I am ashamed it’s taken me almost 3 weeks to publish, but I do have completely legitimate reasons that really none of you care about (geography, health, holidays, stress, source issues, writer’s block, etc.). So I apologize for my procrastination, and here we go because there’s a lot to cover.
Okay, Winter Meetings in sunny San Diego are underway and providing interesting fodder for rumors and then confirmation of a few of them. This unfortunately includes David Robertson departing the pinstripes for… well, pinstripes. Robertson is on his way to play for the pinstriped men of the Second City, known to the world as the Chicago White Sox. The Sox deal locks him in for 4 years and $46 million, which leaves the Yankees with a bonus draft pick because Robertson declined the option last month and then opted to sign elsewhere. We wish Robertson and his family well on his new endeavors, except (of course) when the Yankees play them towards the end of next season.
In his stead, the Yankees are left looking to their current bullpen like Betances, Warren, Whitley, and Phelps leap to mind, but as we all know, the Spring will certainly shake things up in that (and every other) area. But I know they are looking to reinforce the pen, as they did with the signing of Andrew Miller, a free agent most recently with the Orioles and Red Sox. The left-handed reliever threw 103 strikeouts in 62.1 innings over 73 games just last year and is very comfortable in the set-up role, but (on par with many recent signees) he is willing to fill whatever role they ask of him. Another reason Spring is crucial is to play around with the bullpen and see where all the pieces fall into a comfortable rhythm.
In another recent move, the Yankees, the Tigers, and the Diamondbacks negotiated a 3-team trade deal. The Yankees sent Shane Greene to the Tigers, the Tigers sent a pitcher and minor leaguer to the Diamondbacks, and the Diamondbacks sent shortstop Didi Gregorius to the Yankees. In other words, everyone was wondering who was going to fill that monster hole in the middle infield, and this is the answer — Didi Gregorius. Well, it will probably be split between him and Brendan Ryan.
Also if you’re keeping track of anything in the Baby Bomber world, the Yankees denied arbitration with outfielder Slade Heathcott and pitchers Jose Campos and David Huff; all three elected free agency.
And because no Yankee post seems to be complete without news from a recently retired Captain, here’s the update…
There are postseason awards given by MLB Network affectionately called “GIBBYS“, short for “Greatness in Baseball Yearly” Awards. Basically, it’s a collection of moments in the season that fans, viewers, and network people vote for the best of those moments in specially decided categories. Jeter’s final Yankee Stadium game was the winner in two categories — what became known as the “2 Good to Be True” highlight became the Moment of the Year and the Walk-Off of the Year. If you can’t remember that moment (and apparently were in hibernation somewhere in September), this link is to jog your memory.
And Jeter hosted his annual Turn 2 Foundation Holiday Express for local kids, gifting them with packs filled by his “Jeter’s Leaders” a few weeks ago, hanging out with Santa, and then treating them to an early release of the upcoming kids’ movie Annie, a redone, updated version to be released nationwide on Christmas Day. I know it’s always a highlight and a treat for the kids of New York.
Well, with Winter Meetings still in progress, I can imagine there is a handful of other announcements to be made in the near future before everyone hunkers down for the holidays.