Showing posts with label 2008-2009 offseason. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2008-2009 offseason. Show all posts

Sunday, March 8, 2009

No Mark Teahen Please

Since news of A-Rod's injury hit I`ve gotten a few e-mails suggesting the Yankees trade for Mark Teahen. Now Bob Dutton is reporting that they have interest in him. Please, just say no.

At first glance at Teahen's total value's the past three years, its been pretty good. In 2006 and 2007 he was worth about three wins before having a career low in 2008. However, 2007 was not nearly as good as it seems. His bat was barely above replacement level and his defense carried his value. Which is fine, however, that defense came mostly in RF.

He hasn't had a decent offensive year since 2006 and is an awful third baseman. No way he can replace A-Rod.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Manny Ramirez

I`m sure by now you`ve read that Manny, yet again rejected the Dodger's offer. This time it was an extraordinarily generous offer of 25 million for 2009 and a 20 million dollars player option.

Fangraphs.com has a feature in which they calculate a player's money value. Its a little convoluted and far from perfect but its a good rule of thumb for a player's value. It goes back to 2002 and you know how many times he exceeded that 25 million dollar mark? Once, granted it was last year but still, only once.

He only broke the 20 million mark that the PLAYER option is worth one other time. That was way back in 2003. In 2007 he was worth a mere 4.3 million. The guy can't field and that kills a team. I`m not even going to mention the fact that when he's not happy he's a clubhouse cancer. His own team voted for him to leave in Boston nearly unaminously and he has often refused to play in big games. To me, that says it all.

He better hurry up and find a job or he may find himself retired.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Crazy Idea: Pudge

Right now the Yanks are going into the year with a catcher who I`d be surprised to see catch 100 games. Their only backup is Jose Molina. Molina's OPS over the past three years has been .642, .614, .576. He has an outstanding defensive reputation but its still not enough to overcome his historically bad offensive production. He`s passable if he doesn't have to play much but if Posada goes down again then they`re in big trouble.

Which brings me to my next forgotten veteran, Pudge Rodriguez. After the Yanks managed to get him for Kyle Farnsworth last year, I was ecstatic. Unfortunately, as soon as he hit New York, he stopped hitting. Still, look at his numbers over the past three years, OPS's of .769, .714, and 714. Not great but miles better than Molina. His defense also has a good rep, although pitchers don't like him. If he truly is desperate for a team is it far-fetched to think the Yanks might give him a final shot at a championship?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Yankee Years

I finally got my copy of the Yankee Years from the local library. So far its a pretty good read and when I`m done I`ll probably post a review.

Yanks Sign Brett Tomko

The Yankees have signed former Royals pitcher, Brett Tomko to a minor league deal. He`s put up some pretty horrific ERA's the past few years but a quick glance at his defense independant stats shows he was pretty unlucky. Bill James and Chone also have some decent projections for him. Last year he split time betweent he rotation and bullpen, he`s a solid depth guy.

By the way, Happy Valentines Day.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A-Rod's Legacy

Way back in 2004 Alex Rodriguez was traded to the Yankees in, essentially a salary dump, for Alfonso Soriano. Since then the ups and downs have been well documented. Theirs always been a large contingency of Yankees fans who despised the guy. However, never was he thought to be a steroid user. Now of course, this isn't true anymore and even his defenders have to question him.

Their's still many questions about all this. Did he lie about other stuff in the Gammons interview? Personally, I`m not buying everything he said. The most important bit is if he never used before or after Texas. If we find out he lied about that to, or if he fails another test, then he's done. Nobody could possibly respect the guy after that and he can kiss the Hall of Fame goodbye. However, their's still a chance for him to recoup, at least, the respect he had before the Sports Illustrated article.

First of all, he can`t ever be linked to PED's again. If he gets caught lying and cheating again he's done. If he thought the boos were bad before..... He also needs to have a good year this year. It doesn't have to be like 2005 or 2007 but 2004 or 2006 won't cut it. Last year's performance would suffice. That also means he needs to hit in the clutch. The first time he strikes out with the bases loaded and two outs he`s going to get killed. A few postseason heroics would also go a long way to helping. Can his legacy still be saved? I think so but he can't afford any more mistakes.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dunn and Abreu Sign

To take a break from the A-Rod show, Abreu and Dunn have signed. The former Yankee signed for a one year five million dollar deal with the Angels. The Knoblog golden boy got a 2 year, 20 million dollar deal with the Nationals.

First of all, sorry to Brian Cashman. I was dissapointed that Abreu didn't get offered arbitration but in retrospect, Cash can read the market a helluva lot better than I can. Second of all, that's a pretty nice bargain for Dunn. It makes no sense for the Nationals but for a normal team, he makes a ton of sense.

The only real impact for the Yanks though is that this drives up the value on Nady and Swisher. The Braves are on the verge of the playoffs according to PECOTA and if they could add a Nady or Swisher it could push them over the edge. Now they may be willing to give up a bit more for Nady/Swisher.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

PECOTA Projections

Baseball Prospectus' projections have come out and things look pretty good for the Yankees. They have the Yanks winning 97 games and the Wild Card with the best pitching in the league. The scary part though is the rest of the division. They have Boston winnings 98 games and Tampa winning 92. These are the top three records in the AL and Toronto's 81 wins would put them three games back in the central and one game back in the West. That's kind of crazy.

Click it to see the whole thing

Sunday, February 8, 2009

How Long?

The question often being raised now about Alex Rodriguez is how long he was juicing. While driving yesterday I had a thought. Does anybody else remember all the talk about A-Rod slimming down before the 2007 season? Maybe I`m imagining it because I can't find a link but I recall that. That's a warning sign for somebody getting off the juice. Just a thought......

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Here We Go Again....

Somehow, I just knew we were going to have another A-Rod controversy before Spring Training. Joe Torre's book wasn't enough, we needed something bigger. Something with more staying power. Sports Illustrated broke the news this morning.

When I woke up and read on the ESPN ticker that A-Rod had tested positive for steroids in 2003 it was pretty bad. Shocked isn't the right word, every time we`ve had news break about steroids I was holding my breath, waiting for A-Rod's name. Its exactly like him. He`s the hardest worker on the Yankes by all accounts and baseball is his life. That he cheated to get ahead is no shocker. Dissapointing and frustrating is more accurate. Dissapointment is more accurate. Other than the fact that he's just a great Yankee, he had a chance to top Bonds' home run record. Alex could have been the clean golden boy of baseball to take the record back from Bonds. Now, that's not possible for obvious reasons.

Then reality sunk in. This test was back in 2003. Steroids have been outlawed since 1991 but it wasn't until 2004 that actual penalties were put in place. That essentially means that while theirs a mental asterick on everything before 2004 and after 1991, its tough to call it cheating. If something is illegal but has no penalty behind it, can you be held accountable for what you did? I don't think so. Its human nature and as we learn more, its becoming obvious that most of the league was juicing. Since then, he hasn't failed a test. Did he just start taking undetectable stuff or did he just stop? Nobody knows. If he stopped as soon as they put teeth behind their ban in 2004 I can't really blame the guy. Its stupid but not morally wrong.

What's going to be the fallout from this? I have no idea. We`ve had predictable responses around the blogosphere. A-Rod fans defended him while detractors criticized him. ESPN actually seemed to show some balance in their coverage of this. For the next week or so it`ll be big news and then in Spring Training it`ll come up again. However, in the end, he`ll be cheered and when he christens the New Stadium with its first home run he`ll get a curtain call. Their's still more to be learned about this, lets just reserve judgement until we know more.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wright traded

Chase Wright was traded for Eric Fryer today. If you remember, Wright was DFA'ed for Pettitte so you couldn't expect much in return. I`m not really a fan of Wright's his low K numbers were scary. Fryer is a A leftfielder who put up good numbers last year but wasn't one of the Brewers top 30 prospects. Not a big move. They`re just finishing up the roster now.

Monday, February 2, 2009

#4 Starter

I put Pettitte in this spot. They`re going to want to limit Joba's innings so he`ll be the #5 guy. Boston's situation also starts to get a little fuzzy at the back-end. I`m going with Wakefield here though.

Yankees- Andy Pettitte- Even if Any makes his incentives, he could be one of the biggest bargains of the off-season. If he struggles then he`ll only get about 5 million dollars. If he does well it only goes up to 11 which is still a good deal. I`d bet on him having a solid ERA around 4.10 with around 200 innings. Don't count on him having a Mussina type year but he`s still a very solid pitcher without getting paid an exorbitant amount of money.

Red S0x- Tim Wakefield- Wakefield is one of those exceptions to the normal rules of pitching thanks to his knuckleball. Theirs no need to worry about his pitch count, theirs no reason to worry about his age, and their's no reason to worry about his defense independant stats. He`s not great but he's always going to be solid. I`m not going to bother doing his RCA stats because he`s such an exception to the rule. Around a 4.50 ERA in 180 innings is pretty reasonable to expect for him.

Tampa Bay- Andy Sonnanstine- Sonnannstine is the only player who's autograph I have so I`m a little biased towards him. He`s also suffered from an awful BABIP in his first two years in the majors. In his first year, he had a 4.16 RCA in 132 innings. Last year was even better. In 200 innings his RCA was only 4.05. He`ll be 26 next year and could be poised for a big year. He may be one of those rare players who have a higher than average "normal" BABIP. He has fringey stuff and relies mostly on control. For now though, I`ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Conclusion- Tampa Bay- Yankees- Boston- Sonnannstine edged out Pettitte here because he`s entering his peak years and could have a big year. However, Pettitte is also the safer bet. Sonnannstine took a big jump in innings pitched last year and it wouldn't surprise me to see him get hurt. Wake has to be at the back. He`s neither as good as the other two or as much of an innings eater. Boston looks like its going to have a relatively weak rotation.

Remaining Free Agents

Theirs still a few big names left on the market. Not only big names, guys that are still big players. To kill time in a slow month, here's a list of the top three:

1) Manny Ramirez- This one was harder for me than you`d expect. Ben Sheets would be ahead but his injury may be worse than us humble fans know. Manny is a machine with the bat. His asking price is a little high though for somebody of his age. His defense also heavily deflates his value. I think he ends up with the Dodgers. They`re just bidding against themselves anyway. The Giants aren't serious and he`d never go to Washington. He`s still going to be overpaid though.

2) Ben Sheets- In my opinion, he would have been a much better signing than A.J. Burnett. When he`s healthy he`s devestating and is coming off a great year in which he actually managed to stay healthy. His injury history isn't much worse than Burnett's either. The problem with Sheets is his bad timing. Right before the playoffs last year he got hurt. Now theirs rumors he may settle for a one year deal.

3) Orlando Cabrera- Some of you may be shocked to see my Adam Dunn fetish ignored for once. However, Cabrera's offense at shortstop is pretty good, probably above average and when you combine that with his great glove he`s got a lot of value. Why is he being ignored? I really have no idea. Maybe its just that defense is getting ignored in what's becoming a trend in baseball. Whoever signs him will be getting a bargain.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

#3 Starter

You know, as I get deeper into these I get the sense more and more that these teams are idiots for the way they order their rotations. Its also kind of cool to see how lucky certain guys got.


Yankees- A. J. Burnett- I wasn't a fan of this signing but their's no denying that Burnett is a really good pitcher. His RCA's the past few years have been good (3.86, 3.13, 3.60) but his innings haven't (134, 164, 222). The sudden jump last year makes him even more of a risk then usual as well. He`s good and is probably actually better than Wang but he`s got to stay healthy. Hopefully, he can prove me wrong and be the that the Yankees are hoping he can be. We`ve got him for 5 years, hopefully he`ll be good.


Red Sox- Daisuke Matsuzaka- I`m still very slightly annoyed that we failed to get this guy but take solace in the fact that he`s one of the more overrated pitchers in baseball. Last year his RCA was 4.49 in 163 innings. That's solid but not even close to being the ace that his record and ERA would indicate. The year before he was better at 4.01 in 206 innings. It seems like the league has adjusted to him and its just a matter of time before he stops getting so lucky. He`s an above average pitcher but not a great one.

Rays- Matt Garza-The Rays got him from the Twins for Delmon Young last year and right now, that deal looks pretty good for the Rays. In his first full year, he was pretty good. In 185 innings his RCA was 4.26. Essentially, what we were hoping to get out of Hughes and Kennedy. The sudden rise in innings is dangerous and he`s a guy to watch for injuries but if he doesn't get hurt, he should keep developing and getting better. He`s cheap and good. Most teams would love to have guys like this.

Conclusion- Yankees- Rays- Red Sox- I didn't have a hard time going with Burnett at #1 here. Burnett is good enough that even when he misses half the year, he still has a lot of value. Garza and Matsuzaka are close though. I went garza because he`s still young and could get even better next year. Matsuzaka is in his peak years right now and has probably hit his ceiling already.

Rosenthal

Ken Rosenthal has a few interesting notes today.
  • First of all, the Yanks are not interested in Juan Cruz and I don't blame them. He`s a tempting target but I`m unwilling to decimate the 2009 draft anymore. Supposedly, its a very deep draft and if the Yanks can go over-slot then they can still get a good prospect. The farm needs rebuilding again. Its down to about average and they need to improve on that. If they trade Swisher or Nady then they might change their minds.
  • The Yanks and M's considered a Matsui-Washburn swap. However, Matsui's contract scared the Mariners away. Probably a good thing anyway. Washburn would have been an upgrade over Ponson last year but now theirs no reason to trade for him.
  • The remaining free agents are getting worried and are considering setting up their own Training Camp for the spring to stay in shape and hopefully get employeed later on. Time is ticking and I`d be pretty nervous right around now if I were I-Rod or Abreu.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Ty Wigginton?

A while ago I suggested the Yanks pick up Ty Wigginton to help out their bench. It looked like he was going to get a starting job though so I gave up on that idea fairly quickly. However, according to Walt Jocketty, "They're getting close to desperate stage."

He has an undeniably awful glove. However, he can handle a few different positions. He`s spent time at first, second, third, and leftfield. We have first and left covered with Swisher but if either Cano or A-Rod went down, Ransom would be a disaster. From what I`ve read, Ransom isn't all that great in the field either.

Wigginton isn't spectacular and his Giambi-like fielding hurts him but he can be counted on for an EQA around .280. Last year it was even higher, at .290. A good bench often makes the difference and Wigginton will come pretty cheap. He was worth 5.6 million in 2006 and 2007 according to fangraphs.com. Then last year they have him at 13.5 million. I`d bet on him getting less than that. He`d be another nice addition to upgrade the team in a way that's not flashy but is effective.

Bruney Signed

The Yanks have avoided arbitration with Brian Bruney by giving him a one year deal worth about 1.5 million dollars. This is it for the arbitration eligible players. Bruney could be a big part of the 2009 bullpen. Bruney has great stuff and ever since he lost that weight last winter he`s seemed to find some control. If he could put it all together then along with Marte, Rivera, and hopefully Melancon he could give the Yanks a killer back end of the bullpen.

Jon Stewart- The Most Trusted Name in News

"It's a terrific book," King said. "It's an extraordinary book. Even though it's written in the third person, it obviously is the thoughts of Joe, or why would he have approved it? It's a fascinating look at the Yankees and those years."

Joe must be terrified.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

2nd Starter

I went with Wang in this spot because he has seniority over Burnett with regards to his time with the Yankees. They could really go either way on this one. Burnett probably makes more sense I guess.

Yankees- Chien-Ming Wang- Wang had a very dissapointing 2008. It wasn't just his injury either that bothers me. His RCA was a very high 5.02 in his 86 innings. This is out of line with what he did the year before (4.38 in 184 innings) and the year before that (4.32 in 200 innings) where he established himself as a good pitcher who had no business pretending to be an ace. An interesting note about Wang is his consistenly low HR/FB%. This is generally attributed to luck but some pitchers do have a talent for it. Usually GB pitchers or soft tossing control guys. If Wang is one of these rare guys then RCA would underrate him. Hopefully, 20008 was just an outlier in a small sample size and he`ll go back to being the solid innings eater he always has been. If Wang could just work on his sider and start striking guys out though.....

Red Sox- Jon Lester- A year ago I laughed when my cousin compared him to Phil Hughes. I regret that. 2008 was essentially his first full year so that's all I`m going to go on. It was very good to. Not quite what his ERA would indicate but a 4.39 RCA in 199 innings is pretty damn good for a 24 year old who already has had to deal with cancer. He`s going to fall off a lot from his 2008 but anybody would still love to have him on their team. I also think their's a good chance he`s going to get hurt. He took a pretty huge jump in innings pitched from 2007 to 2008. He`s going to start hitting his peak years in the next year or two and then we really have to start worrying. If he could strike out a few more guys he`d be scary.

Rays- Scott Kazmir- Last year the former Met basically gave up on his slider in exchange for a more straightforward fastball/changeup combo. This isn't a sudden change either. Over the past three years he went from throwing his slider about 29 percent of the time in 2006 to about 10 percent last year. Why? I have absolutely no idea. Its not working. He had a 4.05 RCA in 151 innings last year. That's really good but not even close to 2007 (3.23 in 212 innings) or 2006 (3.39 in 146 innings). Before 2008 Kazmir was better than anybody in the division not named Sabathia. If he could get his injuries under control that would also help him a ton. My guess is that he`s going to stick with the fastball/changeup since his ERA was as good as ever last year. However, he`s not going to be the pitcher he should be.

Conclusion- Rays- Red Sox- Yankees- Even a diminished Kazmir is still well above Wang or Lester. Wang and Lester are almost to close to call though. I went with Lester in the end because he`s younger wtih a better chance of improvement. 2008 also has to be somewhat concerning for Yankees fans. Plus, Wang has a bit of an injury history. It could break either way here. If Kazmir can regain his form of a year or two ago then Shields-Kazmir could be a really scary 1-2 punch. Like Sabathia-Sheets was last year.

Chase Wright DFA'd

Yesterday Chase Wright was DFA'ed to make room on the 40 man roster for Pettitte. I`m not a big fan of Wright but somebody will pick him up because of those gaudy AAA numbers.