Archive for the ‘Offseason’ Category

ESPN:NY Article Review of the Jeter Contract Situation

November 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I only check the ESPN: New York satellite site because its a means of organization, that I can see Yankees, Giants, Jets, Devils, and Nets all on the same site instead of trying to find it on the main ESPN hub page.  I do this mostly for quick score updates of stats, as well as headlines.  I normally don’t read much beyond that, because in all honesty, it’s crap.  But I did come across one article yesterday from Ian O’Connor about a compromise between the Yankees’ camp and the Jeter camp that’s worth reading.  I was quite surprised to read along with and agree with O’Connor’s words, that rarely happens.

Here’s the article

Things I agree with:

  • The idea of a compromise, falling in between the Yankees’ initial offer of 3 years for $45 million, and Jeter’s belief that he’s still worth of $100 million.  The middle? 4 for $70m.
  • How Jeter has no leverage coming off his worst season statistically, at age 36, some terrible timing on his part.
  • How Jeter has beat the Yankees in terms of negotiating in the past, whether through arbitration years, or getting more money a few years after George Steinbrenner would not notarize a deal that was already set in place.
  • How Jeter is the reason Cashman normally won’t negotiate during the arbitration years for the youngsters.  I can only imagine the raise that Robinson Cano will get after his current contract is up, or what Phil Hughes’ first big contract since his signing bonus as a senior in high school will be.
  • The way the Steinbrenner brothers run the team financially (like night and day).  Hank awarded A-Rod with the massive contract full of options and monetary achievements, and Hal is pinching pennies on the Yankee captain.

Things I disagree with:

  • Mentioning how Jeter has been on record to compromise already, whether moving off of short in the future, or working on his defense in the offseason after a dinner with GM Brian Cashman.  Workout regimes and future hearsay are two totally separate things, especially when dollars are involved.  Just because someone compromises in one area doesn’t mean they will in another; a stupid assumption.
  • O’Connor getting cute by bringing his story full-circle with the Jordan-Washington Wizards and Toledo Mud Hens metaphor from the intro paragraph.  Just the kind of tackiness that keeps this article from being perfect, but I don’t expect anything less from ESPN: New York.

Hal Steinbrenner said things “could get ugly” and he was right, it has.  Of course, this is the ugly side of baseball, the whole negotiating game that isn’t played on a diamond with 90 ft. basepaths.  There have been numerous reports coming out on a daily basis of the “who said what” rant, and I’ve found myself overloaded and unsure of who to believe.  More numbers have been thrown around in the past few weeks then in an antique automobile auction.

What I do like in terms of the rest of the major leagues, is how Jeter is going to be paid well above market value.  Other premiere shortstops such as Troy Tulowitzki will use Jeter’s previous and current contracts to their advantage, possibly pricing himself out of Colorado, and perhaps ready to take over once the aging Jeter either calls it quits or (voluntarily) moves off the shortstop position.

So, things are getting a little sour.  Cashman says Jeter is free to test the open market and find a better deal.  Hal has stated that “we’re trying to run a business here.”  Jeter’s agent Casey Close may or may not have let his camp’s demands leak, and may or may not have tried to cover it up.  That’s what happens during negotiations in the offseason.

The Captain eluded questions from the media all season long about what would happen this offseason when his current contract expired.  We all understand why.  But let’s not forget what happened to Bernie Williams after the ’98 season.  Things are now both magnified and amplified due to new media and the timing of when we get ours news.  Thanks, Twitter.

AL Cy Young Award Results

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Today, Felix Hernandez won the 2010 AL Cy Young Award, with a final line of 13-12, 2.27 ERA, 194 hits in 249.2 IP, and 232 K’s .  David Price of the Rays came in second, and the Yankees’ CC Sabathia finished in third.

Around campus, twitter, and facebook, I’ve heard (mostly) Yankee fans complaining that CC should have won.  I couldn’t disagree more.  I’ve heard nothing but “Anti-Yankee bias” and the whole “but Felix only won 13 games, and lost 12!”  I pity these fools.  In m opinion, the writers who vote on this matter got it right.  Except for one writer, who gave Sabathia a 5th place vote, that’s just absurd.

In King Felix’s defense, he had arguably the worst offense since the incporporation of the designated hitter in the AL supporting him, and still managed to get 13 wins, thanks to his 2.27 ERA, the lowest for a starter in all of baseball.  He led AL pitchers in WAR (6.0) and innings pitched (249.2), and recorded six complete games.  Heading into advanced stats, Hernandez had a 5.8 WPA, in basic terms, means he was screwed out of nearly 6 wins because of how bad the Seattle Mariners were.

Sabathia had a great year, and his 21 wins were tied for tops in baseball with NL winner Roy Halladay.  But his season was not better than Hernandez’s or Price’s, and the third place finish is deserving.  That’s not to say he wasn’t important to the Yankees, because we all know he was.  But there were two starting pitchers better than he was over the course of the regular season.

Sorry big fella, not this year.

In other Yankee related news:

The Yankees plan to offer Jeter 3 years for $45 million in the next couple of days, are one of 15 teams interested in Arizona’s Justin Upton, and they’ve signed 19 year old Dominican RHP Rafael DePaula, one of those “was suspended for a year because he lied about his age along with 75% of the talent from the Caribbean.”

Categories: Awards, Offseason Tags: , , ,

Hot Stove Info: Meetings, Contracts, Call-Ups, Awards

November 10, 2010 Leave a comment

So far into the off-season, the window to negotiate exclusively with their free agent’s period has come and gone, with no deals done for the Yankees.  However, that doesn’t mean that GM Brian Cashman and the rest of the Yankees front office hasn’t been busy.  To recap so far…

  • Yankee brass has met with Jeter’s agent Casey Close, and it has been noted over the Internet and airwaves that “all parties agree a deal is going to get done.”   This, to me, is not real news.  News would be if the meeting went horribly and Jeter decides to take his talents elsewhere because of a low-ball offer.  (But I am pleased that things went well)
  • Cashman flew to Arkansas to meet with Cliff Lee.  No contract submission yet, but I would bet that the Yankee GM wasn’t selling New York to the lefthander, wearing his ’09 ring to show off to the pitcher that has missed out in the last two World Series matchups.
  • Jorge Posada will primarily be a DH in 2011, with Jesus Montero most likely getting around 100 starts as a rookie.  Who isn’t excited to have both of their bats in the lineup next year?  Side note: Will be interesting to see the battle from Spring Training on for the third catcher spot, with fist-pumping extraordinaire Frankie Cervelli and fellow homegrown backstop Austin Romine.  Let’s see how Jorge adjusts to his new role.  (And I’m not going to link to any Laura Posada twitter reactions, because the account hasn’t been verified yet).
  • The Yankees will also meet with Gil Patterson on Thursday, who was a Yankee coach before becoming a “roving instructor” for the Oakland A’s.  He’s my personal choice to be the new pitching coach for the club.
  • Jeter, Cano, and Teixeira won the Rawlings Gold Glove awards for their positions in the American League.

With the end of the regular season, it’s time to hand out the awards.  The Gold Gloves have already been handed out, and here’s the dates for the remaining awards:

Nov. 15: AL & NL Rookie of the Year

Nov. 16: NL Cy Young

Nov. 17: AL & NL Manager of the Year

Nov. 18: AL Cy Young

Nov. 22: NL MVP

Nov. 23: AL MVP

The Jeter Contract

November 3, 2010 Leave a comment

It has its own trending hashtag on Twitter.  It’ll get the backpage of the Post and Daily News in the next upcoming days.  Francesa will spend at least an hour on the topic until pen meets paper.  Might as well join the conversation.

Everyone’s throwing figures around trying to guess the next contract for Derek Jeter.  That it’s with the Yankees has to be a given, so I don’t see wasting any time on trying to envision him wearing #2 in anything but pinstripes.

One tweep of mine, Andrew Katz (@NoYoureATowel) has a contest going for his followers to guess the amount and years of Jeter’s next contract.

Derek’s last contract was 10 yrs/$189 mil.  I can’t see him getting a raise as he approaches 40 and continues to decline in terms of production.  Speaking of production, Jeter’s 2010 numbers: .270/.340/.370.  Not exactly Jeterian, or the kind of numbers to be used as leverage in negotiations.

Speculation has it that he is seeking 6 year deal, which would keep him in the Bronx until he’s 42.  I’d take 4 years, 5 max.

While the 2010 Jeter was frustrating with every groundout or GIDP to a middle infielder, I’m hoping 2011 is truly a fresh start.  Jeter’s been my idol growing up, as I started to really follow the team in 96, when I was 7.  One thing he has always done was address his flaws, so let’s hope he gains some range back at short, and quickens up the wrist, as his bat speed tended to drag through the zone this year, resulting in all of the groundouts, or weak tappers.

So, to get down to the bare bones of it, what’s my prediction on the Jeter contract?  I honestly don’t want to put a figure on it.  It’s not money out of my pocket, as many fans have worried that the team would be overpaying.  So what.  Derek Jeter is the face of the Yankees.  He’s been clean his entire career in an era tainted with sryinges and Supreme Court hearings.

If I’m Brian Cashman or either of the Steinbrenner’s, I hand Derek a blank check, knowing that he will make the right decision for both the franchise and himself.

(Getty Images)

Yanks ink Girardi and his Binder for 3 More Years

October 28, 2010 2 comments

Today the Yankees officially announced that manager Joe Girardi and the team have come to terms on a 3-yr, $9 million deal.  Girardi’s binder still has a prominent place on his desk and in the dugout for 2011 and beyond.

The Associated Press confirms that Girardi can earn $500,000 bonuses based on team performances.

Girardi has been suspect to drawing heat from fans and the media after a few questionable moves this postseason, in which the Yankees lost in six games to the Texas Rangers.

Personally, I agree with bringing Girardi back.  I’m not going to judge the Yankees manager based on the last two weeks, I think you have to survey his three years as the manager, which resulted in two playoff appearances and one World Series ring.  He wasn’t the reason they were ousted against Texas.

Replacing Girardi really seemed like more of a hassle, and I still feel like he’s the right man for the job.  Discounting Joel Sherman’s opinion that Girardi is “deceitful” towards the media, I feel like Girardi has a good wrap with the beat writers, based on post-game interviews followed by reading their articles the next morning.

More importantly, I feel like Girardi is on the same page as Brian Cashman and the front office.  They all share the same view and plans for the young stars, as well as the treatment of the aging veterans.

Now that the position at the top is filled, there are plenty of issues to address with the Yankees roster, starting with contract negotiations with the Captain.  With one order of business finished now that Girardi remains the skipper, the free agent frenzy can commence with everyone making moves on the same page.

I thought I’d share this, as the binder’s a recent follower of mine on Twitter:

Myerburg’s Take on the Yankees Off-Season

February 24, 2010 Leave a comment


In their effort to “cut payroll” they bring in Curtis Granderson, Nick Johnson, Javier Vazquez, Randy Winn, and Chan-Ho Park, and get rid of Hideki Matsui, Phil Coke, Austin Jackson, Melky Cabrera, and Ian Kennedy.  I was fine with them not bringing back Damon and Matsui.  Damon could have still been productive, that’s for sure, but they wanted to get younger and didn’t want to pay him $13 million.  I understand that.  I just don’t see how bringing in Johnson, Vazquez, and Winn are supposed to be an upgrade at all.  I would have rather seen Melky and Brett Gardner patrolling left and center and letting them see what they can do over a full season, they play very good defense and their offense would be more than covered by their All-Stars, Jeter, Teixeira, A-Rod, Posada, and Robbie Cano.  Melky showed last year what he’s capable of, late game clutch hits, great defense, and a strong outfield arm.  Gardner covers centerfield as well as just about anyone in the game.  Some may see Granderson as an upgrade, but I see him as having the same type of production that Melky has.  They basically traded Melky away because they had an older, more proven version of him.

When they brought Randy Winn in as a left field choice I basically lost faith in Cashman and the Yankee regime.  How is Randy Winn a viable option for a Yankee team that is looking to defend a World Championship?  He is 35 years old and coming off a terrible season with the Giants in the NL West with inferior pitching.  How is bringing in Javier Vazquez supposed to be an upgrade?  His last game as a Yankee he self imploded in the 2004 ALCS against the Red Sox, his last pitch being the Grand Slam to Johnny Damon to ice the game.  One quick look at his Baseball-Reference page will tell you he has a career 4.52 ERA in the American League, even in the inferior National League his ERA is a career 4.02 ERA.  While his WHIP is a respectable 1.2 in both leagues, his high ERA shows he seems to struggle when those guys get on base.  Now he’s pitching in a hitter’s park where fly balls seem to make their way to River Ave.  You may look at his stats from last year and think it’s an upgrade over Hughes or Joba in the starting role, however he had a career year, and the last time the Yankees went after a pitcher with a high career ERA having an abnormally good year was a guy by the name of Carl Pavano and we all know how that one went.  If the Yankees had just let Damon and Matsui walked and brought back the youngsters they traded away: Jackson, Coke, Melky, Kennedy and let them play I would have given them an A grade, why fix something that’s broken, right?  Kennedy showed signs of greatness in 2007 and then floundered in 2008 because he was thrust into a role he wasn’t ready to fulfill.  Is that enough to give up on him?  I would have liked to have seen Kennedy, Hughes, and Joba compete for the two starting rotation spots in spring training and the loser go to the bullpen.  Phil Coke was not a main part of the team last year but he was a very capable left out of the bullpen, a lot more capable than the lefty they got from the Braves in the Vazquez deal Boone Logan who has a career 5.78 ERA and a 1.692 WHIP.  I just don’t understand the moves they made this year; it looks to me like they made deals just to satisfy the fans by making a move.  If they had just stuck with the plethora of young talent they had and let them show their talents either on the big club this year or with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

I will look towards the 2010 with hopes of another title, but it seems like a far away dream with a team with Randy Winn, Nick Johnson, and Javier Vazquez on it.  When they finish 3rd behind the young phenom pitching talent of the Rays let by David Price, Matt Garza, and James Shields, and the Red Sox with their plethora of pitching and improved defense you can just look back at February 24, 2010 and say I was right.

Categories: Fan Reactions, Offseason

Fans Grade Yankees’ Offseason

February 11, 2010 Leave a comment

There are mixed emotions in Yankeeland, as blogs are filled with fans either extremely confident looking forward to 2010, lashing out and revoking their season ticket plans, or somewhere in between.   Here are some reader’s thoughts on how Cashman fared this Hot Stove season.

Lou Ragozzino: A.  They got another good starter to round out the rotation and the additions of Johnson, he will get on base to score runs and Granderson helps with speed and defense.

Rich Einhorn: B+. They addressed their pitching need and upgraded CF but they didn’t get the corner OF they needed.

Dan Salerno: C.  It was average bc it was a downgrade from last year with not so many big name pickups, and there were some departures.

Dan Myron: B.  Matsui and Damon were huge parts of the team but were indeed getting old…as Ken Rosenthal said Damon and the Yankees will both hurt because of this…However getting Granderson is going in the right direction and Nick Johnson is going to see a lot of fastballs hitting second and will get on base 40% of the time if he doesn’t get hurt…I think Vaz at the four will be good, he’s a horse and is more mature now…I also like leaving LF open for a run at Crawford next year…However the Yanks will need repeat great years from Jeter, ARod, Mo, and Posada to stay healthy…Asking a lot but I like their chances.

Bill Pettigrew, Sr.: A+. WS Champs again… pitching pitching pitching… Picked up a proven starter… and health, with a somewhat aging team, health is another top issue, and they got younger by bringing in Granderson, but Nick Johnson’s health history is a big question mark.

Rob Manzie: B.  They added two major needs in a centerfielder and a fourth starter but they lost both Matsui and Damon.  Nick Johnson was a good addition but isn’t a customary DH and LF is in shambles.

Jack Nugent: B-. The Yankees offseason was a fairly fruitful one. I was disappointed by the loss of Matsui, but the team is going for a more youthful group this year. I hate that Austin Jackson was involved in the Granderson trade, but Granderson is fast, and will presumably provide the speed the Yankees have lacked for years. We’ll have to see. Compared to their moves last season, I’ll give them a B- at best, simply because getting Granderson makes it a better than average winter.

And finally, a short summary of what The Ever-Pessimistic Myerburg had to say about the matter (his post coming later): I just don’t see how bringing in Johnson, Vazquez, and Winn are supposed to be an upgrade at all.

I would give the Yankees a B, because I would have liked to bring back Matsui to protect ARod batting 5th.  I love bringing Javy Vazquez back, he will eat innings at the back end of the rotation, and is easily the best #4 in the game.  Nick Johnson should put up solid numbers if he can stay healthy.  I’ve been a Granderson fan ever since I met him along the LF wall at the Stadium back in 2005 during batting practice.  Glad we didn’t overspend on Holliday or Bay, would like to see what Brett Gardner can do.  Randy Winn is a 4th outfielder not worth getting worked up about.  Sad to see CMW go, hope he does well with the Nationals, can’t say the same about Bruney, glad he’s gone.  I’d rather have Kenny Powers to fill his spot in the bullpen.  Now if only they’d make a few minor changes to Yankee Stadium, but I’ll leave that for another post, on another day…

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