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The Pinstripe Alley 2016 Yankees offseason plan suggestion box results

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You might remember that I asked you all for your suggestions as to what you thought the Yankees should do this offseason. Overall, by the time I put this thing all together, we got 226 submissions, an amazing 106 of them didn't follow the guidelines that I had set out for you to follow and 13 of those were either blank submissions or incomplete thoughts, so good job! Of the remaining 120 submissions, all remaining submissions were assigned a number and then I used a random number generator to pick out 10 unique transactions. If the generator picked a move with a player who had already been traded/signed, I ignored it and picked again.

Before I got everything started, I realized that the Yankees consortium was not happy with the people running the show, so the hivemind decided to clean house before the 2016 season. We had 11 people demand for the immediate firing of Brian Cashman and one request that Hal Steinbrenner sell the team. We also had six people fire Joe Girardi, with one person suggesting he be replaced by Tony Pena and Willie Randolph would be the new bench coach. Someone also said to fire Larry Rothschild, for some reason, but if it meant hiring Pedro Martinez to a three-year, $6 million contract, like someone proposed, I'd be all for it.

If you wanted a reasoning for the Girardi firing, it was apparently because he became self-aware and too powerful:


With a new coaching staff in place, no general manager–since no one could come up with someone better–and, apparently, new owners, the Yankees could finally concentrate on their roster. We received a lot of suggestions regarding David Price, Brett Gardner, Starlin Castro, Robinson Cano, CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Carrasco, and many others. Here are the 10 moves the Pinstripe Alley community made in the 2016 offseason.

Yankees acquire Carlos Carrasco from the Cleveland Indians for Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Jorge Mateo, and a relief prospect

This first move is a doozy. Right away it looks like a bit of an overpay, considering you're giving them Gardner, who is projected by Steamer to be a 2.1-WAR player in 2016, New York's No. 1, No. 2, and No. 5 prospects, and an additional reliever for a guy who has only been good for two years. The Indians would have to be taking on most of Gardner's $30 million to be getting all this in return. The deal is especially a bit of a stretch because the Indians wouldn't need two of the players they would be getting back. Michael Brantley is their only starting outfielder, so they could use Gardner and Judge in 2016, but with Yan Gomes behind the plate, Francisco Lindor at shortstop, and Jason Kipnis at second base, Gary Sanchez and Jorge Mateo are surplus acquisitions.

Of course, the 28-year-old right-hander is projected to put up another 4.8-WAR, 180+ inning season, which is exactly what the Yankees need in their rotation right now. He is owed $19 million through the 2018 season before a $9 million club option for 2019 and a $9.5 million club option for 2020 come into play. Acquiring five possible years of control from his age-29 to age-33 seasons could be a real deal for the Yankees when you consider that they currently have no rotation beyond the 2017 season, it's too bad they would have to give up so much youth in return.

The person who submitted this deal actually specified that the Yankees should trade a non-Jacob Lindgren reliever, and though I asked for specifics, I let this one slide because beyond Lindgren, which relief prospects in the system have really separated themselves from the others? It's just weird that after trading Judge, Mateo, and Sanchez, this is where you draw the line–at a left-handed reliever who just had elbow surgery. Let's just say we're including Nick Goody in the deal.

This move strengthens the middle of the team's rotation while also leaving a hole in left field, at backup catcher, and a replacement for Carlos Beltran after the season. This could give Aaron Hicks a chance to start or further moves could fill these holes.

Yankees acquire Andrew Cashner from the San Diego Padres for Ivan Nova and Mason Williams

This is probably never happening in real life unless the Padres really like Mason Williams. Both Nova and Cashner will be free agents at the end of the 2016 season, so neither team is getting longterm pitching in this deal. Nova was bad in 2015, but so was Cashner, who pitched to a 4.34 ERA over 180+ innings in a full and healthy season. If you're going one-for-one, the Padres would probably prefer the healthier Cashner, so in this scenario, they must really like Mason.

If I'm the Yankees, I totally do this deal, see how Cashner does in 2016, and then explore if a return makes sense. The big right-hander is projected by Steamer to have a 3.0-WAR season, which would be better than Nova has done in any one season in his career. Despite a brief glimpse of potential last year, the Yankees won't miss Mason Williams much. They have so many left-handed fourth outfielder-types that might not even be needed this season anyway. Right now the outfield has an opening, but if they sign someone else, there will be no room for someone like Mason Williams anyway.

Yankees sign Zack Greinke to a free agent contract worth $168 million over six years

Wow the Yankees got some discount, huh! Real-life Zack Greinke just signed a $206 million deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. It looks like he really wanted to pitch in New York because he left $38 million on the table in this scenario. Another offer amounted to a five-year, $150 million contract, which might have been more than fair for a pitcher over the age of 30 in, like, 2013. In 2015/2016 dollars, Greinke wouldn't give either of these contract offers a second thought.

By signing Greinke, the Yankees will have him under contract from his age-32 season until his age-37 season. He would probably be inserted into the top of the rotation, leaving the team with eight starting pitchers, which could easily be used to make further upgrades elsewhere.

Yankees acquire Patrick Corbin from the Arizona Diamondbacks and a minor league infielder for Andrew Miller, Bryan Mitchell, and Eric Jagielo

This would be the steal of the offseason if this was real. Patrick Corbin is only 26 and won't be a free agent until 2019, but the Yankees were able to swipe him from the Diamondbacks–along with an additional prospect!–for a reliever, a quadruple-A pitcher, and a questionable third base prospect who just underwent knee surgery. Dave Stewart would probably be fired for this one, since they seem to be going in the opposite direction here than they are in the real world.

Corbin has the potential to be a top-flight pitcher, and was on his way to becoming one before falling victim to Tommy John surgery and missing all of 2014. He pitched well in his 2015 return, throwing 85 innings with a 3.60 ERA, but more importantly, an 8.3 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9. I would imagine the Yankees would have to take on most of Miller's remaining contract, but I bet you they'd be more than happy to take on al $27 million over the next three years in order to get someone like Corbin. The Yankees now add their ninth starting pitcher, so they'll have to get rid of some arms soon.

Yankees sign Al Alburquerque to a minor league contract

After trading away Andrew Miller, the Yankees' bullpen takes a step back, so they could add a few arms to make up the difference. One move they will be making will be to sign the recently non-tendered Al Alburquerque to a minor league deal in hopes that they can turn him into someone useful and help add some depth. Of course, the right-hander has not been the strikeout machine he once was, striking out only 9.1 K/9 over the last two years when he once had a 13.2 K/9 over his first three big league seasons. He's struggled terribly with control, amounting to a 5.0 BB/9 over his career. Since his 1.2-War debut season in 2011, the 29-year-old has only been worth 1.0 WAR over the four seasons since.

I'd certainly be willing to hand him a minor league deal, let him show up to spring training, and see if maybe PEDRO MARTINEZ can help him figure things out. While Alburquerque might be worth a look, the Yankees already have more than enough league-average relievers at their disposal that they likely don't even need to worry about a deal like this. Regardless, it would probably be incentive-laden and he'd probably get some kind of opt out clause if he wasn't in the majors by a certain date. Definitely not the type of arm you use to replace Andrew Miller.

Yankees acquire Robinson Cano from the Seattle Mariners for Jacoby Ellsbury and CC Sabathia

So in our little scenario, Robinson Cano is very serious about wanting out of Seattle and returning to the Yankees. Apparently, with a new regime change, the Mariners have completely lost their mind and have decided to do a (multi-) bad contract swap, sending Cano's $192 million out of town in return for Jacoby Ellsbury's $105 million (plus a $21 million option) and CC Sabathia's $50 million in order to save about $37 million and end the contractual obligations they would have had with Cano three years sooner.

While the money is certainly comparable, this deal favors the Yankees when you consider the players available. Cano had a rough year due to injury, but he was still worth 2.1 WAR and is projected to be worth 3.5 in 2016. Meanwhile, CC and Ellsbury would be a combined 1.0 WAR after both players had miserable seasons. Something tells me that $37 million saved isn't worth all that to Seattle when what they would be getting back are even bigger liabilities.

By sending Ellsbury and CC to Seattle, the Yankees open up a second hole in the outfield, but cut their plethora of starting pitchers to eight. They still have a way to go before they have a functioning outfield and have cut down their extra pitching.

Yankees sign David Price to a free agent contract worth $175 million over seven years

Except they don't! Now that CC Sabathia is gone, the Yankees go out and continue to completely rebuild their rotation by signing David Price to a free agent contract that is nowhere near what he actually signed. Like Greinke, Price took a major pay cut from the seven-year, $217 million contract he signed in real life. Several people suggested various deals for Price–someone actually went 7/210, which was actually pretty close. Price would be making $25 million a year without an opt out clause (I would assume), so this was a pretty poor deal for the lefty.

Now the rotations is back to nine pitchers with Price, Greinke, Carrasco, Corbin, and Cashner completely a completely new rotation while still holding onto four other starting pitchers as well. What are they thinking!?

Yankees release Alex Rodriguez

For absolutely no reason at all, the Yankees have decided to release Alex Rodriguez and send him packing after a huge comeback season in 2015. The Yankees would still owe him $42 million over the next two years, but I guess the move would go a long way toward dropping the team's average age, so it's probably all for the best. With an opening at DH now available, it would pave the way for Greg Bird to get regular at-bats in the 2016 season, which would be pretty awesome.

Yankees sign Jason Heyward to a free agent contract worth $120 million over six years

After trading two outfielders, the Yankees have replenished by signing Heyward to a six-year, $120 million deal that is well below an expected contract of around 10 years for around $200 million. At the age of 26, the contract will take him through his age-31 season, allowing him to make more money even later. Others that suggested signing Heyward proposed a 7/161 deal, an 8/220 deal, and a 10/200 deal, making the deal chosen in the selection process a $17 million per year contract and the lowest AAV of the other contracts.

Heyward is predominately a right fielder, but he has played a handful of games in center field during his major league career. With Hicks in left, Heyward would have to be in center for the year before Beltran left in free agency. After the 2016 season, the Yankees would likely be in the market for someone who could play left field after Heyward shifts to right and Hicks moves to center. This leaves the team with three starting outfielders and they'll be able to add a minor league outfielder of their choice as a backup.

Yankees acquire Starlin Castro from the Chicago Cubs for Adam Warren

Our final deal of the offseason doesn't make a lot of sense at this point, but the Yankees have traded Adam Warren to the Cubs for Starlin Castro. This deal isn't completely outside of the realm of possibility, but it definitely hinges on how the Cubs see Warren going forward and how confident they are in the infielders they currently have. If the Yankees take on the remaining $40 million on Castro's contract through 2019, then maybe the Cubs would be ok with a deal like this.

Miller and Warren are gone now, so that means that Dellin Betances and Justin Wilson will need to pick up the slack and hopefully someone from the minors steps up. By adding Castro into the mix, the Yankees now have a legitimate utility infielder who could replace Brendan Ryan at shortstop and second base. Didi Gregorius and Robinson Cano will obviously be the starters, but Castro, off a very down year in Chicago, could offer some solid depth as a right-handed hitter.

Active Roster

Here is a look at the final 25-man roster:

Rotation Bullpen Lineup Bench
David Price Dellin Betances Didi Gregorius Austin Romine
Zack Greinke Justin Wilson Greg Bird Starlin Castro
Masahiro Tanaka Luis Severino Robinson Cano Brendan Ryan
Patrick Corbin Nathan Eovaldi Mark Teixeira Dustin Ackley
Carlos Carrasco Michael Pineda Jason Heyward
Andrew Cashner Carlos Beltran
Chasen Shreve Brian McCann
Chase Headley
Aaron Hicks

The Yankees have pushed Tanaka into the No. 3 spot in the rotation and have changed out everyone else. With Miller and Warren gone, the team's bullpen is mostly comprised of former starting pitchers. Hopefully, fewer innings should help keep Pineda healthy, Eovaldi's and Severino's fastballs should play up well, and Cashner should be able to give multiple innings of relief like Warren did.

The lineup will look a lot different than it did in 2015 with Didi and Bird at the top of the order, Cano back in hitting third, and then Heyward hitting fifth and Hicks hitting ninth. The bench would have two middle infielders, both right-handed hitters. Ackley would serve as the backup outfielder, which is the reason he was acquired for in the first place. Losing Sanchez would make Austin Romine the backup catcher by default.

40-Man Roster

After all the moves we made there will be five additional spots on the 40-man roster, which I have filled accordingly:

Al Alburquerque Caleb Cotham James Pazos
Tyler Austin Rookie Davis Branden Pinder
Johnny Barbato Slade Heathcott Rob Refsnyder
Vicente Campos Brady Lail Nick Rumbelow
Jake Cave Jacob Lindgren Tyler Wade

While the Yankees have an abundance of pitchers in the bullpen, they're completely lacking in relievers, so I've added Alburquerque to the 40 just in case someone with experience is needed. Despite a bad 2015 season, Tyler Austin was added to give the Yankees a right-handed bat option. Jake Cave was added to provide outfield depth and Brady Lail could replace Bryan Mitchell as the up-and-down arm. Tyler Wade might not be ready t make an impact on the major league roster yet, but after trading Mateo, he's the team's top shortstop prospect, so they could use him at some point.


The Yankees added seven players and moved nine of their own in order to take on an additional $40.8 million for the 2016 season and have added $502 million overall between all their trades and free agent deals. Now imagine that the numbers for Price, Greinke, and Heyward were more accurate and it might be an additional $160 million attached to that total, blowing the 2013 spending spree out of the water.


The organization's farm system took a huge hit this offseason as they lose their no. 1, 2, 5, 6, 14, and 15 prospects. The team's new top 10 prospect list would be as follows:

James Kaprielian
Rob Refsnyder
Ian Clarkin
Jacob Lindgren
Tyler Wade
Rookie Davis
Kyle Holder
Brady Lail
Drew Finley
Jake Cave

Kaprielian would be the top prospect almost out of default, since he's barely played so far. Rob Refsnyder doesn't seem to have much of a place on the team at this point, so he shouldn't be around much longer. Ian Clarkin needs to recover from a lost season and Jacob Lindgren needs to prove he can be effective when he's healthy. Some of these other prospects could end up being helpful, but trading impact players like Judge, Mateo, and Sanchez took a real blow out of the system the Yankees had worked back up to legitimacy.

Finally, just for fun, here is definitely my favorite trade proposal because there is just so much going on here:

A bad contract swap: Masahiro Tanaka for Pablo Sandoval. Move Chaste Headley to second base.

Thanks to everyone who participated, even if your transaction didn't get picked. Maybe we'll try something like this again soon. Now I wonder just how good this hypothetical team would be! What are you thoughts?