Friday, November 30, 2007

Erik Bedard or Dan Haren?

The Orioles are having trouble negotiating an extension for Erik Bedard. Their's a few teams that have asked about him and the Yankees are one of them.

Their`s another report about the Yankees and Dan Haren to. This time its by Jon Heyman.

Both would cost less than Santana obviously and are worse but which one would you rather have?

Bedard set a franchise record for K's for the Orioles last year with 221 and really became a great pitcher. His 3.16 ERA last year was also excellent. His K/BB was 3.88 and he backed that up with a solid 47.9% GB%. This was a career year for him but he`s improved every year and is still below 30. He`s also left-handed which is an advantage at Yankees Stadium. He`s a free agent after the season and the Orioles won't be in competition for a while so he could be un-willing to resign with the Orioles. Instead of letting him go as a free agent it makes sense for the Orioles to trade him. He`d be the left-handed ace the Yankees lack and they could probably get away without giving up much. If their current offer for Santana is Kennedy, Melky, and another prospect then Bedard might be able to be had for Kennedy, Horne, and Gardner.

Haren is also coming of a career year and is about the same age. He had a 3.49 K/BB last year and a 44.4% GB%. He didn't SO nearly as much as Bedard either with 192. However, he has more of a track record than Bedard. He`s not a free agent for another few years and he`s cheap so Billy Beane will make any team that tries to trade for him pay a lot. He`ll cost more to get than Bedard in terms of talent but will be a lot cheaper in terms of money. Billy Beane is a smart GM and will make any other team pay. It could cost something like Kennedy, Jackson, and Horne.

So who's the better option? I think both are better options than Santana because of what it will take to get Santana. I think I`d prefer Bedard but its a tough choice.

Mark Loretta

Buster Olney is reporting that the Yanks are close to a deal with Mark Loretta. I don't really like this. It doesn't make sense when Gonzalez or Betemit can probably do the same.

Bullpen Help

Percivical and Riske have both signed elsewhere. The Yanks offered Percivical more than the Devil Rays but he wanted to close.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dontrelle Willis

Remember last year when the biggest trade option for the Yankees was Dontrelle Willis? Remember the different potential offers involving Hughes, Melky, Cano, and others? Last year Willis was mediocore at best. Sometimes the best deals you make are the one`s you don't make.

Melky, Hughes or Kennedy, and 2 prospects for Santana?

Jon Heyman says that the Twins have asked for Hughes or Kennedy, Melky, and 1-2 other prospects for Santana. If Cashman has Kennedy being treated as having similar value to Hughes then he`s a genius.I`m sorry to see Melky go and I`d like to see if the Yankees could change this to make it a 3 team deal so they can hang on to Melky. What could Damon fetch in terms of prospects if the Yankees picked up part of his salary? The White Sox have shown interest in Damon. Do they have any prospects left? Still, if its Kennedy and not Hughes then I`d be okay with this deal I think.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cano and Joba Safe

So says the Star Ledger. Cano and Joba are going nowhere, not even for Santana and their smart in that but I`d add Hughes to that list. His absence makes me nervous he might be in a trade.

Steve Lombardi at WasWatching brings up an interesting point about Santana and that 17K game he had. After it he was never the same. After a full off-season of rest this might be a non-factor but its something to consider

Garza for Young

The Twins have traded Matt Garza for Delmon Young. It doesn't look like they`ll need another OF'er now. That really hurts the possibility of any deal involving Melky, Jackson, or Tabata. It also hurts any chance of the Yankees getting Santana. Actually, it also hurt the Red Sox's chances because of Ellsbury/Crisp.

I just hope the Yanks don't do something dumb and give up Hughes or Joba in a desperate attempt to get him. Trade for Haren instead.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Twins demands:

According to Jon Heyman the Twins have asked the Yankees for one of the trio, Melky, and another prospect. Lets say that prospect is Austin Jackson.

If the one of the trio is Kennedy than as much as I`m reluctant to I have to say yes. I`m reluctant because I`d like to see Melky stay with the Yankees. However, if the Melky is the thing stopping the deal from getting done you have to trade him.

If its Hughes or Joba than I wouldn't do it. They`re both solid pitchers right now and have the potential to be great. They`re also cheap. Melky is on a great pace and to be an above average center fielder for the Yankees as young as he is is a great accomplishment. Austin Jackson also has great potential.

Please Cash, don't let everything you`ve built get away for just one player, no matter how good he is.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Oleny: Santana Wants 150/6 years

This makes me happy. As I`ve said before I think Santana will cost to much in terms of talent in a trade and I`d prefer they traded for an alternative and just hoped Santana became a free agent. This high demand could knock a few teams out of the running. Possibly even the Red Sox because of the the PR aspect of them approaching the Yankees in payroll. It also limits the demands the Twins should be able to make.

More of Dan Haren

Another report that Dan Haren could be available.

Personally, I`d rather see the Yankees stay away from Santana and hope he gets to free agency and trade for Dan Haren. He`s a ton cheaper than Satana both in terms of talent it would cost and money. For the next three years he`ll be ridiculously cheap. He`s been very reliable all of his career. Last year was an aberration but he`s still a very good pitcher. Could Ian Kennedy, Alan Horne, Kei Igawa, and Cash be enough? I think it might and if so then I think you have to do it.

A Hard Working Manager....

The Cincinnati Enquirer:

Two weeks ago, Joe Girardi was in Orlando, Fla., huddling with coaches at the general managers' meetings to plan spring training for the Yankees. Last week, he was in the Dominican Republic at the team's new academy, viewing tryouts and speaking to the players, some as young as 16.
Joe Torre was often the only manager in the majors to skip the winter meetings. Girardi, meanwhile, is everywhere. The Yankees are not used to such offseason activity from their manager, but they like it.
"That's the whole point," Yankees vice president Hank Steinbrenner said. "He's an organization guy. He'll work with the entire organization. He'll be involved with Brian Cashman and the other people in the baseball office, including the scouts. He went down to the Dominican, of his own choosing, so the kids down there could get a chance to meet him.
"That's going to be his level of involvement. That's the way he is, and we think he's going to be a great manager to boot. We have very high hopes for Joe."

I`m happy to hear this. Imagine that, a manager that actually cares about the team in the off-season. Slowly I`m starting to like Girardi a lot more than Torre. Does this translate into wins? Maybe, at least if Girardi is still around a few years from now when some of these guys make the major leagues they`ll have a good relationship with him.

His reputation seems to be that he has a lot more energy than Torre and is more likely to make moves. Hank compared him to Billy Martin so the reputation looks like fact. Whatever happens it should be a fun year.

What Next? Shortstop

In a previous post I suggested that the Yankees switch Cano and Jeter's positions. However, WARP3's positional adjustments would make it harder to figure out what Cano's would be SS or Jeter's would at second. So, for the sake of simplicity I`ll project Jeter for the SS segment of these posts and Cano for the 2B segment.

Jeter quietly had a solid year but clearly declined from the last two. His .322/.388/.452/.300 (BA/OBP/SLG%/EQA) line was a decline from his MVP type 2006 but still very good for a SS. His defensive skills also have declined even worse. The many double plays he grounded into in the playoffs also earned him some criticism (shocking isn't it). He`s still a very good player and one of the best middle infielders in baseball but he`s declining. His range at shortstop is especially showing decline. Its time to switch his position with Cano.

His off-year last year was a start of a trend I think. It won't be a quick decline and I think he`ll essentially repeat last year next year. However, they need to do something about his terrible defense.

How many times did you see balls go up the middle that he missed that ended up being critical hits last season? On the other hand, how many times did you see Cano grab (base) balls going up the middle that otherwise would have been hits? The opportunites to save or allow those hits are more numerous at shortstop than at second. Derek is still a fantastic hitter but he can't field. Keep in mind this projection is just a ballpark figure made knowing generally how WARP3 is scaled but without knowing the actual formula for WARP3 or using an actual projection system.

2007 WARP3- 8.8

2008 WARP3- 8.8

Win Change- 0

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Poll on RCA

If anybody think that RCA is a bad stat than could you please explain why in the comments section and make any suggestions you have. I`d like to change it to make it better which is the purpose of this poll. Thanks :)

The Twins Starting Offer

The Twins reportedly want Melky, Hughes, and Austin Jackson for Santana. I wouldn't do this. The Twins want a starting center-fielder (Melky), a young major league ready pitcher (Hughes), and another prospect (Jackson). I doubt they`ll be negotiate it low enough to be worth it. I`d aim for Dan Haren or Joe Blanton instead.

New Poll

You may have noticed that I put up a new poll. I`m interested in people's opinion of RCA and if you could vote honestly I`d appreciate it.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Time to move Jeter?

Throughout his career Derek Jeter has been one of the most polarizing figures in baseball. Sabermetricians call him a future HoF'er and great hitter but is one of the worst defenders at his position ever and heavily overrated because of the clutch hitters myth. Baseball insiders, fans, analysts, and writers praise him for his intangibles and clutch hitting while pointing out famous, flashy defensive plays by him. The classic debate of A-Rod versus Jeter always turn into an argument about the merits of using statistics to evaluate players or not.

By now I`m sure you all know where I stand on this. A-Rod is better and stats are very useful but you don't even need stats to see Jeter's terrible defense. He misses balls up the middle average SS's get. The solution to this problem is obvious. The best SS in baseball is playing right next to Derek Jeter. By now I`m sure you`re all sick of hearing this blasphemy about A-Rod and previously I agreed that A-Rod was the best SS in baseball. However, Alex has gotten bigger and at this point can't play SS anymore. However, I still believe the best SS in baseball is playing next to Jeter.

I believe Robinson Cano is the best short-stop in baseball. He`s demonstrated tremendous range to both sides. He was also considered being moved to third so we know he has the arm for short. His defensive stats are excellent and our own observations can back the statistics up. His only problem is that he occasionally would lose focus earlier in the year when he was slumping. As the year progressed this became less of a problem.

I also think Cano is the most overlooked and underappreciated player on the Yankees. Sure, he`s a homegrown Yankee and everybody loves him for it but earlier in the year when he was slumping everybody wanted him gone. In the 2006 ALDS Cano was usually batted 9th or near there. He`s always been in the bottom half of the lineup. He`s overshadowed by HR hitting veterans, former champions and fututre HoF'ers, and even his more exciting, also young, friend, Melky Cabrera.

Last year he rebounded from a terrible first half to hit .306/.353/.488/.292 (BA/OBP/SLG%/EQA) with top knotch defense from second. He is now generallly considered the best second baseman in baseball or at least the second best behind Jimmy Rollins. All this added up to an 11.8 WARP3. All of this is incredible for a 24 year old. If he were to be moved to shortstop his defense would be even more valuable.

What Next? Third Base

On Opening Day, 2007, Alex Rodriguez dropped a pop-up in foul territory and was booed heartily. Some fans were thinking, oh no not again. Other fans like me were in the minority and prepared to fight in his defense against the many naysayers and were worried he`d be booed into opting out. Fortunately, the batter was later retired and Alex later hit a home run in that game in a Yankees win.

He then went on to have a historic April with two walk-off HR's and prevented the team from falling to far out of contention. While he didn't repeat his April he had an overall excellent season and arguably the best ever by a third baseman. He had a solid (but sadly brief) postseason. He made statements about loving New York and looked like a lock to win the MVP and to sign an extension.

Then everything fell apart. In game four of the World Series with the Red Sox about to win the World Series it was reported that Alex was going to opt out. Hank Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman made statements about the door being closed now because of the loss of money from Texas and his not appreciating being a Yankee. It looked like he going to sign elsewhere maybe even with Boston. The emotions of Yankees fans ranged from jubilance, to panic, to dissapoint and disgust. Mike Lowell, Miguel Cabrera, and even Joe Crede or Wilson Betemit were mentioned as possible solutions to the problem.

Then Alex turned around. For whatever reason he came back to the Yankees and asked to talk to them against the wishes of Scott Boras. He made a post on his website about wanting to go back to the Yankees, Hank Steinbrenner said Alex had made it clear that he wanted to be a Yankee. A 10 year, 275 million dollar deal seems eminent now for Alex. While some Yankees fans are disgusted that he`s coming back I believe most are just grateful the best player in baseball will be playing for them next year. Whatever your feelings about them are, he`s back with "unfinished buisness."

He had a historically great year last year with an unbelievable .354 EQA while playing above average third base defense. He hit 54 home runs, an unheard of total for a righthanded player who spends half his year in Yankees Stadium, smashing the old record of 48. This all added up to a 13.7 WARP3.

He won't replicate that next year but 2006 isn't his real talent level. In two of the past three years he`s had MVP years. Their is an explanation for his improvement over 2006 as well. He lost weight over the off-season and worked on a lower leg kick for his batting stance. The result of this was an increase in confidence and a decrease in SO's. He had his lowest SO total since 1999 and his lowest SO% since 2002. He worked on just putting the ball in play and not trying to hard and despite having a lower LD% and a lower BABIP he had a higher BA than 2006.

Also important was the fact that he worried less about pressure and put less on himself. He was open in Spring Training about the retarded Jeter thing and ended it. He made all other controversies go away with a quick no comment as well. He looked happier playing the game as well. He was a mentor to Cabrera and Cano and seemed to be good friends with them. He stopped worrying about being "the guy" and as a result became "the guy." Ironic isn't it?

These changes should remain for 2008 for Alex unless the Yanks do something stupid and trade away Cano and/or Cabrera. Hopefully, he`ll be able to somewhat replicate his 2007 season. He`ll decline but not all the way to 2006 numbers. Keep in mind this projection is just a ballpark figure made knowing generally how WARP3 is scaled but without knowing the actual formula for WARP3 or using an actual projection system.

2007 WARP3- 13.7

Projected 2008 WARP3- 11.5

Win Change- 2.2

What Next? Catcher

I wasn't really happy with what I did for the offense for this series of posts. So I`m going to redo it. Position by position.

For catcher Jorge Posada has been resigned for the next 4 years. He should be a productive player next year and one of the best in baseball but he`ll drop off. The general opinion around baseball is that he`s really an above average catcher but has never had a season like last year. He posted a .338/.426/.543/.337 line (BA/OBP/SLG%/EQA) with a WARP3 of 10.0. The truth is that 2007 arguably wasn't even his best season. In 2000 he had a 10.4 WARP3 and in 2003 he had a 10.1 WARP3. Not only that but in just 2006 he had a 9.1 WARP3. While 2007 was a fantastic season its not the first time he`s ever had one like that. He also started his career as an infielder so has less years as a catcher in his career and less wear and tear than the average catcher at his age. Jose Molina will also be the backup catcher the whole year and we won't have to worry about having automatic out, Wil Nieves, playing when Posada gets days off. So he should be a little better rested this year. His former mentor, Joe Girardi, is also back with the team and who knows what type of influence that could have on him. He`ll decline but nothing catastrophic. At least not in the first year. Keep in mind this projection is just a ballpark figure made knowing generally how WARP3 is scaled but without knowing the actual formula for WARP3 or using an actual projection system.

2007 WARP 3- 10.0

Projected 2008 WARP3- 7.0

Win Change- -3.0

Johan Santana

Ken Rosenthal elaborates on what the Twins would need to give up Santana. A young star and a few prospects? The young star would probably have to be Cano or Wang and then the other prospects would have to be probably Melky Cabrera and either Horne, Tabata, or Jackson. Is Santana worth this?

Well Wang had WARP3's of about 8 both of the last two years. Compare this to Santana's WARP3 of 9 last year. This was an off year for him but the year before it was about 11 and the year before that about 10. Lets say his real value is 10 wins above replacement level per year. Wang the past two years has been worth around 8 wins above replacement level. That`s a difference of two wins. Is that worth two prospects? No, I don't think so.

If its Cano we're giving up instead it looks even worse. Every year, Cano has steadily improved. He was third in the league in BA in 2006 and he`ll be making another run for the BA title in a few years I`ll bet. His HR totals have steadily increased each year. His plate disciplince also improved last year going from 18 BB's to 39. Scouts have raved about his power potential and even Don Mattingly said he could hit 30 HR's one day if he wanted to. He`s gone from being a below average defensive second baseman last year to being one of the best in baseball. Once again, improving every year, oh and by the way, he`s still 24 years old. Remember all those Rod Carew comparisons before this year that went away early in the season? Yeah, they`re coming back.

Melky Cabrera wouldn't even be the centerpiece of this deal and look at his value. He`s improved every year he`s been in the league. His defense has blossomed into being one of the best center-fielders in the league. He needs to regain the plate disciplince he showed in 2006 but he`s developing very nicely and had a better season than Mike Gonzalez did.

So all in all lets think about this for a minute. Cano had a WARP3 of about 12, plus Melky's WARP3 of about 7, plus Alan Horne who some say is better than Kennedy for Johan Santana, the best pitcher in baseball but still only averages around a WARP3 of 10 and maxes out at about 11.

Or we can do Wang and his WARP3 of about 8, plus Melky, plus Jose Tabata who was a top 20 prospect in baseball last year for Santana.

That's not even taking into account the chemistry effect of Cano and Cabrera (A-Rod?) or the 130 million we`ll also have to give up for Santana's next contract. Its just to much. Santana's percieved value is just way to high. A bonafide ace would be nice but its just not worth it. Let Omar and the Mets sell the farm for him. Let them give up their star middle infielder and top prospects. We`ll be laughing when 35 year old Johan Santana gives up a HR to Jose Reyes or Fernando Martinez of the Twins in the World Series.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Cordero signs

Fransisco Cordero has agreed to a 4 year 46 million dollar deal. The market this year seems just as insane as last year.

Joe Kennedy dies at age 28

Oakland A's pitcher, Joe Kennedy, died today. He passed out at home with his wife and son and died. ESPN hasn't said the cause. Its always sad when you hear about this. It makes you think about your own future. :(

What an awful day after Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

CJ Henry Signs

This is really not important but C.J. Henry signed with the Yankees. He`s a former first round pick and was the center-piece of the Abreu deal. However, his physical talent never translated to success. If he succeeds that would be a hilarious irony about the Abreu deal and its could to see him guys get second chances.

What Next? The Bullpen

I happened to look on the depth charts and realizing I still had to do the bullpen for this series of posts I looked over there. Since the Rivera deal has not been finalized and announced yet our closer is Krazy Kyle Frickin Farnsworth. Could you imagine that? That is why they are overpaying for Rivera. Thankfully, it looks like Rivera will be coming back. Still, the bullpen will be relying heavily on rookies like Edwar Ramirez, Ross Ohlendorf and Chris Britton. They`re going to need other help.Theirs been a million rumors about different potential FA signings.

The Yankees have been called the front-runners to sign Ron Mahay to a 2 year 5-7 million dollar deal. I don't like Mahay because of his weak K/BB and not very good GB%. He got lucky and looks great. Kei Igawa, Sean Henn, or Ron Villone could all do the same thing. He`s just a waste of money.

Scott Linebrink has also been rumored. He`s a good reliever and would definitely help solidify this bullpen but he`s a type A free agent and do you really want to give up your first round draft pick for Scott Linebrink? Anyway, Linebrink was signed by the White Sox.

Luis Vizcaino is also a free agent and did a pretty decent job last year despite filling Scott Proctor's role in Joe Torre's bullpen. With a new manager he could improve if the damage isn't already done.

The Yankees were mentioned as one of 8-10 teams interested in Troy Percival who did an excellent job with St. Louis. His 3.60 K/BB is very good and overcomes his poor GB% which most relievers have anyway. He almost retired last year and would probably only want a one year contract. I`m not sure but I don't think he is a type A free agent. The rankings are suppsoedly based on the past 3 years and his 2006 was so bad he probably wouldn't be type A. He`d be the perfect setup man for Rivera.

Actually theirs a guy who might be available that would be even more perfect than Percival. Bobby Jenks could be available for Melky+ or Damon+. He was an awesome closer for Chicago and even if he drops off (which he probably will do) he`d be an amazing setup man. I`d hang on to Melky but Damon would definitely be availabe if I was in charge of the Yanks. Linebrink's signing adds depth to Chicago's bullpen and Tori Hunter's signing takes away the obvious solution to their CF problem.

Here's my dream scenario. Sign Percival for whatever it takes, trade Damon, cash, and Clippard to Chicago for Jenks, bring back Vizcaino, finalize the Rivera deal, give Britton a spot, and then have an open competition in Spring Training for the last MR spot. I`d consider Edwar Ramirez, Ben Kozlowski, and Scott Patterson for the last MR spot. Sean Henn and Igawa can compete for the LOOGY role and can also be the long man. I don't include Cox or Xanchez because they won't be back in time for Spring Training probably but should be a likely call up.

CL Rivera
SU Jenks
SU Percival
MR Vizcaino
MR Britton
MR Ramirez/Patterson/Kozlowski
LOOGY/LM Igawa/Henn

Tori Hunter to Angels

Let the Tori Hunter to the Yankees rumors die now. For 90 million dollars the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim get Tori Hunter for the next 5 years. They`re overpaying and its not a smart deal but it will help them a lot in the short-term.

For the Yankees it opens up the possibility of trading either Melky or Damon for Bobby Jenks. Speaking of the White Sox they also signed Scott Linebrink who was a possibility for the bullpen I didn't like. Does this further open up the possibility of a Jenks trade. Or am I just overanalyzing things?

Has their been a busier November in recent memory?

Anyway, have a safe and happy Thanksgivving everyone :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Melky on Trade Block? Johan Santana on Trade Block?

Melky Cabrera is being shopped by the Yankees in an effort to get more pitching. Johan Santana also turned down an offer from the Twins for 5 years, 93 million dollars. They`ll probably try to trade him now. Are these two events connected?

I like rooting for Melky and other prospects since we`ve followed them since being drafted and thats the only reason that these rumors don't make sense for me. Hughes, Joba, and Kennedy could easily all fizzle. Melky could easily never be more than he is now, a league average CF'er and Santana could be a HoF'er but if they pan out..... Man if they pan out.....

Troy Percival

The Yankees are one of the 8-10 teams interested in reliever Troy Percival. He was great for St. louis and would definitely help the bullpen.

Project P46

Steve Lombardi does an amazing job on his own at He started Project P46 in which he asks all Yankees fans to send Andy Pettitte a letter encouraging him to be a Yankee and showing our appreciation for everything he`s done. Its not a terrible idea and I`m sure Andy would at least be happy to know he has so many fans out there.

Shelley Duncan Blood Clot

Shelly has/had a blood clot in his arm and was released from the hospital today. I`m not sure what this means but I`m sure we all hope he recovers well.

40 Man Roster Stuff

Fransisco Cervelli, Scott Patterson, Stephen White, and Jeff Marquez were added to the 40 man roster which means they can't be taken in the Rule V draft. That makes it 39 without Posada, Rodriguez, and Rivera added. I guess Pavano will be released and they`ll find other room elswhere.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Damon for Jenks?

The Yankees are supposedly interested in trading for Bobby Jenks of the White Sox. Either Damon or Cabrera would probably be in it. I`d do that with Damon and pick up part of his salary but not Cabrera. That gives us a very good 8th/9th inning combination.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Alex is MVP

A-Rod was named MVP today. Only the two writers from Detroit voted for Magglio Ordonez instead of him. I think he deserved it but it should have been closer. His amazing season has been described a million different times so I won't get into that again now. Its his 3rd MVP and 2nd in 3 years.

Interestingly its the third year in the row the Yankees had arguably the player deserving the MVP. In 2005 it was Alex, 2006 it was Jeter, and this year it was, of course, Alex again. Those three years they missed the playoffs. I`m not one of those people that think that having the best player in baseball is a bad thing but its just an interesting note.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Enter Sandman

The New York post is reporting that Mariano Rivera is expected to take the Yankees 3 year, 45 million dollar offer. I guess its a good deal. It keep Joba in the rotation. Now go out and get some middle relievers. I`d still pursue Cordero though as a setup man.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Mike Lowell

We`ve heard a lot about a potential 4 year, 60 million dollar deal for Mike Lowell to play first. Previously, I was completely against it but I`ve been told by a few Boston fans he was never offered arbitration and if the Yankees signed him they wouldn't lose draft picks.

Lowell was originally a Yankees prospect and was supposed to be the guy to replace Scott Brocius but was traded away to the Marlins in 1999 after Brocius' great 1998. He had some very nice seasons with them and posted EQA's above .270 in every full year he played except one while playing very good defense. That one year was 2005 when he had a .240 EQA and a WARP3 of 4.5. After the 2005 season the Marlins went on a fire-sale. Lowell had a large contract and in order to get Josh Beckett the Red Sox had to take on his salary. In 2006 he returned to his career norms with a .277 EQA and more excellent defense. Last year he had a career year though. He had a .302 EQA and a 10.1 WARP3.

One of the biggest knocks on him is that he was nothing before moving to Boston where he took advantage of Fenway. This is entirely based on his one bad, 2005, season. He`s had an excellent career playing with very good offense and great defense. Though his home/road splits are a cause for concern, 2005 is not representative of his actual ability.

I could easily see him repeating 2006 for the Yankees in 2008 but what will he be doing 4 years from now in 2011 for 15 million dollars? A lot of his value comes from his playing a great defensive third base as well. I`m sure he`d be an excellent defensive first baseman to but compared to other first baseman's offensive numbers his numbers aren't really that great. First base defense doesn't affect the game as much as third base defense either.

I`m torn on this but I`m leaning towards no. Its to many years . Just try out a Duncan and Miranda plattoon at first with Giambi pinch-hitting when necesary. Stay away from the multi-year contracts for aging veterans.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A-Rod back, done deal

ESPN is reporting that A-Rod is back for 10 years 275 million with incentives for him breaking the all-time home run record. He`s back.

Bonds indicted

And its about frickin time. Apparently the government has positive drug test results. I was kind of hoping he would just retire and go away but this is better than having him sign with another team.

A-Rod to get Milestone Incentives

Tyler Kepner reports that A-Rod could receive incentives if he breaks the all-time HR record and others. He`s going to have a monster deal by the end of it all. Hopefully, he can deliver the team a few championships.

Hideki Matsui

Yesterday, Matsui had knee surgery that went well. Remember how terrible he was towanrds the end of the year? I`ll be adding a poll about that third baseman the Yankees have almost signed. You see, you might not have heard but the Yankees are close to a deal with a third baseman, oh whats his name, I can't remember it right now but it`ll come to me ;)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Welcome Home Alex

Wow, what an unbelievable few days for A-Rod and the Yankees. However, looking back on what he`s done throughout his entire career with the Yankees it seems only fitting. During his time with the Yankees he has dominated the headlines like no other player. For the past year RLYW actually counted the amount of times Alex made the back page (129 and its sure to shoot up tomorrow). Baseball Fever made a thread completely dedicated to A-Rod for the past season. All throught it, however, he`s been the best player on the team and two of the past three years he`s been the best player in baseball.

Lookat what he`s done and tell me the Yankees would have even been in the playoffs in 2005 or 2007 with even the second best 3rd baseman in the league. Yeah, he`s made a ton of money doing it but he`s done everything imaginable for a baseball player to do to earn it and I`m happy to have him back. Did he come back because he loved New York or because he couldn't get a better deal elsewhere? I don't know but if he was out for more money wouldn't it have made sense to at least wait a little while longer?

Alex was the one that made me a Yankees fan almost singlehandedly in 2004 against the Twins. Step back and look at what he`s done. Three MVP's, over 500 HR's, .300 career BA, if he retired today he`d be going into the Hall of Fame. The past year he didn't let controversy or pressure bother him. When the fans booed him on Opening Day he had a historic April that nobody will forget. When criticized for distracting the 3rd baseman for Toronto he just kept going.

He`s going to make a run at Bonds' home run record and we`ll be there to watch it. Hoepfully, he can also win a championship

More A-Rod (yes I know I`m late on this)

Michael Kay supposedly talked to a high ranking Yankees official who said they`re talking but it isn't close to being done. Come on Yankees, get this thing done.

A-Rod Update

A-Rod has made an entry on his official site about wanting to come back to the Yankees. Sterling came on WFAN earlier and said that the deal is just about done. Mark Feinsand is saying the same thing and is probably a more reliable source. This looks real to me but its not done yet.

A-Rod Negotiating with Yankees?

A few news sources have reported that A-Rod and the Yankees are talking again. A-Rod supposedly feels like Boras led him astray. The Yankees say they are willing to talk but Boras can't be involved. However, the only way this can happen is if A-Rod fires Boras according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement. I`m skeptical that he would do this. A-Rod probably feels a lot of loyalty to Scott for negotiating that famous 252 million dollar deal but we`ll see. The Daily News cited a source saying the deal would be about 275 million dollars for 10 years. I`d like to take a little off that but that seems reasonable. I`d still call this unlikely but you never know.....

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Jose Molina

The Yankees are close to a deal with Jose Molina. He did a great job this year and it was a good trade they made. He won't replicate what he did with the bat last year but he`s decent and plays good defense.

Hip Hip Jorge

Jorge Posada was resigned to a 4 year 52 million dollar deal last night. I don't like that 4th year but it was necessary. They have nobody to replace him. He`s still one of the best catchers in baseball. He also seems like the real leader of the clubhouse more than Jeter.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Ben Sheets Trade?

Ken Davidoff reports that Ben Sheets could be available. The Yankees should be interested. Right now it looks like Pettitte's gone and we need somebody to replace him. Yes, Sheets is an injury risk and is coming from the National League but the Yanks have depth. It wouldn't be to hard to get him. Unlike Santana, he could probably be acquired without them giving up any of the The Big Three.

The Brewers need relief help. Could they be interested in Farnsworth? He was great in the National League as a closer and a change of scenery could help him. The Brewers could also use some help in the outfield. Would they be interested in having Johnny Damon play center or left for them?

Johnny Damon+Kyle Farnsworth+20 million dollars for Ben Sheets?

Sheets is a potential ace even considering he is coming from the National League. It`s be a great idea to trade for him.

Pavano to be Released?

This is really a non-story but Joel Sherman reports that Carl Pavano could be released. Great, I guess. It at least ends the constant Pavano rehab stories but the real reason they`re doing it is to open up a spot on the 40 man roster. They have to pay the money either way.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Miguel Cabrera for Right Field?

To continue my series of speculation on what the Yankees could do for 2008 here`s another idea for what they could do for the offense.

Could the Yankees trade for Miguel Cabrera as a right-fielder for next year? Suppose the Yankees offer to trade Jose Tabata, Ian Kennedy, and Alan Horne to the Marlins for Miguel Cabrera?

The Marlins get one very good pitching prospect (Ian Kennedy), another good solid one (Alan Horne) and another top prospect in Jose Tabata. Giving upo a guy they will only be able to keep for another year or two.

The Yankees get one of the best young hitters in baseball and the only guy available that could possibly replace A-Rod. Ian Kennedy is a big loss but he has Chamberlain and Hughes ahead of him. Horne is a good prospect but not on the same level as Kennedy, Chamberlain, and Hughes. Tabata is also a hard loss but while he could be one of the best hitters in baseball eventually, Cabrera IS one of the best hitters in baseball.

Next they trade Johnny Damon, Bobby Abreu, Jeff Karstens and money to the White Sox for Joe Crede, Paul Konerko, and John Danks

Damon is going to be basically a 4th OF'er next year with no changes splitting time with Giambi, Matsui, and Melky. Abreu is overpaid and nobody will miss him when he`s traded. Joe Crede can fill third base and John Danks adds pitching depth essentially replacing Ian Kennedy. They save some money and help the pitching and defense. Paul Konerko is an improvement over any other options they have for first base. At the end of his deal he`ll be hurting the team but they can afford it and his contract is no worse than Damon's. Karstens is basically a throw-in.

From the White Sox perspective they get Damon who can play CF or LF for them. Both weaknesses for them. Abreu can DH and Jim Thome can play first base. If they want Abreu could also probably play left-field. Danks probably isn't valued that highly (I like him because he has a good K/BB and should be easy to get) and their isn't a big difference between him and Karstens.

Miguel Cabrera can play RF. Joe Girardi is strict and will make sure Miguel doesn't get overweight. If he loses some weight he can get faster and help his range in RF. He`s better suited to a corner OF spot anyway. Crede is a good defensive third baseman and run prevention is really the problem with this team. If they don't improve offense elsewhere I don't want him but Cabrera and Konerko are both definitely offensive improvements.

1) Derek Jeter (SS)
2) Robinson Cano (2B)
3) Hideki Matsui (LF)
4) Miguel Cabrera (RF)
5) Paul Konerko (1B)
6) Jason Giambi (DH)
7) Jorge Posada (C)
8) Joe Crede (3B)
9) Melky Cabrera (CF)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Joe Torre Is Writing a Book

Joe`s writing a book about his time with the Yankees. I think it`ll be an interesting read and I`ll probably buy it. Maybe we`ll learn how controlling Steinbrenner really is/was. Joe was a great manager and a smart guy.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Miguel Tejada

The Yankees are reportedly interested in Miguel Tejada to fill third base. I don't think it would be a bad idea. He`s set to get 13 million a year for 2008 and 2009 which isn't bad. However, Tejada had an off year last year. His EQA was .284 and he had a WARP3 of 4.8. If he bounces back he`s a bargain but their`s been a lot of steroid rumors about him and we don't want another Giambi.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Andy Pettitte Declines Option

According to ESPN Andy Pettitte will be declining his one year player option for 16 million dollars.

I really hope this is just Pettitte needing some time to think things over and that he will come back. They need 200 innings from him next year. On the other hand, suppose he decides to retire, anyone think that the Yankees might actually decide to rebuild?

Friday, November 2, 2007

What Now? The Starting Pitching

Last years Yankees were sorely lacking in the critical area of starting pitching. The season began with Wang, the ace, on the DL and Carl Pavano starting on Opening Day. Mike Mussina was also injured at the beginning of the year and the only really solid guy was Andy Pettitte. Kei Igawa, the signing from Japan, was terrible serving up home runs left and right. Speaking of home runs, remember when Chase Wright gave up 4 in a row to Boston? Tyler Clippard had a few decent performances but got sent back down after an overall unimpressive performance. Jeff Karstens wasn't good and got injured on a comebacker from a Red Sox player early on (Pedroia?). Matt DeSalvo got bombed repeatedly. Darell Rasner was good but also got injured and was often passed over in favor of other, lesser pitchers. After a while, Phil Hughes got called up. He had an overall poor debut but showed good signs and was wildly cheered by the Yankees Stadium crowd. In his next start he had a near no-hitter but pulled his hamstring in the 8th inning (he later sprained an ankle badly) and missed most of the season. Eventually, Roger Clemens announced his return to the Yankees and added, if not a great pitcher, a steady reliable pitcher. Just before the All Star Break things turned around and Wang and Pettitte became a feared combination. Mussina and Clemens were decent and by August Phil Hughes was back.Hughes wasn't great but he was good. Mussina dropped off a lot in September and was even replaced by Ian Kennedy at one point. Wang collapsed in the playoffs in the playoffs, Pettitte did well, and Clemens did poorly pitching hurt. Overall the rotation consisted off a lot of bad replacements and 5 solid but not great pitchers.

This year Joba will be back to starting and is expected to be in the ML rotation, Hughes will start the season in the Bronx, and Wang will be back. Andy Pettitte has a player option for 16 million dollars he is expected to pick up and should be a valuable innings eater. Mike Mussina is back and after the off-season maybe he can get his "fastball" up to the high 80's instead of the 84 mph FB we were seeing last year. If he can regain the seperation between his fastball and change he could also be solid. If not Mini-Moose (Ian Kennedy) will be waiting in Scranton to take Mike's job.

Darell Rasner will probably still be around in AAA to fill in case of injury. Alan Horne might be in front of him by now though. Jeff Karstens definitely did not have a good 2007 and probably will be a little farther down the list now. We saw many promising signs with Kei Igawa as well but I think he`d be better suited for relief. Chase Wright was rushed last year and should start the season in AAA. Matt DeSalvo is an interesting case. He was great in AAA and actually made BA's top 100 prospect list once this year but was terrible in the majors. Maybe it was just nerves because he didn't look like the guy the stats and people described pitching in AAA.

Finally, their's still Roger Clemens. After a dramatic announcement of his return to pinstripes he helped turn this team around. I love Rocket and his intensity but the guy pitching in the ALDS against the Indians a month ago looked done. He`s not better than an average pitcher now other than the experience he brings to young players. I`d love to see him back for a reasonable deal but not another 28 million dollar deal. Maybe 13 million protrated would do it. If he wants to come back and we have room for him great but you can't purposely keep a spot open for him.

I think Hughes and Joba both have the potential to be aces this year. The Hughes we saw late last year wasn't the real Hughes. As Fabian Mc'Nally at The Minor Yankees Blog pointed out, he was taking a shorter stride than he was taking in the past. Possibly out fear of another injury or it might have still been bothering him. As a result he lost velocity on his fastball and became a worse pitcher. When Dave Eiland came up this problem was partially fixed (which explains his success in September compared to when he first got back) and since it looks like he`ll be the new pitching coach I`d be surprised to see this continue. Both are on innings limits (180 for Hughes I think and 160 for Joba but I`m not sure on this). Making Joba a reliever, even if Rivera leaves, would be a waste of his talents (yes, I also think Papelbon is being wasted as a closer and would have more value as a starter). Trading either one in a desperate bid for Santana would be dumb as well.

Wang is a decent pitcher and nothing more. He is a sinker baller which means he is very vulnerable to luck. His SO's increased last year with an improved slider which should help but he still allows a ton of balls in play. Wang has benn lucky the past two years and had excellent ERA's but it could easily turn around this year and he could have a below average ERA. He needs to keep working on that slider and striking more guys out. I love him but I wouldn't be opposed to trading him because his value will never be higher than it is now after two consecutive 19 win seasons.

Pettitte is a solid innings eater. He was decent last year but not great. His K/BB was down to 2.04 and his GB% remained about the same. He suffered from a terrible lack of run support all year and had only two bad stretches all season. One at about the ASB and another, less significant September slump. He has a 16 million dollar option for 2008 he`s expected to pick up. He `ll be a good middle of the rotation starter next year and will be a solid veteran prescence. He`s given a great pitcher for the Yanks and has given them some amazing moments but this could be his last year. He almost retired before last year. He`s a borderline HoF candidate but I doubt he`ll make it in. If he has a Cy Young caliber season it might be enough to get him in and convince him to pitch another few years. It probably won't happen but weirder things have happened. He`s arguably one of the top five Yankees pitchers of all time as well.

Mussina has one year left on his contract for 11.5 million dollars. After a fantastic 2006 he had a terrible 2007. His K/BB dropped all the way from 4.91 to 2.60. On its own that still looks okay but it was more a product of not walking people than striking guys out. His GB% was also a terrrible 41.9%. He went from throwing 88-90 mph to throwing 84-86 this year. In September Ian Kennedy took over for him and almost pushed him off the playoff roster. However, after resting he came back strong and his fastball was back up to 88 mph. The key for him is to get that seperation between his fastball and changeup that he was lacking last year. Hopefully, after an off-season of conditioning and under the stricter regime of Joe Girardi he`ll get his fastball velocity up to where he needs it to be to be effective. Mussina is another borderline HoF candidate but he`s a LOT closer than Pettitte. Mussina's been critisized a lot but he`s been a great Yankee and is also arguably in the top 5 all-time Yankees starters.

A trade suggestion I heard that I liked is Wang+Kennedy+Damon+DeSalvo+Money for Santana. Santana is the best pitcher in baseball and would give us the ace we`ve been looking for. Wang is a very nice pitcher but that's all he is and his value will never be higher. Kennedy could also become a very good pitcher but he`s not on the same level as Phil or Joba and we`ve got depth. Damon is pretty good but he`s declining and overpaid. We don't have room for him to play either. He can fill Tori Hunter's spot in CF for the Twins. DeSalvo had great minor league numbers but the Yankees have other more talented players.

Proposed 2008 Starting Rotation:

1) Johan Santana
2) Joba Chamberlain
3) Phillip Hughes
4) Andy Pettitte
5) Mike Mussina

6) Alan Horne
7) Darell Rasner
8) Jeff Karstens

Catching Up

I`ve been busy and haven't been able to keep up with the flurry of news lately.

First of all congratulations to Joe Torre on his job with the Dodgers. He showed everybody it really wasn't about the money after all and he wanted job security. I usually root against that team that stole the Dodgers from Brooklyn and committed the greatest crime against baseball ever (even more than anything Victor Conte ever did) but I think I`ll have to root for them now.

I`m happy with the Girardi hiring. Its whether they`re rebuilding or retooling he`s the right guy for the job. 7 million for 3 years seems pretty reasonable to. It tells me they really would have rather had Girardi then Torre to. I`ve heard a lot of talk about Girardi's poor handling of the starting pitching staff. Almost the entire Marlins staff got injured this year. I think that Eiland knows these young pitchers though and won't let them be overworked. Cash won't let anything happen to Hughes and Joba's arm either. Remember, both are still on innings limits because last year was Joba's first full year and Hughes missed time because of his injury.

Bobby Abreu's option was picked up today and from what Cash said today its obvious they don't plan on trading him. On the bright side it makes sure don't have to watch Damon's wet noodle arm in RF but they`re probably not going to rebuild now. Its not terrible news, he`ll just be a stop-gap for some of the OF prospects but its not the direction I would have gone.