Now that these New York Yankees seem like they are for real, it seems fitting that we take a look at how they put this roster together.
It’s been a couple of years since the team got the distinction of the Baby Bombers. We know the story of Aaron Judge, he was drafted using a compensatory pick acquired from the Indians signing of Nick Swisher. We know all about Gary Sanchez, Torres, and Andujar. But what about some guys that have recently burst onto the scene? Let’s look at three guys specifically, Luke Voit, Gio Urshela, and Domingo German.
Voit is an incredible example of Brian Cashman having a large amount of trust in his analytics department. Luke was signed by the Cardinals in 2013. He bounced around in their farm clubs before being called up for short stints in 2017 and ’18. In 2018, he only played eight games for the Cards. So, what was it that caught the Yanks attention? Well, with the Cardinals Triple-A team, he was top five in wRC+.
In 2017, playing 62 big league games, Voit was top 12 in exit velocity. In the ENTIRE league. NYY gave up Chasen Shreve and Giovanny Gallegos, as the Cards were in need of pen help down the stretch. Shreve was DFA’d within a month, and Gallegos has around a 5.00 ERA so far this season in 16 games out of the pen.
Indians traded him to the Blue Jays for cash. Blue Jays flipped him to the Yanks for cash. He played with Triple-A until being called up in April. Then he started raking. It’s that simple. Well, I lied. Kinda. Any team could have traded for Urshela. It was not a high price, so again I ask the question: why the Yankees? I look again at the wRC+ stat. The Yankees seem to like it. In 2018, Gio had 142 wRC+ with the Indians Triple-A team. While I understand that it is a different competition, this would have ranked top 10 in MLB.
German has been with the Yankees organization for a while, so naturally, I assumed we had signed him. I was wrong. German was signed by the Marlins in 2010. He played a couple of years in their farm system before being traded to the Yankees in 2014. Who else was apart of that deal, you may ask? Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Jones were traded to New York along with German, and in return, the Yanks send David Phelps and Martin Prado.
The Yankees were, as it seems like they always are, in need of pitching so they picked up Eovaldi. Jones was an older first baseman. German, however, had been tearing it up in the minors for the Marlins. He had under a 2.00 ERA three years in a row. Prado had a large contract and was older. This was right around the time the Yankees were trying to get younger. Eovaldi, from a fans point of view, was the key piece in this deal. No one really knew German’s name. But, jeez. It’s starting to look like we were really idiots to overlook this.