In a rather crazy week for the Yankees, the team headed to Minute Maid Park for a matchup against the Houston Astros. With Michael Pineda on the bump, the Yankees faced off against the pitcher that knocked them out in last year’s playoffs in Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel, who has not been having the magic he had in his Cy Young season last year, looked pretty good lasting for 7 ⅔ innings giving up just two runs on six hits and no walks. Luckily for the Yankees, Michael Pineda looked even better. Throwing for 7 strong innings, Pineda struck out eight and allowed just one run on the first pitch of his outing. Pineda was able to get the run support needed with the help of an Austin Romine RBI double off the center field wall that gave the Yankees the lead in the 8th. Pineda was able to earn his second straight win in a 2-1 Yankees victory.
Things seemed to click again the next night. Starting pitcher C.C. Sabathia, did what he needed to do and then some, going for just about 7 innings and giving up just four hits. He was able to cruise along while the Yankees offense did their thing against opposing pitcher Doug Fister. Chase Headley and Aaron Hicks were amongst those contributors getting two RBIs each. The Yankees pulled out another win here with the score being 6-3.
Looking for their eighth win in their last ten games, the Yankees threw out their ace Masahiro Tanaka. In his three year career thus far, Tanaka has not had a good track record against this Houston team, not being able to beat them. Did he get anything going this outing? Well it didn’t look good early on. A Carlos Gomez seeing eye single made it a 1-0 ballgame. After a Carlos Correa RBI single himself, outfielder Colby Rasmus was able to go yard, hitting a two run homer, giving Yankee fans flashbacks of last year’s Wild Card game. On the other side Astros’ Lance McCullers was dominating Yankee hitters. Besides a Brian McCann solo home run, the Yankees weren’t able to figure out the young 22-year-old, as he struck out 10 in only 6 innings of work. Will Harris was able to shut down the door, giving the Astros a 4-1 win.
After an off day, the Yankees went over to St. Petersburg to take on division rival the Tampa Bay Rays. This series proved to be very important to the Yankees if they should truly be buyers or sellers in this year’s trade deadline. Despite trading Chapman, anything can happen especially with this team’s front office. Game one featured a matchup of two rumored pitchers to be moved in, Jake Odorizzi and Ivan Nova. In a game where your value can really be tested, Ivan Nova gave up two home runs in the first inning and didn’t fix himself since. As for the Rays, Odorizzi threw 6 ⅔ scoreless frames striking out five. The Yankees were given some opportunities later in the game against Tampa relievers, but none of them came to fruition and the Yankees lost 5-1.
In game two another man who has had his name in trade rumors, Nathan Eovaldi, got the start against the 2-11, Drew Smyly. Like the night before, the Rays were able to strike early this time; it was a solo shot from shortstop Brad Miller. The Yankees took the lead in the third, but it was immediately taken away from them in the bottom half of the inning on a two run home run off the bat of Curt Casali. Reliever Anthony Swarzak didn’t do a fine job either, as he gave up three runs in his one inning pitched this game. Swarzak has not looked good as of late jumping his ERA to the mid fives. The offense couldn’t get anything going passed that and the Yankees ended up dropping this one 6-3.
Last game before the trade deadline, it was Michael Pineda up against rookie Blake Snell. Pineda, strong off his last two starts, seemed a little bit different this time around as he would give up five runs on six hits and four walks. As for Blake Snell, he pitched really well. Giving up just five hits the only main concern to him was a two run Carlos Beltran home run near the end of his outing. He was able to strike out nine similar to what Michael Pineda does every night, but he was able to get the win in this one with his team winning 5-3.
It’s trade deadline time and the Yankees made some huge moves. The team traded away closer Aroldis Chapman a week before to the Chicago Cubs and got top prospect shortstop Gleyber Torres. This week the Yankees shipped away three more players. The team dealt away former Reliever of the Year winner Andrew Miller to the Cleveland Indians for minor leaguers Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, Ben Heller and J.P. Feyereisen. All I can say is wow! Clint Frazier, the number five overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, was the Indians number one prospect and is ranked the 22nd best prospect in baseball according to MLB.com. The 21-year-old outfielder has an MLB ETA for 2017 and can possibly be a September call up later on in the year. The Yankees also got Justus Sheffield, a 20-year-old starting pitcher who is ranked the 93rd best prospect in baseball. The former first round pick in the 2014 draft is set to crack the MLB a little later down the line somewhere around 2018. Frazier and Sheffield were the real major pieces to this deal, but Ben Heller and J.P. Feyereisen are two relievers who are certainly in the Yankees plans sometime in the future. It was a heck of a package for Andrew Miller who has been nothing less than outstanding during his tenure in New York
The next deal revolved around Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran. Beltran has been a true bat in the middle of the lineup, hitting over .300 and hitting over 20 dingers. The 39-year-old’s contract is expiring at the end of the season so the Yankees decided to trade him away in order to help the team out for years down the road. The team sent Beltran to the Texas Rangers for minor leaguers Dillon Tate, Nick Green, and Erik Swanson. Tate being the real target here, was the number four overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft. He is not doing too well in the minors at the moment posting an ERA over five in Rookie ball, but the Yankees decided to capitalize on his potential, trading him for a veteran bat that can help the Rangers in the midst of a playoff hunt. It’s a low risk, high reward as Tate could possibly be a huge piece to this Yankee rotation when he gets called up. Nick Green and Erik Swanson are pitchers regarded as depth at the moment, but with the game of baseball can maybe have their stock rise and they play down in the minors.
In the third and final deal this week, the Yankees traded away starting pitcher Ivan Nova to the Pittsburgh Pirates for two players to be named later. The 29-year-old has been a part of the Yankees his whole major league career and has had his ups and downs. This year in 21 games, Nova has an ERA of 4.90, a WHIP of 1.40, and 75 strikeouts in 97 innings pitched. It’s certainly sad to see a homegrown player go like that, but it was for the best of the organization.
These past two weeks have been absolutely big for the Yankees. By sending away Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran, and Ivan Nova, the Yankees have rebuilt a farm system from one that was in the middle of the pact to one of the best in baseball. As a result of the Yankees continuous success over the past 20 years, the team hasn’t been in a situation where they have been sellers. With making the playoffs so many times, the Yankees made an effort year after year to get better through signing big free agents such as C.C. Sabathia and Mark Teixeira. However, now that the team isn’t in a real position to make the playoffs, they traded their good players away in order to fix themselves for the future. As a Yankees fan I’m grateful for all the success that we’ve had and am ready to go through a rebuilding process. A new era of Yankees’ baseball is now officially beginning.
RBI – 4
K – 5
The Yankees head past the trade deadline with a four game series against their cross town rival the New York Mets. This is the first and only edition of this year’s Subway Series. The first two game will be held on the road and the next two will be held at home. The team will also be facing their old buddy Andrew Miller and the Cleveland Indians to finish out the week.
Bartolo Colon (9-6) vs. Nathan Eovaldi (9-7)