Good morning everyone, get your answers to this week’s mailbag here. Remember to send in your questions for our weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.
Chris Fiegler asks: With Minor League Baseball cancelled for the 2020 season, where will Austin Wells, Trevor Hauver and Beck Way play in 2020? Will they be in Major League Baseball playing for the New York Yankees?
Good question, and it’s something that’s largely hanging in the air right now. There was some speculation that the Yankees might add Austin Wells onto their 60-man Player Pool for the 2020 season enabling them to activate him should the need arise during the year, but they ultimately opted not to. They could choose to change that later in the year, but for now it looks like Wells and his fellow draft class members will be sitting out the 2020 season.
Does that mean that they won’t get any games until MiLB returns? Perhaps not. One of the rumors floating around while the minor league season was still undecided was that MLB would expand the Arizona Fall League this year. This expansion would allow each team to field a full roster instead of contributing a handful of players, and would be a way for organizations to get their key prospects some playing time. If this winds up happening, expect the newest members of the Yankees to head out to the desert.
Byron Fear asks: In a way, not trading Happ was a good idea, if you ask me... He’s a proven vet, and with our injury-prone team (which one isn’t), and with German in question, I’m glad we kept him. Curious about your thoughts on that... Also on a side note, if Bartolo Colon did make a comeback would you sign him for a minor league vet deal?
I definitely agree that keeping Happ looks like a good move in retrospect. Having quality starters around is going to be crucial this year, especially with all the uncertainty over making trades in this environment, so taking a gamble on keeping Happ seems well worth it. If his struggles in 2019 are the norm going forward then there’s little harm in sitting him for a promising arm like Clarke Schmidt or Deivi Garcia, but if you can recapture the 2018 Happ that arrived at the trade deadline then the Yankees rotation becomes one of the best.
As for Bartolo Colon, while it probably couldn’t hurt to add him to the Player Pool, I don’t see it happening. If there’s a veteran pitcher considering un-retiring that could be picked up, I’m holding out for CC Sabathia to give it one more shot at getting another ring. Even if he’s said many times that he preferred pitching with his familiar weight level, the new buff look CC has going for him certainly has some people clamoring for a comeback, unlikely as it is.
Dr. Peter asks: If a player who opted not to play this year, for example David Price, changes his mind around Aug. 15, could he be eligible for the playoffs?
Doesn’t look like it. MLB is allowing opt-outs for players who aren’t deemed “high risk,” but requiring them to give up their salaries and not collect service time in the case of prospects. It wouldn’t be fair to allow a star player, or any player really, to sit out the season and not add service time only to activate them for the postseason. The decision is all-in or all-out, which is why players like Mike Trout have been extremely hesitant to make a decision yet.