FanGraphs | David Laurila: A couple of interesting things here. First, Laurila talks to Yankee prospect Spencer Jones, who FG tabbed as the Yanks’ number one prospect, with an eye-opening 55 Future Value. In their discussion about Jones’ game, the towering slugger talked about his speed after nabbing 43 bags in the minors this season. Jones referred to himself as “twitchy for [his] size,” which happens to currently be 6’7”, 235 pounds. Lol.
Laurila also takes the time to explain his Hall of Fame ballot. Former Yankees Bobby Abreu, Carlos Beltrán, Alex Rodriguez, and Gary Sheffield all make his cut. Andruw Jones and Andy Pettitte, on the other hand, are nowhere to be found. Laurila takes the time to explain the former’s omission from his ballot; Pettitte has been borderline for him in the past.
FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: Speaking of Hall of Fame ballots ... Jaffe, who is a must-read at this time of year as he breaks down candidacies, has also released his ballot. Former Yankees Jones, Abreu, and Sheffield, and Beltrán all appear on Jaffe’s ballot. He considered leaving it at nine names, but ultimately chose to add a 10th name: Andrew Eugene Pettitte. It’s worth reading this entire piece to get Jaffe’s thoughts on all the players who made his ballot, and those who were near-misses.
CBS Sports | R.J. Anderson: The offseason is nowhere close to finished. With the New Year looming, Anderson decided to give all 30 teams sort of a midterm grade on their work so far. And he’s a fan of the Yanks moves so far. Losing out on Yoshinobu Yamamoto hurts, he notes, but the Yanks managed to pick up superstar Juan Soto, as well as Trent Grisham, Alex Verdugo, and Victor González. He observes that New York could use another starting pitcher, but so far, Brian Cashman et al. get the coveted A grade from Anderson.
MLB Trade Rumors | Nick Deeds: It’s been a spell since Gio Urshela was a Yankee but perhaps a reunion is not out of the question, though it does not seem likely. The Yanks’ glut of infielders, Gio’s power outage (.075 ISO in 2023), and the entrenchment of starters at each position in the infield seems to make a second stint in the Bronx improbable. If nothing else, it’s worth keeping an eye on though as the off-season slowly trudges onward.
ESPN | Kiley McDaniel: File this one away under “How about No?” This is behind the ESPN+ paywall, but long story short, McDaniel sees free agent reliever Josh Hader as a fit for the Yankees and projects a five-year, $105 million deal for him. For anyone who hasn’t already read it, check out Peter’s piece that decries the super-bullpen idea. I can’t stress enough how much I dislike the idea of throwing $20 million+ at a relief pitcher.