Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Centerfield Issues- A Guest Post

Now that the Yankee’s have shored up their starting pitching with two great talents, and signed a true first baseman for the next eight years I have been wondering what we are planning on “really doing” about our glaring hole in centerfield?  We have more than enough corner outfielders but no true centerfielder to patrol that so important area for us for the next year and the many to follow.  I realize a lot of us are waiting for a prospect by the name of Austin Jackson to be our regular centerfielder, but I also realize he is young and is still developing his trait.  Personally as a Yankee fan I don’t like seeing prospects rushed through the system per say in order to fill holes like we did with Cano and Wang; which we must ALL ADMIT AS YANKEE FANS that we were EXTREMELY LUCKY with!!!  I keep reading that Jackson should be ready to deliver for the big club by ’10, but I still don’t see that being an absolute certainty.  Plus I must admit I am one who likes to have options, and at this point I don’t see any other option in our minor league system at this position but him!  Wouldn’t it behoove us to possibly trade some of our corner outfield talent and possibly some our pitching talent (which we get good reviews of so often these days) and trade for another centerfielder/centerfield prospect.  I know this would make me feel a LOT MORE COMFORTABLE about our situation going ahead!  Personally if I had my druthers I would be pursuing a player such a Cameron Maybin from the Florida Marlins who are ALWAYS willing to deal players, but I do realize they are much more willing when they are due their “pay day” than while still being under their control!  I think we have more than enough talent in terms of developed/experienced players and prospects to make such a move, and secure our future centerfielder for the next ten years with such a bold move.  Thus making it more and more of a smarter move as the clock ticks closer to spring training for us!  Then again perhaps I am just another “over worried” Yankee fan/fanatic who wants/expects too much of his team???


OH NO? More Like - Yeah, Right!



C'mon! What an obviously lame attempt to placate the fan base!

Update - Even Bosox butt-boy Peter Gammons admits that the conversation lasted about 20 seconds and was shot down immediately by the Marlins.

"Ten days after the GM meetings, Epstein called Marlins GM Larry Beinfest and asked him if he were interested in trading Hanley Ramirez for a package including Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz. "No," replied Beinfest. End of discussion. "The entire conversation," says one club official, "lasted all of 20 seconds, a week before Thanksgiving."

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Yankees and Homegrown Talent

The backlash from the signing of CC, AJ and Tex has been pretty severe and the argument I hear from many Mets and Red Sox fans is that the Yankees simply are buying a championship. Also, they say how could it be enjoyable with no homegrown talent on the Yankee roster? Well perception is not reality;

Yankee Rotation - CC, Wang*, Burnett, Hughes*, Joba* - 3 homegrown starters
Mets Projected Rotation - Johan, Lowe, Pelfrey*, Maine, Perez - 1 Homegrown starter
Red Sox Rotation - Beckett, Dicek, Lester*, Penny, Wakefield - 1 Homegrown starter

Yankee Lineup - Damon, Jeter*, Teixera, Arod, Matsui, Nady, Posada*, Cano*, Melky* - 4 Homegrown Regulars
Mets Lineup - Reyes*, Castillo, Beltran, Wright*, Delgado, Church, Murphy*, Schnieder - 3 Homegrown Regulars
Red Sox Lineup - Ellsbury*, Pedroria*, Youkilis*, Ortiz, Bay, Drew, Lowell, Varitek, Lowrie* - 4 Homegrown Regulars

Yankee Bench - Swisher, Molina, Ransom*, Gardner* - 2 Homegrown Backups
Mets Bench- Tatis, Castro, Anderson, Evans* - 1 Homegrown Backup
Red Sox Bench- Lugo, Bard*, Van Every*, Cora - 2 Homegrown Backups

Yankee Bullpen - Rivera*, Marte, Bruney, Veras, Ramirez, Robertson*, Coke* - 3 Homegrown Relievers
Mets Bullpen - KRod, Putz, Sanchez, Feliciano, Robertson, Smith*, Stokes - 1 Homegrown Reliever
Red Sox Bullpen - Papelbon*, Delcarmen*, Okajima, Lopez, Aardsma, Ramirez, Masterson* - 3 Homegrown Relievers

Total Homegrown Players
Yankees - 12

Mets - 6
Red Sox - 10

So even "buying" three players this offseason the Yankees will have significantly more homegrown players on their opening day roster then the Mets and a couple more the the Red Sox. It just shows you that perception is not always reality.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


So our plan for utter world domination is complete - signing Teixeira adds the last piece to the '09 puzzle and the Canyon of Heroes should once again be awash in Yankee confetti this November.

Let's get one thing straight - this is not simply the Yanks trying to 'buy' a championship. This is NOT the Stein-crew opening the wallet for a free agent frenzy. As much as the rest of MLB and the media whine and cry about it, the Yanks' signing of CC, AJ and Tex is nothing short of superior money management. Replacing the $80+million of past-their-prime declining stars with $60-ish million of players aged 28, 29 and 31 is not a spending spree, and it certainly is not recklessly throwing money around.

The Yankees, through an awesome game plan and exceptional execution, have replenished their team with higher quality, YOUNGER players while spending LESS money then last year's payroll.

Is it pure chance that we have all of this payroll coming off in a talent-rich free agency year? I think not.

Bask in our awesomeness all you lesser minds and managers. Prepare once again to be dominated by the hated Yankees - as our plan is complete and all of your whining and calls for a salary cap won't help your team now!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Manny or Tex?

With the pitching portion of our off season plan for world domination nearing completion (pending only the inevitable Pettitte re-signing), it's time to turn our attention to the offense.

Rumors abound about every available player (and some not so available). The question is - what should we do?

The 2 players in the free agent pool that would best satisfy our needs are obviously Mark Teixeira and the man-child formerly of the Dread Sox, Manny Ramirez. Tex will cost something in the area of 8 to 10 years and in excess of $20mm per; being significantly older and coming with a lot of baggage, Manny's market is somewhat more limited and therefore relatively cheaper. 

The Dodgers have been reported as the most likely destination for Manny as his performance in LA post-trade was insane. Manny posted a .396 BA with 17 HR and 57 RBI in 57 games with the Dodgers; his .489 OBP and 783 slugging % translated into an obscene OPS+ of 219. Dodgers' fans are demanding Ned Colletti bring Manny back.

I believe that a 3 year, $70mm contract would be sufficient to get Manny to the Bronx.

Being represented by Scott Boris, however, makes signing either Manny or Teixeira an even bigger challenge than just the incredible dollars.

So the choices are Tex for 8 years and $165mm, or Manny for 3 years and $70mm. 

Working in Tex's favor are his age (29 on April 11), and the obvious hole we have to fill at 1B. The downside to Tex is the length of the contract. An 8 to 10 year deal comes with significant risk both in terms of dollars and roster flexibility. 

If we are looking at the short term, I think Manny would be the better signing. Bringing him in to NY, his home town, and allowing him the opportunity to help inflict damage upon the team that both embarrassed him and traded him away would motivate Manny to the performance level we saw in LA (330/45/140)...for at least the first year. Thereafter, if all we were to get the last 2 years was typical Manny production (300/30/120) I think we could live with that.

Imagine the lineup of:

Jeter - SS
Damon - CF
Arod - 3B
Manny - RF
Hmat - DH
Nady - LF
Posada - C
Cano - 2B
Swisher - 1B

The problem would be Damon's arm and defense in centerfield. A happy, motivated Manny along with an odd-numbered year Arod (check the stats...every other year Arod is MVP) could mean 100 HR and 300 RBI between our 3 and 4 hole hitters; more than enough to compensate for JD in center!

While I am a huge fan of Teixeira, and while I don't think Swisher is a plus answer at 1B, I think I would rather sign Manny. The flexibility and expected short term production make him a more attractive alternative to Tex. 

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Yankes Still in on Texiera and Manny?

According to the NY post they are;

"According to several baseball officials, the Yankees remain in the Mark Teixeira hunt. But the same connected voices insist if the Yankees don't land the switch-hitting first baseman, they will turn their money toward controversial slugger Manny Ramirez.

"If they can't get Teixeira, they are right there on Manny," an official with knowledge of the Yankees' plan said yesterday. "

This is good news. The Yankees need another bat. I would prefer Tex but Manny can flat out hit.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Remaining Moves Seem Obvious

The Yankees now have 4/5 of their rotation set with CC, Wang, AJ and Joba. Also, 2b, SS, 3B, LF, RF, DH, and C are all set. The bullpen is also set with Mo followed by a cast of thousands. So the three remaining spots are a starter, 1b and cf. The way I see it the Yankees have two options;

Option 1 - Total Additional Cost 20 million(1o for Cameron and 10 for Andy)
Trade for Cameron, Use Swisher at 1B and sign Andy Pettite(12m)

Option 2 - Total Additional Cost 20 million (all for Texiera)
Use Melky/Gardner, sign Texiera and let Hughes, Kennedy and Aceves fight it our for the last spot.

So the cost is equal so which would be more productive? Lets compare the offense first. I am going to use Bill James' projections for 2009 for the comparison.

Option 1 - Cameron(.237/.325/.759) and Swisher(.240/359/.810)
Option 2 - Texiera (.299/.397/956) and Melky(.271/.337/.731)

Now I understand how bad Melky was in the second half but if you substitute Gardner for Melky at times a CF with an OPS of low .700s with good defense is reasonable to expect. Even with that poor production in CF the Texiera/Melky combo is far superior with better defense.

And the pitching-
Andy Pettite - 12-10 3.90, 192 IP
Phil Hughes - 9-5 3.35, 125 IP
Andy is a safer bet but Hughes has more upside for next year.

One other thing, the ages
Option 1 Andy(37), Cameron(36) and Swisher(28)
Option 2 Texiera(28), Melky (23), Hughes(22)

So for about equal if not better production and the same cost you get a group with more upside that is far younger. So why are the Yankees out of the Texeria sweepstakes? The fear of having too many long term contracts should be offset a bit by Matsui and Damon coming off the books next year. Also, the Yankees have no 1b prospects to speak of and the free agent market in 09 and 2010 and completely void of potential answers.

The answer seems obvious to me. Let's hope Cashman sees the light before its too late.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

3 Sheets to the Wind

I really don't get it.

There is  a ton of talk about AJ Burnett and the myriad of teams set to offer him obscene money for a thousand year's work. Why almost NO mention of Ben Sheets?

As I mentioned earlier, and as RAB thereafter agreed with, Sheets is probably a better all-around option. Less injury over his career (to less problematic parts of his body), less years and money needed to sign, younger, and as much upside and talent as AJ. 

It's possible that Cash is simply staying in the Burnett game to drive the price up for the Dread Sox. Or it's also likely that he has genuine interest in AJ. Either way, I really hope that Cashman sees that Sheets is a better option and nabs him before Atlanta does.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

2008 Offseason Plan of Action

So here we are, November 22, and after examining the market and all of the players it's time for the YankeeGM plan of attack for the 2008 offseason. 

Taking the roster position-by-position:


Keep 'em crossed that Hip Hip Jorge is able to catch 100 games in 2009, and the Molina holds up for the other 62. Francisco Cervelli is the next option; let's hope he gets to take the full year at AAA.


An upgrade here is a must. Trading for Swisher is a nice move, but I would like to see him as a 4th OF, back-up 1B rather than the everyday guy. Texiera is the obvious first choice. A 7 year $155mm deal should get it done. Other options are extremely limited - Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, and Adriane Gonzalez may be attainable, but would prove to be far too expensive in terms of prospects. 

Target - Tex

2B - Robbie
SS- Jeet
3B Arod

Corner OF - 

We are flush at the corner OF positions with less than spectacular options. Hmat, Damon, Nady and Swisher would all be vying for time if the season started today. While adding Manny to play RF would make for one hell of a lineup, that simply is not going to happen. Provided we get Tex we could live with the 4 of these players for 3 spots (RF, LF, DH). I expect we would see some drop off from both Hmat and Damon, but they would still be quite productive players IF they stay healthy. Swisher should rebound from an abysmal season to something around 250/27/90 390 OBP. Nady was on the cusp of a breakout season when traded to the Yanks last year; I think he will continue that break out now that he's more comfortable being a Yankee. I see 300/25/100 from the X man in 2009. 

CF - Gardner/Melky. With AJax coming in '10, there's no reason to make a move in CF for '09. I start Gardner there and see if he can get on base enough to be a royal pain in the ass when he does. If not, we know Melk will play a plus CF and hopefully hit better than 250. 

Rotation - 

The big move is obviously getting CC in pinstripes. Assuming that gets done, my next move would be to get Ben Sheets. While everyone has been talking about AJ Burnett, I think the better sign would be Sheets. He is 2 years younger than AJ, and if we are going to take a flyer on an injury prone starter I would rather it be the younger guy. Both Sheets and Burnett have the ability to be a top of the 'ro guy if healthy. Having spent his career in the NL central pitching in such parks as Wrigley and Minute Maid, his numbers should only be about half a run worse in the AL east. Rounding out the rottion with Andy , Wang and Joba would leave a starting 5 of - 

1 - CC
2 - Sheets
3 - Wang
4 - Pettitte
5 - Joba
6. Hughes, Aceves, Geiss

In order to execute we would need the following signings (with anticipated deals)

CC - 6 years, $150mm ($25mm/yr, 34 at contract end)
Sheets - 4 years, $70mm (4th year vests based on IP) ($17.5mm/yr, 33 at contract end)
Texiera - 7 years, $165mm ($23.5mm/yr, 36 at contract end)
Pettitte - 1 yr, $11mm (old)

These 3 deals cost the Yanks a total of $77mm per year; well below the $88mm that came off the books after the season. In terms of payroll, my plan is not a problem.

The potential problems to executing would be an inability to sign any of the free agents I listed; Tex might want to take the Angel's money, CC might want to be a hitting pitcher on the west coast, and Sheets might want to go to the pitcher's haven in Atlanta. Barring any of these guys pulling a Greg Maddux, however (Maddux took less money from the Braves than the Yanks offered when he left Chicago), the Yanks could, and should get each one.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Peavy Thoughts

If we weren't willing to trade the farm last year for Santana, why would we be willing to do it for Jake Peavy?

Peavy has been a great pitcher - in the National League. Peavy has been a great pitcher in the NL WEST. Off the top of my head the only other pitcher I can remember coming from the NL west to the AL was Chan Ho Park. Park's last 2 year with the Dodgers - 3.27 and 3.50; Park's first 2 years with the Rangers - 5.75 and 7.58. 

Don't get me wrong - Peavy is substantially better than Park; but there is no doubt that switching from the NL west to the AL east will increase his ERA - the question is by how much. I believe it is a change worthy of a full point in ERA. This makes Peavy around a 4.00 era pitchers for the Yanks. I don't know about you, but I think Hughes will put up numbers better than a 4.00 era!

With more proven options available without having to give up any prospects, we as Yankee fans can completely ignore all of those Peavy to Yanks rumors and concentrate on the things that actually have  chance of happening. 

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Who Should the Yankees Avoid?

So the inevitable Manny whispers have begun, CC is waiting for the contract offer that will set the market and AJ Burnett is preparing his opt out letter. We know the Yankees are interested in these free among others but who should they avoid at all costs? Who is just so completely wrong for NY, the Yankees and the direction of the team? Let's take a look;

Mike Cameron
This is a classic Cashman move. Why take a chance on a young player who costs nothing(Gardner) with upside when you can pay millions for an older version with very little to no upside? This is very similiar to Morgan Ensberg move this year. The Yankees signed Ensberg and Shelly Duncan lost any chance at playing time. Now Cameron is a lot move valuable then Ensberg is but it is the classic Yankee move of needing a brand name when the kid with some upside is clearly the better choice.

Manny Ramirez for more then two years
He is 36 and is nothing more then a DH. Overpay for two years but DO NOT sign this man for any longer.

Andy Pettitte
I love Andy Pettite but he looked absolutely done to end the year. His performance down the stretch really cost the Yankees this year. The time to make sure Andy stayed was after 2003, not 2008. Let him walk.

Mike Mussina for more then a Year
My guess is that he retires but if he doesn't offer him one year but that is all. The man is in territory few successful pitchers venture into to(Age of 40+)

Nomar, Pedro or Derek Lowe
One declining former Red Sox is enough.

Randy Johnson
HA! Even Cashman isn't that stupid....

Oliver Perez

Perez has a ton of upside and has shown the ability to pitch well in the big spot.However, the Yankees need answers not more questions in their rotation. Also, a player who is unstable and inconsistent will just get over exposed and exploited with the Yankees.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What does the Arizona Fall League Statistics Tell us?

Phil Hughes has struggle and panic has set in. So what does it mean?

Absolutely nothing;

Gavin Floyd 2006 (age 23)- 5.59 era 1.40 whip

Dustin McGowan 2006(Age24) - 5.59 era 1.40 whip

TJ Beam 2006(age 25 ) - .60 era 1.13 whip

Kyle Kendrick 2006 (age 21) - 6.75 era 2.06 whip

Jared Weaver 2005 (Age 22) - 5.47 era 1.42 whip

There are others as well as a whole slew of top performers who became non-prospects shortly after. The point is the Arizona fall league is about players working on things like a third pitch or to extend their innings in preparation for next year.

So when the panic sets in on Phil Hughes performance in AZ simply ignore them. We all know Phil can dominate minor leaguers as is obvious by his sub 1 career whip. What we found out about Phil is he needs another pitch to do it in the majors. His performance is nothing to even pay attention to. He is feeling out a new pitch and hopefully it clicks.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Texiera is a More Important Signing Than Even CC

While CC gets most of the press, I believe that signing Mark Texiera is just as (if not more)  important as signing CC. We are (by choice) going to lose Abreu (280, 20,100) and Giambi (250,30,90,~390 obp) this offseason, and signing Tex (280, 35, 110, ~390 obp) for 1B replaces only a part of that production. NOT signing Texiera puts out offense in a lot of trouble. Many people have called Tex a 'luxury' for the Yanks - I vehemently disagree. 

This is very much like when Carlos Beltran was a free agent. I was screaming to anyone who would listen that it was extremely important that we sign him, and that there was no better fit for the team than Beltran at the time. Bernie was winding down, our offense was starting to get old, and his numbers would make a great fit for our line-up. Unfortunately, Cash didn't agree and we now have a hole in one of the most important positions on the field. 

Based on the Yanks' anemic offense in '08, the question becomes, does the combination of Tex and Matsui provide an upgrade over Abreu and Giambi? Assuming a healthy, productive Matsui, this is a debatable question. What is NOT debatable, however, is that if we fail to sign Tex it will be a huge offensive downgrade and therefore a huge problem. 

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Not a good Day

Hughes gets pounded by A level players.

Chamberlain gets busted for a DUI

The Red Sox appear on their way to another freakin' comeback.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Yankees to Sign Everyone

I found it a little curious when Buster Olney mentioned the Yankees were looking to cut payroll by about 30 million next year. Consider that with the new stadium and the Yankees underachieving ways the checkbook was sure to get a major workout. Take the follow excerpt from Crains earlier this year;

The team's revenues—already the highest in the sport, at an estimated $327 million last year—are poised to double almost immediately. This quantum leap will be driven by factors ranging from higher prices for tickets and hot dogs to increased revenues from the YES Network for game telecasts. There will also be new revenue sources, such as leasing out the new stadium for concerts.

Reading the particulars of the article the Yankees could easily reach 300 million in payroll and make a profit. So the Olney comment was a little odd. Yesterday John Heyman comes out saying the Yankees will look to spend and spend big;

Determined not miss the playoffs for a second straight season in 2009, the Yankees' top executives have decided to pursue many of the game's premier free agents, chief among them starting pitchers CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe, and first baseman Mark Teixeira, among others, this winter.

Now that sounds like the Yankees with a sudden windfall of new revenues and a third place finish to help motivate. I think the two difference makers are CC and Tex so go Cash-man and rebuild!

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Couple of Predictions

As the free agent period is about to heat up, I thought I'd share my thoughts as to where I see a couple of players going

Jake Peavy - Atlanta. This is the kind of move the Braves always make, and it will be a good one.

CC Sabathia - Yanks. Cash will overpay, but CC will ultimately be enticed by the slimming nature of Pinstripes.

Mark Texiera - Angels. As much as I want him manning 1B for the next 8 years in The Stadium, Arte Moreno has some cash to spend and a bunch will go Tex' way.

Ben Sheets - Cardinals. They need an Ace and (when healthy) Sheets fills the need.

These are just some initial thoughts on where I feel some of the bigger names will go once the Phillies win the World Series. I will be back with a full slate of Yankee predictions a little later in the Hot Stove season.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Guest Post from Joe

Hey Brian - Congrats on your new contract!!! Thanks God for that. 

Too bad we had a injury–filled year. But I know things will get better. 

Good pitching will beat good hitting, but I wonder why we did not play more small ball to win games? Tampa has won like 13-14 one run games because they bunt and move runners into scoring position. When was the last time our big hitters have bunted to move runners? They always hit into double plays or strike out at the end of games, and the runners always die there and it ends up as another loss. I hope that when Joe goes into Spring Training, he puts aside a day just for All the players to practice on their  bunting so that they can be ready when called upon during the regular season. 

Can you imagine Alex bunting with runners on 1st and 2nd and nobody out instead of striking out? Home Runs don’t always win ball game, but team work does.  The Yanks could have won 15 more games if they had bunted in situations to win games. Small ball in June and July will get you into October playoff. Joe should be more aggressive in his strategy to win. 

The Captain, Jeter should have jumped into Ian Kennedy face when he said no big deal to losing a game!!  Send them back to the minors until they change their attitude. The rest of the staff will get the message. Where is the leadership on that team? Get someone else to be the captain. I hope you send this to Joe G. so that he can get an idea what he must do next year. I love the yanks, but with a new Stadium, we have to do two new things -

Nobody beats us in our new Stadium!! The new Stadium should be Death Valley for teams coming to play there. Look at Tampa home records. Our record should be twice as good as that and even better. That should be the Yankees new attitude for next year. 

Each player should try and help the other player on the team to be the hero instead of himself. That’s team work. 

Thanks for listening. 



Front Loading Contracts Continued

A few comments on my last post very appropriately pointed out that the time value of money makes a dollar received today worth more than a dollar received in the future. I avoided the conversation about the time value of money because it only serves to further my argument. Paying more dollars upfront (as I said) is a real benefit to the player; not only is this an additional enticement, but may also serve to reduce the average annual value of the contract needed to sign that player. In most business situations the financially correct practice would be to back-load deals; the only problem with this is that baseball is different from most businesses. The money spent on players' salaries is going toward a diminishing asset; as players age their production declines. Each and every year a baseball team needs to receive a certain number of hits, runs, home runs, RBI, strikeouts etc... from their roster in order to win. Therefore, the most sound baseball practice would be to pay the players based on their years of biggest contributions to those needs. 

If we structure free agent contracts this way, and are fairly accurate in forecasting production, there should always be money available to sign new, more productive players to compensate for the reduced output from our aging players.

Keeping in mind that a certain amount of production is necessary each and every year, and keeping in mind that each free agent's performance is going to most likely decline during those years, the typical sound monetary business practice needs to take a back seat to sound business-specific baseball practice.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Front Load FA Contracts

Unfortunately for us Yankees fans the hot stove season is in full effect early this year. Talk about who and how much is dominating our Yankee thoughts.

The main peril of the long-term contract is evidenced by the deal Giambi got from the Yanks. & years and a bucketful of money made Jason an immovable object the last couple of years of his contract and essentially made the Yankees try and extract a return from their massive investment.

Giambi's contract from - 

7-Year worth 120M- + he receives a 17M Signing bonus that is paid 3M in 2002, 4M in '03 and '04, 4.5M in '05, 1M in '06 and 0.5M in '07- he will make in 2002-8M, in 2003-9M, in 2004- 10M, in 2005- 11M, i 2006- 18M and in 2007 and 08- 21M and in 2009- Team Option 22M or 5M buyout

Of the $103mm not part of the signing bonus, Jason received $65mm in the last 3 years of the contract and just $38mm in the 1st 4 years. This makes NO sense. Every free agent signs a contract based on their past performance; the scary part of a free agent signing for a team, however, is can the player maintain that level of performance until the end of the contract. As the answer to that question is pretty much always NO, why in the world do teams always pay these players more in the tail end of the contract, when their numbers and skills are declining?

A smarter move would be to front-load the contracts so that their pay is more representative of their performance as they age.

If you take Giambi's contract and turn it around, he would have been making $9mm in '07, and $8mm in '08; $17 mm total instead of $42mm. Not only is it a lot easier to bench a player making $8 or $9 million, but it's a lot easier to trade them if the team should choose. 

Let's take the pending Texiera deal. Boris is asking for 10 years and $200mm; a more reasonable ending point will be something like 8 years $160mm. Let's assume a $17mm signing bonus comes off the top, so the Yanks would have $143mm to pay over 8 years ($17.875mm/yr average). I propose a schedule of - 2009 - $25mm, 2010 - $25mm, 2011 - $20mm, 2012 - $17mm, 2013 - $15mm, 2014 - $15mm, 2015 - $13mm, 2016 - $13mm. 

Assuming some drop in Tex's numbers, in 8 years a still productive player making $13mm should be pretty easy to move if the Yanks should want. In addition, we would be paying the most money for the most productive years. This also serves to insure that we are not paying a bunch of old players ridiculous sums of money for playing out the string of their huge deals thereby leaving room to sign younger, more productive players as the older players' production drops.

I can't imagine that the agents or the Player's Assoc would have any issue with this as the player makes out better by getting more money earlier. It also helps the team as I evidenced above. Hopefully Hal will see this and structure Tex', CC's and AJ's contract in this fashion.

The Dirty Sanchez Blogs

Hard throwing Yankee prospect Humberto (The Dirty) Sanchez has started a blog about his days in the AzFL. The site is

Let's hope The Dirty can avoid the 'curse of the blogging pitchers!'

What Makes a Bad FA Deal?

Pinstripe Mike made a comment in regards to Mark Texiera and 5+ year contracts should be avoided. It got me thinking - What elements make up a bad long term FA deal? Specifically,what warning signs should the Yankees look for when signing a big name FA? Baseball Analysts did a great piece in 2006 looking back at all the long term deals of significance. I want to focus on two pieces of the article in particular. First;

Hitters have historically been a better investment than their counterparts on the mound for teams looking to spend big money in free agency. There's not much risk in signing an under-30 superstar hitter to a long-term deal.

Good news for those Texiera fans, bad news for those Burnett and Sabathia fans. The basic point though is an important one - under 30 positional stars have been worth what the get. Now the second part I want to focus on, the bad deals. I only want to focus on positional players;

David Segui, Todd Hundley, Edgardo Alfonzo, Charles Johnson, Edgar Renteria, Roger Cedeno, David Bell, Kaz Matsui.

You can add to this list Gary Mathews Jr, JD Drew, Adrian Beltre, Richie Sexson and Juan Pierre. So let's assume 30 is the magic age for long term deals for positional players and anyone over 30 is a bad investment. How about the players under 30, what went wrong with these players? I think they fall into three categories; one skill players, steroid users or coming off career years.

The One-Trick Ponies
Theses players don't seem to age well. Juan Pierre, Roger Cedeno, and Richie Sexson fall into this category. That should make the Yankee hesitant about an Adam Dunn or Pat Burrell.

The Flukies
Teams have nobody to blame but themselves for these signings. Gary Mathews Jr, Adrian Beltre, Edgar Reteria ( a year before his walk year!) and Charles Johnson are a couple of the flukies.

The Juicers
Juicers don't seem to age well, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens excluded. David Segui, Egardo Alfonso, Todd Hundley and even Jason Giambi are prime examples of this. It seems that players who need to juice to become stars break down but those who use it after establishing themselves can prolong their careers.

So who is out there to avoid and would want a long term deal? Milton Bradley (over 30 and a flukie), Pat Burrell(over 30 and a one-trick pony), Adam Dunn(one-trick pony) and Manny Ramirez(way over 30) all would require long term deals and should avoided.

But what about Texieria? He is under 30(28), does not appear to be a juicer(always has had power), has a well rounded game, and has a consistent track record of performance. He is by far the safest bet on the free agent market and the more you examine it the more it makes sense.

The Yankees have said they are going to try and add 2 pitchers to their pitching staff and postional players are secondary. I agree that the Yankees should add a pitcher or two but they might be missing out on the surest bet in the FA class in Mark Texiera. Cashman and gang need to realize this and move Tex to the top of the FA to do list.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jake a Mistake

Jake Peavy is a great pitcher. He is a great pitcher in the national league. He is a great pitcher in the national league west pitching in such ballparks as Chavez Ravine, SBC (PacBell?) Park, and calling the incredibly spacious Jack Murphy Stadium his home. Jake Peavy is a great pitcher in the relative obscurity of one of the smallest media markets in all of baseball and in arguably the most laid-back atmosphere of any MLB team.

Going from the NL to the AL is worth a half a run per game on a pitcher's ERA.

Going from the NL West to the AL East is worth at least another half a run per game.

Being a star (which Peavy definately is) in San Diego is a whole different planet than being a star in NY. The pressure and attention is bound to effect his performance at least for the short term, if not longer.

Assuming an otherworldly 2.50 ERA as a Padre, and adjust for the inevitable increases for league change and division change, it would be smart to assume a 4.00 ERA if not higher. Adjust the ERA from a simply great 3.50 and Peavy would be another disaster for Cashman.

I think Jake Peavy is a great pitcher. Do we really want, however, to trade a huge bounty of prospects for a guy that we hope will have a 4.00 ERA?

When you weigh the cost in terms of talent that the Padres would (rightfully) be asking in return, I think the Peavy trade is one that the Yanks should absolutely avoid.

Sherman: Yanks will Continue to Hold Open Tryouts at First

Joel Sherman has an article today where he sums up the Yankees plans for the offseason. Once of the more frustrating points he makes is the Yankees plans at first base. According to Sherman the Yankees do not intend to pursue Mark Texiera. This is equal to choosing not to sign Beltran when he was available. There are a very limited number of teams to compete with ( maybe just Anaheim and Baltimore) he is an obvious match and young enough to make the long contract acceptable (28). Despite this and the fact that the Yankees revenues should go up significantly next year the Yankees want to cut payroll and will avoid non-pitching spending.

Instead of using what the Yankees have an almost unlimited supply of , money, they will attempt to pull from their limited minor league system to fill the need. Sherman lists what the Yankees desire from a potential target;

1) under 30; 2) athletic and sound defensively; 3) controllable into the future; 4) a well-rounded offensive game that preferably includes plate patience.

Looking at the first baseman from around the league I count only three that fall into that category; Votto, Adrian Gonzalez and Texiera. There is no way Votto or Gonzalez are coming here without Phil Hughes. So we pass up the best pitcher in baseball to keep hughes and then trade him for a first baseman? Explain how this makes sense.

If the Yankees fail to sign Texiera I find it much more likely they will continue to do open first base tryouts with players who can't stay healthy like Nick Johnson and players who have major holes in their game like Juan Miranda.

Texiera is THE solution and the last two plus years have made it clear that finding a first baseman is not as easy as it used to be. Not signing him will come back to haunt the Yankees.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Another 1B Option?

All signs point to the Yankees getting int he Mark Texiera sweepstakes but I came a cross an interesting plan B, Adrian Gonzalez. The Padres are reportedly going to look at unloading their more valuable veteran pieces. Now he is signed through 2011 at a very reasonable rate so it might not be an area the Padres want to explore. However, if they are looking to rebuild he is a chip they could move.

So now the case for Gonzalez. He is 2 years younger then Texiera and is his equal on the defensive front. His offense numbers are not quite up to Mark Texiera but he does play in a park heavily weighted towards pitchers. His home/road splits are stark -

2008 Home-.247/.355/.433
2008 Road-.308/.368/.578
2007 Home-.266/.335/.424
2007 Road - .302/.356/.538

So you take him out of Petco and you can expect a .900 ops, not too far off from Texiera( career .919 OPS). So the question is at what cost? Would the Yankees be better off "spending" their prospects for pitching? Maybe Jake Peavy?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cashman Retunrs for Three more Years

It's offical the Cash-man will be back for three more years as the Yankee GM. So as we brace for three more years I start to wonder, what GOOD decisions has Brain Cashman made in the pitching department the last 6 years? I count Tom Gordon and Jon Leiber as good decisions. What else? There has to be more....right?

Here is a breakdown of all his moves. So where is the genius? How does this guy avoid blame? Expect more bad moves this offseason in the pitching department. Maybe no CC, sign Burnett and resign a clearly fried Andy Pettitte, yeah that sounds Cashman-esque.

Am I missing the positive moves he's made?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Karma's a Bitch!

I am so happy that the Muts once again choked away a trip to the postseason. I am not, however, simply a Met-hating Yankees fan. My joy stems from the way they treated one of the all-time good guys in the sport - Willie Randolph.

It serves them right.

Congrats iYankees

Congratulations to Chris of iYankees for winning our bloggers' fantasy baseball league!

Mariano the Great

It is arguable, that at age 37, Mariano Rivera just completed his best regular season in his sure-fire first ballot, Hall of Fame career.

Mo's 1.40 ERA is the second lowest of his career (1.38 in 2005)
His 0.66 WHIP is the lowest of his storied career (0.86 in 2005)
He gave up a career-low 11 earned runs for the entire season.
Mo walked a ridiculous 6 (SIX!!) batters all year long and struck out 77 (12+ k/bb)

In case you think maybe Mo did all of this in less than an average amount of work, Mo has averaged 73 innings per year (even including his 107 inning year in '96 as Wetteland's set-up man) and logged 70 2/3 this year.
Oh, Mo pitched all year with a sore shoulder too.

Petulant Papplepuss

As he sulked around the mound in the 1st game yesterday, throwing numerous rosin bags toward the dugout and generally looking like a 3 year old that is being forced to take a nap during Spongebob, we saw just what a self-centered baby Dread Sox closer Jonathan Papplepuss is.

HOW DARE manager Terry Francona pitch him in a meaningless game??!? 

HOW DARE Francona risk his sub 2 ERA for the season by making him pitch when there was ...GASP!... RAIN!!

After finally getting the 3rd out, The Puss stormed back to the dugout, slammed his glove down and started kicking the closest thing he could find. He then pouted out of the dugout ripping off his jersey before even getting into the tunnel.

I was soooo happy that we plated 3 and ran his era for the year from 1.98 to 2.34. 

My disdain for the jerk is pretty well documented...hopefully everyone else saw what I did yesterday and sees him for what he is - a petulant child who is more concerned with his own stats than getting in some work before the playoffs begin.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hey Yankee Fans, It Could Always be Worse

You could be a Mets fan.

Two straight years collasping down the stretch and losing two of three at home to the Marlins(the Marlins!)to seal the deal. Ouch.

I bet that closing ceremony following the game was a real blast.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bedard a FA?

SI reports on successful surgery for Erik Bedard and some interesting information at the end of the article;

The next move with Bedard is likely to be one of the first questions asked of any potential general manager candidates by team president Chuck Armstrong and chairman Howard Lincoln. Armstrong said Friday there is possibility of not tendering Bedard a contract.
"If you make a bad stock pick you don't hold on to it hoping that it's going to come back," Armstrong said. "You move on. We have that option."

If this happens the Yankees would have to consider competing for his services. He does present a significant amount of risk but the Yankees can afford to throw away 10-20 million for a chance for a front-line starter. Bedard would have to be looked at as a sixth starter instead of a one or two but a risk definitely worth taking.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Olney - Yankees Needed to Keep their Picks

Buster Olney has a piece today on the death of the Yankees. He argues the following if the Yankees go on a spending spree this summer;

"further retard their player development system that was, in the early '90s, the best in the major leagues. A dynasty was born from that, and from that dynasty came the YES Network, support for a new Yankee Stadium -- and an insatiable quest for success that, in the way it was managed, effectively cannibalized the organization. "

At the end of the article he actually lists the picks the Yankees lost and the what the compensation picks netted their former teams. I have excluded the compensation round picks because those are not picks the Yankees would have had if they didn't make the signing;

Johnny Damon - Daniel Bard
Kyle Farnsworth - Robert Fontaine
Carl Pavano-Jacob Marceaux
Jaret Wright-Jeffery Lyman
Paul Quantril- Blake Dewitt
Tom Gordon - Ray Liotte
Jason Giambi- Joe Blanton
Steve Karsay-James Greene
Mike Mussina- Mike Fontenot
David Wells - Darnell McDonald
Mike Stanton - Chris Tynan

So, what did the Yankees really loose out on with these picks? Joe Blanton? It makes for good press to kill the Yankees for spending on free agents but the truth is the Yankees are a lot better off with the FA pickups instead of the picks. Even late first round picks are a crap shoot and a sure thing FA is a much better, and safer investment. However, where the Yankees went wrong was with some of the decisions on who to spend money on not to spend it in the first place.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Yankees Pay for Past Sins

The Hank was quoted as saying there had been mistakes made by the Yankees, so now is as good a time as any to look back and see what mistakes were made. Now not all of these can be placed at the feet of Brain Cashman but the majority are his doing;

Mistake 1 - 2002 - Jeff Weaver
The Yankees tried to do something right here by adding a pitcher who had success entering his prime. The problem with this move is they clearly didn't do their homework on Weaver's maturity level. Weaver's makeup never would have allowed for him to succeed in New York. This move was bad for the Yankees and I think ruined Weaver as well.

Mistake 2- 2002 - Jose Contreras
Senore nervous was the anti- El duque - all stuff, no heart. Not only did the Yankees make a mistake with him, but they made it worse by giving up on him too quickly for Estaban Loiza. He probably would have never succeeded in New York but you have to at least give him a couple of full years to find out.

Mistake 3 - 2003 - Kevin Brown Over Andy Pettitte
After the 2003 season the Yankees decided to be cheap with Andy Pettitte. To replace him they traded for Kevin Brown. This one was bad. Ask yourself, if Andy is starting game 7 in 2004 do the Yankees win?

Mistake 4 - 2003 - Sheff over Vlad
Even though Sheffield gave the Yankees 2 good years Vlad has much been better. Sheffield brought an attitude to the clubhouse that wouldn't have been tolerated in years past. Also, Vlad is still going strong while Sheff is done.

Mistake 3 2004 - Jaret Wright over Jon Leiber
The Yankees tried to save a couple of million dollars by not exercising the option they held on Leiber and instead ended up signing Jaret Wright after the free agent market for pitchers exploded. They chose an unproven commodity in New York over someone who came in to New York and succeeded.

Mistake 4- 2004 - Carl Pavano
Looking back there really were not many better options. Derek Lowe was available, as well as Kevin Millwood, but Pavano was probably the best choice. In the end it didn't work out so it is still a mistake. $40 million dollars and 10 wins isn't exactly a positive move.

Mistake 5 - 2004 - Randy Johnson over Carols Beltran
In the 2004 offseason Big Stein gave Cash a choice - RJ or Carlos. This one was bad. Randy was a complete bust in New York and the Yankees are still looking for a real CFer. I was for the move at the time but looking back this made no sense. The Yankees ended up dumping 13 million a year (instead of the $16mm per Carols wanted) on Johnny Damon who predictably turned out to be a decent left fielder but no longer suited for CF.

Mistake 6- 2006 - Igawa over Lilly
After the 2006 season the Yankees lost out on the Dice-K sweepstakes and needed a plan B. The choice was either an unproven mediocore lefty in Japan, or a pitcher who had experience in New York and some success in the AL east. The choice was Igawa who has 2 wins to Lilly's 29 the last two years.

Replace on this years team Bobby Abreu with Vladimir Guerrero, add Lilly to the back of the rotation and Beltran in CF and you have a very strong playoff team.

Looking back, the Yankees biggest issue has been evaluating pitchers. In two years will we be adding the Johan non-trade to this list? Also, is it Cashman's fault or the Yankee scouts? Either way these are some of the key decisions that led to this year's failure and no championships since 2000. This offseason could be one like 2004, where 3 or 4 key decisions will be made. Let's hope some of these turn out better then those of the past.

This Needs to End Well

So the Red Sox won today which puts the tragic number at one. It will not do the Yankees, the Stadium or the former players justice to get eliminated today of all days. It has been a tough year all around in Yankeeland and that would be the icing on a really bitter cake.

So let's go Yankees! Keep hope alive one more day and let's go out in style - with an Andy Pettitte no-no! OK, maybe not but that would be a fitting end wouldn't it?

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Top Yankee Stadium Memories

As we edge ever so closer to the last days of Yankee stadium it makes me reflect on the lasting memories I will have of the House that Ruth Built. So here are my top memories:

Bad seats and 20 Bucks gets you a damn good view- In the late eighties/early nineties I was a teenager living in CT and my oldest brother worked on Wall Street. After he got out of work my other brother and I would hop on the train and meet him at the bat. We would then buy the worst seats in the house and wait until the 2nd inning rolled around whenwe would go to our favorite usher behind first base and slip him a 20 to enjoy the rest of the game from right behind the first base dugout. I can't say I miss losing, but I sure miss having my choice of seats!!

Walk-Offs- I have been lucky enough to see my fair share of walk-off home runs:
  • 09/09/1988 - Claudell Washington - My homa wah-wah hits the first walk-off I see.
  • 05/05/2000 - Jorge Posada- My brother felt the need to leave this one early, I stayed. Good call as Jorge sends us home happy.
  • 10/21/2001 - Alfonso Soriano - I almost got in a fight with Paul Abbot's cousin (we are lucky enough to get seats from my brother's friend John Sterling for a bunch of games a year, and sit with both teams' families) as Sono (why were we the only ones to call him that?!) sends us home drunk and happy
  • 04/05/2005 - Derek Jeter - Captain Clutch saves opening day with a walk-off blast
  • 04/07/2007 - Alex Rodriguez - Mr Clutch (for the day) delivers a walk off granny vs Cleveland (too bad he didn't save that HR till about 6 months later!).

Benitez Plunks Tino and Graeme Lloyd is a Brawler - I was at the game in '98 that saw Bernie hit a moonshot off Armando in the bottom of the 9th and Tino get plunked on the very next pitch. This set off one of the best brawls in Yankee history. This game is really underrated in recent Yankee history. This was the point in 1998 where the Yankees showed what they were made of. Not only did they come back against the (then) mighty Benitez and the O's, but they stood up for each other. The '98 team had the kind of fight that the current Yankees only dream of. You think the '98 team would've let Don Zimmer get bitch slapped by Pedro? One of the most exciting games, regular or postseason, that I have ever been to. When Raines hit the first pitch after the brawl into the bleachers I thought the Stadium was going to explode.

Clemens' Roid Rage makes Piazza Pee his Pants - This game was memorable simply because of the "what the ...?" moment when Clemens threw the bat at Piazza. Still quite a bizarre moment.

There were others, but these will stand out for me.

Yankee stadium has been good to me and these memories will last long past the wrecking ball.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Week's Worth of Work Does Not a Career Make!

Perusing the posts on Phil Hughes' start last night I became more and more angry the more I read.

Idiots such as Bill Madden penning - "It's fair to say after all that has befallen Hughes, the Yankees' crown-jewel pitching prospect, the expectations are no longer quite so high".


Do you mean to tell me that you have essentially given up on Phil Hughes because of 7 starts this year?

In his first 5 starts Johan Santana pitched to a 6.49 ERA over 86 innings.

In his first 12 starts John Smoltz pitched to a 5.48 ERA over 64 innings.

Randy Johnson sucked his first few years.

When a kid (he IS 22!) pitches as well and is as dominant as Hughes in the minors then comes up to the bigs it should come as no surprise when they struggle. If there wasn't a big difference between AAA and the majors more guys like Shelley Duncan would be able to repeat their performances with the big club.

Everyone warned of growing pains for this year; we are feeling them now.

Lay off of Phil - while he might not turn out to be Johan or Smoltz or Randy Johnson, there is still plenty of time for that to happen.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

So its not technically over....

But according to Cool Standings the Yankees have a 0.1% change of making the playoffs.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Undesireables

In the 2004 ALCS it was clear that the Yankees did nothing to revamp their pitching staff after the migration of Pettitte and loss of Clemens and David Wells. It has now been three seasons and the Yankee rotation includes a Mexican journeyman(Aceves), a pitcher released by Texas(Sir Sydney), a fading fast veteran(Andy) and Carl freaking Pavano.

This is nothing new either, a lot of the starters who have seen significant time the last four years can be categorized as either old(36+,) unproven or simply mediocre. These are three categories you want to avoid because more times then not bad things will happen. I think that a team can only handle so many starts by these Undesirables and any thing over a certain threshold puts your postseason aspirations in jeopardy. Think about it, the odds of a 36+ year old pitcher breaking down or aging before your eyes is pretty great and young pitchers are a 50/50 proposition at best.

So let's take a look at just how many of the starts by the Yankees the last four years can be put in these categories. I will start with the Rays and Red Sox this year as a point of reference;

Tampa- Total starts by Undesirables 30, 22% of Schedule
2 Starts by Unproven - Neiman
28 Starts by mediocre - Sonnastine
Matt Garza had 24 career starts before this year so he doesn't quite qualify as an unproven and I am giving Edwin Jackson the benefit of the doubt that he has turned his career around and is no longer a mediocre pitcher.

Boston - 58 Starts by the Undesirables, 41% of schedule
25 Starts by the Old - Wakefield(25)
27 Starts by the Unproven - Buchholz(15), Masterson(9),Pauley(1),Bowden(1), Zink(1)
6 Starts by the Mediocre - Ponson(6)

2008 Yankees - 127 Starts by the Undesirables, 89% of schedule
59 Starts by the Old - Mussina(30), Pettitte(29)
31 Starts by the Unproven - Kennedy(9), Hughes(6), Joba(12), Giese(3), Bruney(1)
37 Starts by the Mediocre - Rasner(20), Ponson(13), Pavano(3), Igawa(1)
2007 Yankees - 98 Starts by the Undesirables, 60% of schedule
44 Starts by the old - Mussina(27), Clemens(17)
30 Starts by Medicore -Igawa(12), Karstens(3), Henn(1), DeSalvo(6), Rasner(6), Pavano(2)
24 Starts by unproven Kennedy(3), Chase Wright(2), Hughes(13), and Clippard(6)

2006 Yankees - 120 Starts by the Undesirables, 74% of schedule
65 Starts by the old - Johnson(33), Mussina(32)
45 Starts by Medicore -Jaret Wright(27), Chacon(11), Small(3), Ponson(3), Wilson(1)
10 Starts by unproven Karstens(6), Rasner(3), Henn(1)

2005 Yankees 162 Starts by the Undesirables, 100% of schedule
87 Starts by the Old - Mussina(30), Johnson(34), Brown (13), Leiter(10)
21 Starts by the Unproven - Wang(18), Henn(3), Proctor(1)
54 Starts by the Mediocre - Redding (1), May(1), Sturtze(1), Small(9), Chacon(12), Wright(13), Pavano(17)

And just to drive the point home...
1998 Yankees - Total starts by Undesirables 6, 4% of Schedule
3 Starts by Unproven - Bradley, Jerzemback
3 Starts by mediocre - Bruske, Buddie
The Yankees have simply had too many of their starts taken by the old, the young or the just plain no good. This has to stop and there really is only one place to lay blame and that is at the feet of Brian Cashman. Maybe the lucky run at the end of 2005 provided Cash with some false sense of hope around this high risk spots.
The bottom line is you can survive having two spots that are high risk but this year 4 out of 5 spots were undesirable, this has to change next year.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Seat Selector for New Stadium

Ran Across this on iyankees. Check out the lineup on the board has Arod hitting 6th. Hank must've been mad at a rally killing DP that day....

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Joba back to Pen

Cashman and Giradi announced that Joba will return to the bullpen and not be stretched out and returned to the rotation. Makes sense since the trio of Pavano, Ponson and Razner are sure to lead us on the 20-5 run we need to make the playoffs.(that's right folks that is what it would take to reach 93 wins).

Game remaining - 25
Possible innings with Joba the reliever-18
Possible innings with Joba the starter - 37(Assumes the following inning breakdown 3,4,5,6,6,6,7 with normal rest between each appearance except the first)

Even I realize that more Joba means less Giese, Razner, Edwar, etc. Also, you maximize the amount of innings Joba throws this year hopefully avoiding a replay of Joba the reliever transitioning to Joba the starter. The Yankees just continue to make questionable decisions, this is sure shaping up to be a year to forget.

...except all they have to do is makeup 4 games before the final series of the season to have a shot. Imagine a final weekend sweep in Bostoin followed by a one game playoff in Yankee stadium, now that would be the way to play the last Yankee Stadium regular season game, wouldn't it?

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Pavano Files

A chronicle of Carl Pavano's Yankee career (courtesy the Hartford Currant):

Pavano's Hard-Luck Yankees Career

August 22, 2008


A look at the Yankees career of Southington's Carl Pavano, who is in the final year of a four-year, $39.95 million deal. He will make his first start since April 9, 2007, on Saturday against the Orioles:


April 5: He makes his Yankees debut with 6 1/3 strong innings against the Red Sox. Leaves with a 3-1 lead but gets a no-decision.

April 10: Baltimore's Melvin Mora hits a liner off Pavano's head, forcing him to leave his second start in the third inning. He makes his next start.

June 30: One day after a bullpen session, Pavano has shoulder discomfort and misses a start July 2.

July 7: He's placed on the 15-day disabled list with what's called shoulder tendinitis.

Aug. 10: After a couple of rehab starts, Pavano is shut down for the season because of rotator cuff tendinitis.

Season numbers: 17 starts, 4-6, 4.77 


Early February: Pavano informs the Yankees his back is giving him problems. The team sends him to a specialist in Los Angeles who recommends stretching and exercise.

March 22: The team says he will start the season on the DL.

March 28: He pitches one inning in an exhibition game against the Phillies. On a fielding play, he falls and sustains a bruised left buttock.

April 2: He is placed on the DL; an early May return is the hope.

May 18: Pavano discloses he has soreness in his right triceps and has another MRI.

May 19: An MRI reveals a bone chip in his elbow. Surgery is needed.

May 26: He undergoes surgery to remove the chip.

Aug. 28: Complaining of a sore right oblique, Pavano has a CAT scan that reveals two broken ribs. In a press conference at Yankee Stadium he admits he was injured in a car accident on Aug. 15 in Florida. He doesn't pitch again.

Season numbers: 0 games, 2 MRIs, 1 CAT scan. 


April 2: In his first start in 21 months, he goes 4 1/3 innings in an Opening Day no-decision against Tampa Bay.

April 9: Gets his first win since May 22, 2005, allowing two runs in seven innings against the Twins. After the game he reports arm stiffness.

April 15: Pavano is placed on the 15-day DL.

April 19: An MRI confirms a strain in his right forearm.

June 5: Has reconstructive ligament surgery and is done for season with an estimated recovery time of 12-18 months.

Season numbers: 2 starts, 1-0, 4.76 ERA 


July 8, 11: Throws 30 pitches to hitters in batting practice, then 45 pitches.

July 29-Aug. 7: Makes three rehab appearances and allows one run in 8 1/3 innings.

Aug. 12: In 4 1/3 innings for Double A Trenton, throws 80 pitches and allows five runs.

Sunday: Throws 85 pitches in six innings, allowing one run on six hits with six strikeouts in an 11-7 win over Reading.

Thursday: Called up to the Yankees to start Saturday against Baltimore.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Yanks Go For 2nd Straight Series Win

After taking 2 of 3 vs KC the hard way (losing the 1st), the Yanks look to do the same in Toronto tonight.

All we have to do is beat the best pitcher in the AL - Doc Halliday...


Monday, August 18, 2008

I Can't Stop

I'm sorry - I really am. I just can't stop-

Josh Becket 11-9 4.34
Sidney Ponson 7-3 4.19

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Year to Forget

2008 , the final season in Yankee Stadium, has not been a very good one for the Yankees. Let's break down the low lights;

  • Young Pitching Fails - Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes were hit hard and then got hurt. They were supposed to take 2 spots in the Yankee rotation for years to come instead they failed, miserably.
  • First Round Pick Walks - One of the best arms in the draft decides on college over the Yankees. This is a huge blow to the Yanks. I know they get the same pick next in return but Cole had huge upside and will not be around when the Yankees pick in years to come.
  • Injuries - Wang, ARod, Bruney, Posada, Matsui, Hughes, Kennedy, Damon among the wounded.
  • Cano and Melky regress - Cano went from a budding star to a possibly over decent player and Melky became the worst offensive CF in baseball.
  • Jeter begins to age - decrease in steals and power appear to be a sign that Jeter is aging.
  • ARod-Problems in the clutch have returned. He might be the most frustrating player in all of baseball. You know he is the best player in the field but you can almost see him tighten up in the big spot.
  • Prospects disapoint- It hasn't been just Hughes and Kennedy who have had bad years. Others in BA's top ten who have disappointed include Jeff Marquez(4.69 era, 1.45 WHIP in AAA), Alan Horne (Injury filled and horrible 5.63era), and Tabata (Immature and finally given up on).
  • Girardi still growing as a manager - Joe has made a lot of decisions that really make u scratch your head and its clear that he is still growing as a manager.

There have been some real positive like Joba's emergence as a starter and the live young arms in the pen and with all this the Yankees still have an outside chance of making the playoffs and with the possibility of adding CC and Texiera in the offseason things could take a completely different turn in the new park. But anyway you look at it 2008 has been anything but a good far.

Friday, August 15, 2008

More Boris Games?

By now you've probably heard that the Yanks' top pick from this year's draft, Garrett Cole, is threatening to go to UCLA instead of sign with his favorite childhood team.

While right handed starters are not exactly absent in the Yanks' farm system, losing Cole would hurt. He's a 17 year old who thows 98 and has a ++ power slider. He would crack the Yanks' top 20 prospects off the bat and has tremendous upside.

Let's hope that this is just Boris being Boris and that it's just a game to get Cole a few more million in his signing bonus.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Public Service Announcement

Have you seen this new promotion by America's largest addiction mongers?

They cause more addiction that all of the tobacco companies combined; more than all of the pushers on all of the street corners in all of the world.

Thet are the purveyors enslaving America's population without regard to race, religion or financial standing...

It's Starbucks.

Now, when you buy your morning hit, they give you a receipt that allows you an additional fix anytime after 2pm.

It's bad enough that I can no longer drink just any cup of joe in the I find myself watching the clock counting down the minutes until I can run down and get my caramel frappuccino (no whip, of course).
Please Rep. Waxman! Turn your attention away from baseball and the high price of oil and start investigating this blatant attempt to further enslave America to the dangerous drug that is Starbucks. 'Cuz I, and 3/4 of the rest of the world, NEED HELP!

There must be some budget pork available for Starbux detox centers. There must be Federal grants out there for caffeine replacement therapy. There must be room in DARE and MAD and all of those acronym intensive programs to start educating adults on the dangers of the grande caramel macciato. I'm counting on you!

Until then, gimme that receipt you cute 20 year old barista; I'll see you at 2!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yankee Fans HAVE to Root for Rays

The injuries to Evan Longoria and Carl Crawford, coupled with a young, over achieving pitching staff and a brutal September schedule have me convinced that the Rays are about to start a period of prolonged poor play. In their last 40 games I could see a 17-23 mark pretty easily.

But wait...what would that mean for us?

We are currently 9 behind TB, and 5 behind the Dread Sox. If Tampa does go into a long-ish losing streak as I anticipate, that would give Boston a chance to catch them for the division. If Boston catches Tampa for the division, then we have to catch Tampa for wild card.

We have 6 games left vs Boston, so making up 5 games, while difficult, is not impossible. Making up 9 games in roughly 40, though, is another story.

Our best chance, then is for me to be wrong and see the Rays play good ball from here in and win the division. That way we can catch Boston and knock them completely out of the playoffs.

Yeah, that sounds better...GO RAYS!!

Be Ready

I'm warning 2009 Carl Pavano will sign a 1 year deal with someone like the Giants or the Dodgers and win 15 games with an ERA of about 3.50.

Be ready for it so you don't climb the nearest clock tower!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Good morning, again, from the 7:41 express to Grand Central Station. It seems the 40 minute train ride is about the extent of my available blogging time lately.

If not for the olympics, the level of frustration with our team would probably have caused me to blow a blood vessel. I'm sure you feel it too. The frustration on my end comes not from the fact that we are losing, but how we are losing.

We should have been expecting this swoon from the Yanks. A 'ro that includes Ponson, Geise and Rasner is not winning many series let alone winning a playoff spot. The frustrating thing is, though, that it's not the starting pitching that's causing the losing.

The starters have actually done pretty well. Ponson has probably earned himself a multi year deal from someone (not us), Geise has been very good, and Rasner...well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

The offense, however, looks more akin to a team playing for a spot in the Little League World Series then the real one. Our 1000 run bombers will be lucky to crack 800 for the year!

A big part of the problem has been the Yankee O perpetually failing with RISP. They know it, Gen Joe knows it, and we know it- which is a bad thing. Team-wide offensive frustration is a syndrome- failure breeds frustration, frustration breeds pressure, pressure breeds failure. And round and round it goes.

Frustrating as well is that the 'pen, our biggest strength through the first 100 games, has fallen apart.

I could understand the losing if we were getting beat 8-6 every night. 4-0 against a mediocre (at best) pitcher is just unacceptable.

Any way you slice it, unless we get out act together quick and go on a 22-4 tear, we'll be watching the first round only to root for whoever plays the Dread Sox.

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