Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Posada talks Coming

From the Daily News;

"Yankees sources said the organization hasn't begun substantive talks with Sam and Seth Levinson, the agents who represent Posada, but the team is said to be planning an offer of three years and about $40 million"

I missed this when it came out. Now there really are no other catching options out there and the Yankees will have to sign Posada. They will probably know they will pay him for two years where he won't earn his salary. Consider the two statements below from this article earlier in the year on;

"Posada, who never hit better than .287, and who turned 36 last week, began this week batting .332. His OBP (.412) would also be a career-high and his slugging (.525) is near his career best."


"Would you give about $28 million over the next two seasons to a 36-year-old catcher? History says it is not a wise investment. Only three catchers ever posted an .800 OPS once they passed that age (Carlton Fisk, Gabby Hartnett and Wally Schang). "

Anyway you look at it history says the smart play is let him walk. However, these are the Yankees and its only money. So I say sign him but dont hesitate to make him a backup catcher, part-time DH and sometime first baseman if he becomes what history says he will.

Wood to Yankees?

Ran into this today on the Tribune web site

"Wood's fastball was clocked as high as 98 m.p.h. toward the end of the season, and he was unscored on in 18 of 22 appearances. Now, with 4 1/2 more months of rest for his rehabbed shoulder, Wood's arm strength might give him the option of starting or relieving in '08.

Name recognition alone could make Wood a hot commodity, and with old friend Joe Girardi now managing the New York Yankees, the chances of Wood wearing dark blue pinstripes are probably decent if he bolts the Cubs."

Wood in the Yankee pen is a very interesting possibility. When you compare his upside to the other pitchers available (Borowski, Cordero, Linebrink, Dotel head the list) he becomes even more attractive. The strategy here would be to overpay for a year with a team option.

Cano not a fan of 3b - What about Tejada?

Robbie Cano came out and mentioned his desire to remain in the middle of the diamond.

An intertesting possibility is Miguel Tejada. "Vitamin B" injections aside, I have always liked Tejada. He makes a lot of sense since the O's clearly should try and unload him and from the Yankees perspective he would be a lot cheaper then Miggy Cabrera. There was already speculation he might be on the market the last day of the Regular Season.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Where will A-rod Go?

John Heyman breaks down the candidates on

The Blue Jays Say They Are out

Tigers Unlikely

Angels Could be in It or Maybe Not

Cubs Might not be Players

Phillies Are out

The White Sox have 88 million commited for 08 so I dont know if they can afford him but I think Kenny Williams will try and do something here.

So of the big Market teams that leaves the Mets, Red Sox, White Sox and Angels as the most likely suitors. I can't see the Red Sox with their hatred for all things A-Rod so take them off the list. The White Sox would have to unload some salary, the Angels are lukewarm and the Mets would have to move their franchise player to 1b. Sorry Boras but 10/330 isn't happening.

Torre to LA - Proctor books flight to Alabama

From the post;

"Torre will accept a three-year deal worth $14.5 million to take over the club. "

I wonder if there are any incentive clauses? It is still less then the one year insult the Yankees offered.

Much Mo Rivera?

Mo is rumored to have a 3 year 40 million dollar deal in the works. Probably a year too long but if it keeps Joba in the pen its worth it and Mo is the man, even at 38.

The Mazzone Effect

I think it is time to revist an older article on Mazzone and his effect on pitchers

"When looking at all of the pitchers in the sample, Leo Mazzone's presence lowered a pitcher's ERA by about 0.63 ERA points. To put the effect in perspective, for the average 2004 National League pitcher (4.31 ERA) Leo's impact on earned runs was about the same as Coors Field in the opposite direction. "

All I am saying is the guy can help. Do you hear me Hank?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Peter Abe and YankeeGM talk Mazzone

This is an Exchange between YankeeGM and Peter Abe of lohud fame.

YankeeGM writes
Peter,I am an avid Yankees fan and NEVER in my 30 years of being such have I ever seen such a blatant disregard for the long-term good of the team than I amwitnessing RIGHT NOW. It can be said that the single most important person available to the Yankeefranchise for the next 15 years is currently unemployed, available and NOONE IS TALKING ABOUT IT!!!

The success of the team for the next 10-20 years is to be predicated uponwhat? The success of the banner crop of youngsters the Yanks plan to trotout to the mound next season and the season after.

Hughes, Joba, Kennedy,Horne, Ohlendorf, Sanchez etc. hold the Yankee future in their young andinexperienced hands. We have the ability to hire the man most suited toinsure that we get maximum return for Cash's patience and draft success -and again, no one is mentioning him!We have GOT to go and get Leo Mazzone as pitching coach.Regardless of who is selected as manager (Donnie or JG), hiring Leo aspitching coach will give him the best support possible, will give our youngtroops the best chance to succeed, and insure that every pitcher we signgoing forward doesn't take an immediate step backward from their careerstats (see Farnsworth, Weaver, Vazquez and many others!).

Hiring Leo might actually mean that a pitcher could come to the Yankees and actually get BETTER!!! Perish the thought!

I have begun a campaign to at least get people talking about hiring Leo. IF enough people want it we can make it happen!

Peter Responds
I'm not so sure of that. Mazzone is good at fixing older pitchers but what has he really done with prospects? There are questions about how hard he worked for the Orioles, too. I don't think he's a slam dunk for anybody at this stage.

YankeeGM Responds
While I had not heard of the under-motivated charge, I could completelyunderstand if he was not all that into being in Balt after they fired hisbest friend.As to what Leo has done with young pitchers, Smoltz was 23, Glavine 24,Avery 21, Maddux 27, Jason Schmidt 23, Millwood 22, Marquis 22, Merker 23when they began working with Leo. It's not just his training for the pitchesthey throw, but also the throwing program that we need him for. Of the 7pitchers I list above (and there are many more), only Schmidt and Avery hadany significant injury issues (and Avery's issue was more talent thaninjury!). The rest have been horses. Horses around and into their 40's! Notto mention all of the pitchers that had their significantly best years underLeo, only to fall apart when they left (see Wright, Neagle, Chen, Wohlers,O. Perez, Lightenberg Farnsworth etc...)The main point is that Leo knows...he knows how to get the most out of eachpitcher. He knows how to train them so they have long, injury avoidingcareers. He knows how to effectively teach that outside part of the platethat is so foreign to most of baseball today (hell, Tom Glavine has won 300games based almost exclusively on Leo teaching him how to exploit theouter-half). Put it this way - how many times have you seen a pitcher leave Leo and getbetter? NEVER! How many pitchers have gone to Leo and been far better thanthey ever were before? A lot!Conversely, how many times have the Yankees brought in a pitcher only to seethem perform SIGNIFICANTLY below career numbers and then return to normalnumbers after being banished? How many guys with 'great stuff' have wetraded for only to be sending them to the Rockies or Padres the year after? The Yankee pitchers I listed before are already good - we need someone tomake sure that they get better and ultimately, great. We need to make surethey do so for a long time - There's too much at stake right now...a coachlike Leo can make the difference between Hughes/Joba et al being a very good#2/3 or being that elusive, shutdown ace we have missed these last 7seasons. I have no doubt that Leo is THAT important, and he is available. We gotta go get him!.

Girardi in, Mattingly Out.

Girardi In

In a move that was rumored the last few days the Yankees announced they are negotiating with Joe Girardi to become their next manager. I must say this is a surprising move when you considered that Mattingly was hand picked by George to replace Joe Torre. However, Girardi is clearly a thoughtful and intelligent guy. Besides the issues in Florida, he has always been respected as a teammate and a leader. With the Yankees young pitching having someone who understand pitching and as a manager is invaluable. I would still like to see the Yankees throw all sorts of money at Mazzone but that is for another post.

Mattingly Out
Donnie baseball is my favorite player of all time so this is a bittersweet day for me. Seeing him possibly walk away from the organization for good is a hard thing to watch. Girardi was clearly the right choice here but Donnie will be missed


The A-nnoucement
In a move fitting of the self absorbed a-hole that Alex Rodriquez clearly is, it was announced that he would not be returning to the bargaining table but instead would opt out. Arod/Boras chose to announce it in the middle of a World Series clinching game without a direct notification to the Yankees. Cashman had been texted and left a voicemail. My guess is Boras wanted to make sure he made news and couldn't let the Yankees find out too far in advance. When Cashman was unreachable he reasoned it was still more important to announce it and generate some buzz around his client. The reasoning was the current unknown state of the Yankees would not be resolved in the next ten days. We all know this is simply about money; it always is with A-rod and Boras.

Boras thinks he will still get paid
The timing of the announcement aside, I think Boras still thinks he will get the Yankees involved. Back on October 12th Boras said that the Yankees were very clear that the contract from the Rangers was for 4 years and after that it was very clear that it was something that was in Alex's control. This comment was preceded by a justification of Alex's worth and his impact on the Yes Network and Yankee attendance. Drawing from these comments and the ill-timed opt-out I can't help but think that Boras thinks the Yankees will pay. The line in the sand drawn by the Yankees is imaginary and up for negotiation.

This is a HUGE miscalculation on Boras' part. The new Yankee regime has made it clear that they will not back down. They began to show it with their reluctance to part with young pitchers at the trading deadline and made it even clearer with Torre's contract. A impetus George is no longer at the helm and it appears that thoughtful men with a plan are in charge. Shocking, I know!

What Now?
We can only hope that the Yankees stick to their guns and let A-rod walk. Having 30 million dollars a year in one player is questionable at best and once who clearly cant handle the pressure of the postseason is even more questionable. The Yankee offence scored 968 runs this past year and A-rod had a very impressive VORP of 96.6. So if the Yankees were to replace him with just a league average player you could roughly expect them to score around 872 runs. They would still rank in the top 3 of all of baseball ahead of Boston, Colorado and Cleveland. So even without A-rod the Yankees will have enough offense. ...and we all know Jeter is happy.

As Josh Beckett and the incredibly annoying Papelbon have shown us, the postseason is all about pitching. While Arod leaving makes a lot of noise and creates a little panic in the end it doesn't really matter. If the Yankees young guns continue to develop they will be back in the postseason and this time with a chance to do some real damage. Well, as long as the bugs cooperate.....damn BUGS!

Search This Blog