The Yandy Era is upon us.
There are few names in baseball that I would have been more excited about the Rays acquiring this offseason than Yandy Diaz.
I’ve had my eyes on Yandy for a while, and I know I’m not alone in that regard. While there’s more to being a baseball player than muscle mass, boy does he have muscle mass.
If baseball doesn't work out for Indians' Yandy Diaz, he has a future in bodybuilding pic.twitter.com/LD712RpRN9— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 13, 2017
And while there’s more to hitting than exit velocity, boy does he have exit velocity.
Sprinkle in some elite plate discipline, and the fact that he is right in his prime right now, compared to Jake Bauers — who the Rays traded for Diaz and who will probably be there in four to five years — and the move makes perfect sense for a Rays team looking to reach the Promised Land again in 2019.
Betting big on players who have elite skills that just need to be honed is a great idea, and a front on which the Rays have proven themselves time and time again.
Welcome aboard the Yandy Diaz Yacht. This is your captain Jim Turvey speaking.
Full steam ahead.
Yandy Diaz links
- Devan Fink is a smart, young baseball mind over at Beyond the Box Score, so it’s not to see him align with the thoughts above, stating: “It’s hard not to like the return from the Rays’ end.”
- Chaim Bloom with a very fair and self-aware assessment of the trade:
- Tom Jones makes a point that is also salient for those questioning the move: The Rays don’t mess this stuff up often, let’s trust them.
- The trade was noteworthy enough that Sports Illustrated got in on the action, giving the move a B- for the Rays.
- Juan Toribio answers the most straight-forward question of them all: Why did the Rays trade Bauers for Diaz?
- Jeff Sullivan of the beige sweater has your trade breakdown (plus a little trade background) for FanGraphs.
- Tommy Rancel is (potentially) in on Yandy as well.
- And for good measure, Baseball America give their assessment, hyping Diaz’s versatility.
- Finally, Marc Topkin has the upside and downside of this trade, which may be more significant than other moves because Yandy does indeed have a low floor even if his ceiling is fun to dream about.
Other Rays News
- I will indeed miss Jake Bauers. His bromance with Willy was a beautiful thing, and his June walk-off home run will be a Rays memory for a long time. Plus, Misty was an all-time #RaysMom, but also per Marc Topkin, the Bauers crew will do just fine...
“I hope it all works out for them,’’ Bauers said. “I know it’s all going to work out for me.”
Oh, and 5 points to Gryffindor for this print headline as well...
- Meanwhile, Topkin says the Rays are leaving Las Vegas “ahead”, and has more on Charlie Morton:
- David Laurila asked managers at the Winter Meetings about non-traditional coaching hires. Cash was one of those managers.
- Rays fans are definitely fully-engaged this offseason (and who can blame them?!). Toribio has a mailbag with all your most pressing Qs and As.
- Even if the Rays just gave up a 23-year-old for a 27-year-old, don’t go worrying too much about the youth in the Rays farm system:
ICYMI: The #Rays won the MiLBY for best farm system in 2018, with five affiliates qualifying for the postseason and an overall winning percentage of .604.— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) December 13, 2018
These prospects played a large part in making that happen: https://t.co/37hXfPYA9K pic.twitter.com/HXN55Z9Wz6
- Here’s a crazy story surrounding the Rays move yesterday, albeit without a Rays-centric POV.
- Oh, and has anyone checked on Marc?
Around the League
It’s hot stove time, which means it’s rumor mill time, which means it’s crank-out-tons-of-articles time. There’s a lot out there, but here’s some quick highlights:
- a Bruce Maxwell freezeout is never going to generate as much buzz as what the NFL did to Colin Kaepernick, but it’s still a story worth monitoring
- the Rays are supposedly still kicking around the idea of J.T. Realmuto, so here’s BtBS breaking the Winter Meetings hot commodity down
- the Rays may not be looking for another starting pitcher, but juuuuussssst in case
- and one final thing to remember when worrying about giving up a top-50 prospect, those don’t always burn a team as much as one would think...