Tuesday, October 7, 2008

First Base

Going in to next year, the Yankees have two main holes at first base and centerfield. Today, I will look at the options for first base.
  • Internal Options: These are not very good. The possibilities are pretty much Shelley Duncan and Juan Miranda. Neither of these two guys are good enough to play everyday, so if first base came down to players from within the system it would probably be a platoon. However, if it were to come down to that, it would be better to just...
  • Re-sign Giambi: Jason has a $22 million option for next year, with a $5 million option, so it is basically a $17 million question. Giambi has been great for the Yankees over his contract, even despite the lost seasons of 2005 and 2007. However, he will be 38 next year, and it is time to move on. On the other hand, if the Yankees are unable to sign a replacement, one more year of Giambi would be okay.
  • Mark Teixeira: Clearly the best all-around option for first base, but there are questions about the contract he wants. He is a Scott Boras client, and there have been reports that he wants an A-Rod type contract. I would be opposed to a contract of that length and magnitude, instead would advocate the signing of...
  • Adam Dunn: While he is nowhere near the fielder of Teixeira, he is very close to him offensively. What is more attractive is that will probably require a much shorter and less-expensive contract than Teixeira. Also, he can play the outfield occasionally, and with Matsui leaving after 2009, he could be moved to DH after just one season at first, allowing Jorge Posada to move to move to first, which will probably be necessary in the near future.
  • Trade: Really the only first basemen I have seen as a legitimate trade candidate is Prince Fielder. While it would be great to acquire Prince, I don't think the Yankees would be willing to part with the prospects necessary to get that deal done.
  • Xavier Nady: Nady has experience at first base, and the Yankees could instead opt to put the X man at first and instead sign a right fielder. Candidates for that job would probably be Dunn, Burrell, Abreu, Raul Ibanez, and Juan Rivera.
My choice from the above would be Adam Dunn, but I'm sure many of you disagree. Tell me what you think in the comments.


Charlie said...

I want Dunn


Mike NYY said...

I originally wanted Manny but now that I`m seeing what he wants it doesn't make sense.

Dunn and Manny's value are pretty close right now. Manny forcing Matsui or Damon to move to first would hurt the defense enough to offset the offensive adavantage mostly.

Looking at their demands it seems that all three of us are for signing Adam Dunn

Peter Lacock said...

Are y'all on drugs?
Here's what I think:
Dunn is a bum and there's no way Cashman would consider him as anything more than the very last resort and only then if we have already traded away every other 1B in the organization.
The reasons are obvious and too numerous to list them all here. Some of them are:
He's not young, not cheap, not athletic, not a good hitter and not a good fielder. How's that?
If you take away his HR's he wouldn't be good enough for a beer league softball team. Howz that?
His .984 career fielding percentage as a 1B is one of the worst in history (Giambi's is .992) and he's even worse in the OF (.969).
His (only) 23 doubles in 517 AB's speaks to his speed. He's a plodder and Molina might beat him in a foot race.
He hit .236 (.241 RISP) last year. He has a career .247 avg (.225 RISP) and in 8 seasons he's never hit higher than .266 (in 2004) (high RISP .248 in 2005). No one with those kind of numbers can be considered even mediocre. They're terrible numbers. Those are poor numbers for a SS.
Simply put, he's Dave Kingman.
40 HR's and some BB's are not enough.
He has nothing else.
He sucks.
While still not necessarily good choices Doug Mientkiewicz, Sean Casey, Kevin Millar, Casey Blake, Jason Giambi, Frank Thomas or Richie Sexson would at least be better than Dunn.
I'd rather have Miranda or Shelley Duncan at 1B. At least they're young and cheap and I bet they can hit .250 and field better than Dunn.
Or Nady.
Or Matsui.
Or Posada.
Here's hoping we get Teixeira.
We have many pitchers with trade value (not Kennedy or Hughes) that should, at least, get our foot in the door in trade talk for Adrian Gonzalez, Casey Kotchman or Hank Blalock.
Speaking of Posada you wrote:
'allowing Jorge Posada to move to move to first, which will probably be necessary in the near future.'
Don't bet on it. How can you say 'probably be necessary'? What are you basing your opinion on? Posada does not want to play 1B, he wants to C. If you have ever played ball you know nothing is more important. According to his doctor David Altchek the success rate for this kind of surgery is high. Girardi said he expects Posada to C around 120 games next year. Most players that are any good spend their entire careers at their position of choice. With only a few exceptions most C's retire as C's. I can see where he might DH some. I can see where if we can't find a decent 1B and it's 1B by committee that he might play a little 1B. Beside all that, he's a pretty good C and we don't have much else at his position. I can't come up with one good reason to think it would 'probably be necessary' to move him to 1B permanently. If I'm speculating, I'm guessing Posada will C until he retires.

Nate said...

ok i didnt read all that because its way too long, but Dunn is most certainly NOT a bum. He is pretty one dimensional, but at least its the one dimension thats most important. The guy has 40 straight home run seasons, something that cannot be said about Mark Teixeira, he led the league in average home run distance last year, and has a career .381 OBP. That's not a bum, that's a monster. His career OPS+ is 130, Teixeira's is 134, so offensively its essentially a push. Do you really want to pay an extra 8-10 million plus extra years just for first base defense?

Mike NYY said...

You make some good points but I have to disagree

Dunn walks enough that his OBP is incredibly high despite his BA. Also, you cant forget his pwoer

Anonymous said...

Dunn has more than just "some" walks and homers. He has a tonn

Nate said...

Agreed with mike and anonymous, also, don't forget about his country strength

Mike NYY said...

I`ll be sure to remember

Peter Lacock said...

Apparently you're all Dave Kingman fans. I don't know how you can call a .240 hitter, good?

Mike NYY said...

I call a .400 OBP good. A walk is as good as a hit. Or at least very close.

40 homers is very good and something Doug Mientkiewicz, Sean Casey, Kevin Millar, Casey Blake, Jason Giambi, Frank Thomas or Richie Sexson could only dream of at this stage in their careers.

Miranda and Duncan have low ceilings. Miranda is interesting but he can't hit righties and is awful on defense.

You really think Giambi would be better than Dunn? They`re the same player but Dunn's numbers are better.

I`m sorry if I come off as condescending.

Nate said...

Dave Kingman's career OBP is .302. Dunn's is .381. Please don't ever compare them again. Thanks.

Peter Lacock said...

Please don't ever compare them again.?? Nate. Is that censorship? Why, because I don't agree with you? FACT IS, nate, they are extremely similar in that they both suck defensively and suck offensively with the exception of the longball. Are you guys chicks that you love the longball so much? It seems very simple minded to me.

Peter Lacock said...

A walk is not as good as a hit, that's why they give them away intentionally. A hit is always better and only under certain circumstances such as, bases loaded, does a walk approach the value of a hit and even then a hit is preferred.
All those guys I (we) listed are better all around players and cheaper. Dunn hits HR's but does nothing else well. The BB's & RBI's are a product of the HR's. Take away the HR's, what have you got? Crap.
Some of those guys are much, much better defensively. I'll take the steady D over 162+ games over the 40 HR's.

Mike NYY said...

Cencorship would mean that he would be deleting your cfomments. He`s not. Relax, we disagree thats all.

Kingman didn't has as much power as Dunn and his OBP is much worse.

Mike NYY said...

Giving out inetntional walks is usually a bad strategy and is usually based on preventing an extra base hit.

True, in some scenarios a hit is better than a walk but usually its the same, one base. You can't take away the home runs though. That`s like saying if Babe Ruth hadn't hit all those homers he would have just been a singles hitter. The HR's are integral to his value but he hits a ton of those so whats wrong with it?

Peter Lacock said...

You said:
'Miranda is interesting but he can't hit righties.'
Miranda has trouble with lefties. You see Miranda is left handed. Get it?
Just because he can't hit lefties doesn't mean he won't hit lefties.
Duncan hit lefties well.
Miranda went 4 for 4 with a double and a triple in his AFL debut. All against righties.
Do you believe that players start out at the top of their game and never improve?
Do you know that most MLB players don't do very well when they first start out but if they show enough talent they get a chance to continue their careers and some actually improve?
I get the impression you guys are pretty young, like early to mid 20's. Is true?

Mike NYY said...

It was a typo. My mistake.

Yes, we managed to figure that out about major league baseball players. Maybe you`ve ready something I`ve written abut Phil Hughes?

You seemed to see Miranda as an immediate option. I`m a bit confused now. I`d rather not have him learn how to hit against lefties in the major leagues. You see, that`s why we have the minor leagues.

Peter Lacock said...

I can't believe you're arguing that a walk is even close to as valuable as a hit.
You said:
'Giving out inetntional walks is usually a bad strategy and is usually based on preventing an extra base hit.'
There are so many things wrong with that statement.
Simply put, an intentional walk is used to set up a forceout or to eliminate the possiblility of a ANY KIND of base hit by the batter being walked, or both.
I'd like to see you prove that it's USUALLY a bad strategy. How do you know that? I don't know if it's usually bad or not but if I had to guess I'd think it was USUALLY a successful strategy. As a matter of fact I'd guess it's successful about 60%-65% of the time. Do you know how I arrived at that percentage?

You said:
'True, in some scenarios a hit is better than a walk but usually its the same, one base.'
THAT is funny!
The only time it's the same is if the batter, instead of a walk, gets a single, the fielders of the single don't make any errors and the single occurs with no one on base or any runners on base only advance one base. I virtually every other case, a hit is better than a walk. There are a few other situations where a walk either would have been better or might have been better but those situations aren't very common.

Can a runner on second, score on a walk? Can he score on a single?

Can a runner on third, score on a walk? Can he score on a single?

What if there's runners on second and third. Can either or both score on a walk? Can either or both score on single?

What if there's a runner on first and the batter walks. How far will the runner on first advance? Now if the batter gets a hit, How far might the runner advance?

I'll let you think on this. I can't wait to hear your answers.

Peter Lacock said...

You said:
'Kingman didn't has as much power as Dunn'
This from Wikipedia:
The towering 6'6" Kingman became one of the most feared sluggers of the 1970s and 1980s. His height and long-armed, sweeping swing were sufficient to propel a baseball a very long distance when he connected solidly. It was said of him that he was one of those players that when he came to bat, everyone in the park stopped whatever they were doing to watch him. He hit plenty of home runs, and he could hit them farther than many had ever seen, once over 530 feet.

In a different era he hit 455 HR's in his career.
Didn't have as much power, eh?

Kingman played 16 seasons. The first 13 in the NL as a 1B-OF (sound familiar). The rest of his career with NYY and Oakland in the AL he played 434 of 455 games as a DH. When he became eligible for the HOF, he was removed from consideration after the first ballot because he got only 3 votes. He got only 3 votes because he sucked at everything except hitting HR's. His career was over more than 20 years ago so we'll have to wait and see how any current players compare once their days are done.
Now I won't comment on Dunn anymore. I already said I was done (pardon the pun). I've made my points and we'll have to wait and see if he is the guy Cashman wants to play any position for the Yankees.

I'm not ashamed to say I am in my 50's. I played some kind of organized baseball until I was 41 when I had to retire because my knees were bad. What general age group do you fall in?

Mike NYY said...

Except in very rare situations, players have over a 50% chance of getting out. To put a guy on intentionally and escalate the risk for a big inning seems dumb to me. This is just my opinion I have no evidence to back it up. In some situations, yes, an intentional walk is the right move though. It usually works out even when it is not the right move because the best players (like Dunn) usually still get out 60% of the time.

The general consensus (I`m not positive on this, I think this is true though) is that a walk is worth 60-75% of a single. That seems close enough to mean that Dunn would be a better option than Juan Miranda. Guys you can count on to get on base 40% of the time are rare. Very rare.

Mike NYY said...

What`s the point of the wikipedia quote?

Dunn has 278 home runs through what amounts to about 8 seasons. He`s 28 and could have many years of baseball left. If you take the easy way out and double Dunn's 278 homers you get much more than Kingman's 455. Dunn gets on base much more than Kingman as well. Their's just no comparison between the two.

Nate said...

The difference between Kingman and Dunn is that in 500 ABs, Kingman would make about 250 outs, and Dunn will make 190. So yeah, I guess 60 outs in a season is insignificant. Same player.