineup.” and added that he will be actively shopping the market in the coming weeks. “Let’s hope something comes to fruition, for both of our sakes” he added with a smile. “But certainly we’re looking to have Dustin Fowler and Shane Mardirosian lead off, with the aforementioned 3-4-5, and I see this team as a contender going into spring training.”
Optimism Is Key: Moysak remains optimistic although there are many uncertainties when it comes to this Yankee roster. “Rebuilding is not the ‘Yankee way’ and we quickly came to realize that late last year when we were approaching another 100 loss season” said Moysak. “each year I go in to win it all and anything short of that is failure, even if we are considered a ‘rebuilding’ team.” Owner Hal Steinbrenner is taking things slowly, unlike his father George. Hal adds “We want to win every year but also want to build a team that can win every year, and if we can sustain that without having to make huge changes to our roster each year, we believe that’s the key to success in this league” He notes that roster turnover can lead to a bad locker room, which leads to a blow in morale. “keeping players happy and surrounding them with the tools they need to succeed is our organizational mentality” Whether that’s acquiring veteran talent to help the young guys or its changing up the pre-game spread, the Yankees will do whatever it takes to win. With Moysak at the helm, the team has high hopes to restore its glory in the baseball world.
On the bright side, the Yankees will select #2 overall in the First Year Player Draft for the second straight year, right behind the Milwaukee Brewers.