Monday, March 14, 2016
Topps Yankees Project: 2016 is complete!
The most stressful part of Topps Series One launching each year is combing through the Yankees checklist and seeing who the good TTM signers are. It’s crucial so that I can get a jump on the next addition to the Topps Yankees Project. I prefer to get it out of the way early. If I have to, I can always wait until Series Two, or god forbid, Update, but it calms me to know as early as possible that the Project lives on another year.
It’s not easy. Many of the players included in the checklist are aging stars (not shocking, I know) who haven’t signed in years. Then you have the group of younger players who do sign at decent rates, but aren’t included. Plus, I assume by sheer volume of mail, guys instantly become worse signers once they are a Yankee.
I always hope for a reliever or two and a prospect, as that usually results in the best odds. Also of note, when players move on to other teams, that can help with their success rates as well.
Once my team set came in, here is who I sent a request to:
Nathan Eovaldi – previously good signer, but I haven’t had luck with him
Robert Refsnyder – signed in minors early in career, doesn’t seem to be much of a signer now
Luis Severino – not a good signer, but I took a shot
Chase Headley – used to be a good signer
Andrew Miller – my best hope, I received a TTM success from him last year
Chris Young – good signer in past, now with Boston
Greg Bird – good signer in minors, tough now after Big League success; just had shoulder surgery as well. He better not be straining that shoulder answering mail.
As you can see above, there are a few chances, but not many golden opportunities. I sent to those guys knowing it would be a longshot. I was thrilled when this came back last week:
Boom! Andrew Miller checks all the boxes I need for the Topps Yankees Project for 2016. Not only is he an awesome reliever, but the signature looks great and I don’t have him included in the Project. He’s definitely only of the bigger names I’ve gotten recently. I’m not sure if I’ll get anyone else back, but if not, I’m thrilled to use this as my entry for 2016! If I do get more back, then I’ll have a decision to make. That’s a good problem to have.
Thanks, Andrew Miller! You’ve saved me a lot of stress. Now, on to the 2017 edition…