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Yankees Mailbag: Severino’s status, The Cessa/Wilson deal, and lineup optimization

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The mailbag arrives to answer more of your questions amidst a pennant race.

Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Good afternoon everyone, let’s open up the mailbag for more of your Yankees questions. Remember to send in your questions for our weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

The idiot that said, “Harper is coming” asks: Any updates on Sevy? Last I saw, he was going to be shut down for a week after the clean MRI. While I don’t expect anything out of him at this point, if he’s healthy he could provide some decent innings out of the bullpen or in a piggyback starter type role. Who gets to sit and watch if everyone is healthy and available?

The latest news on Severino is that he began throwing again, and should be returning to throwing off a mound by next weekend. That’s not exactly the most reassuring news — this late in the season, it’s unlikely that Severino could get into another rehab start by the time he would be ready, so would the Yankees feel confident in activating him right away after he reaches that next step? It’s highly unlikely at this point that Severino could be stretched out to start, given how little he’s actually thrown in games and the multiple shutdowns he’s endured.

Determining who will get the last spots in a hypothetical postseason roster is complicated — a lot is riding on whether Severino can even get on the field and how he looks if and when he does. There’s a world where the Yankees simply have to concede the idea of using him this season, but if he does return, then he faces stiff competition for a spot in the ‘pen. The only arm I could honestly argue is in jeopardy of not making the cut is Heaney — the rest of the bullpen has been too solid to mess with.

Nashty Bits asks: The Yanks finally announced that RHP Jason Parker is the player to be named later in the deal that sent Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson to the Reds. Was this move solely to open space for the Yanks next moves to acquire Gallo and Rizzo, or is there some value in Parker? Why did it take so long for Parker to be named – were the Yanks trying to decide among several choices offered up by the Reds?

The way that player-to-be-named-later deals typically work is the two teams have a list of players that could feasibly complete the deal, but they aren’t sure which one of them fits best at that time. The deal needs to be completed before the deadline, so they agree to take one of those players at a later date and have a little leeway to examine them closer, since they’re likely lower-tier prospects who don’t get much of the spotlight from scouts.

As for the deal itself, it’s two-fold — the roster spots for Gallo and Rizzo helped, and the money left on Wilson’s deal was basically a sunk cost with him underperforming. Moving him helped Cashman in negotiating the rest of the trade deadline offers — though he ended up netting his biggest prizes with the other teams contributing the cash — and Cessa was the cost of having the Reds eat Wilson’s contract. It’s unfortunate for Cessa that he got moved in his first season truly establishing himself as a regular reliever, but at least he didn’t get salary-dumped to a team way out of contention.

Damn_yanks asks: The best middle of the order would be Judge-Voit-Stanton (in any order) batting 2-3-4, right?

I think that Boone has it right putting Gallo or Rizzo between Judge and Stanton, but if this version guaranteed that Stanton and Voit would be starting together more I’d be for it. Brett Gardner is good for a lengthy at-bat and an occasional clutch hit, but Voit’s swinging a red-hot bat and should be in the lineup as often as possible — as the DH, since Rizzo is getting into a groove again and should be getting the everyday first base reps that he was acquired for. Stanton has easily passed the eye test in the outfield, which shouldn’t be a surprise given he won an MVP award out there, but I digress. Give me the big boy outfield, and bat them accordingly.