The Plan In Left Field Is….No Plan At All?

The Dave Cameron article that we discussed yesterday has made the rounds, and Rob Neyer used the opportunity to make an important point about flexibility:

Yes, Holliday would make the Yankees better. Maybe a juggernaut, even.

But the only way the Yankees can fall into a habit of losing, someday, is by stockpiling too many players in their 30s with big long-term contracts. It’s incredibly difficult to place a value on flexibility, but that value is real and important and Brian Cashman’s awareness of that value is going to keep the Yankees on top for quite some time.

Now, the issue that we are discussing is not positional flexibility. The Yankees are not leaving left field open because they see a better player to fill that hole on the horizon. As Chris noted this morning, Holliday is likely a better player than Carl Crawford, and I do not see any superior left fielders becoming available in the next few years.… Click here to read the rest

Best takedown of of Mets organization

  • “Still, it speaks to the team’s recognition that baseball trades in a new currency youth and that the Mets always arrive late to the party of the latest trend. New York spent $3.1 million on the amateur draft in 2009. It was the lowest figure in the game.”
  • “To compensate, they dole out dollars in the most inefficient market: free agency. Bay hits for power and he gets on base and he fits into a clubhouse well, and every team desires such a player. He’s also 31. Defensive metrics and scouts agree he’s a massive liability in left field. He was obviously blanching at playing for the Mets and in the massive Citi Field, or he wouldn’t have spent more than two weeks spelunking for another offer before taking New York’s.”
  • “Give [Minaya] this much: He is a survivor, somehow wrangling a contract extension out of the Wilpon family at the height of fans’ disdain with him more than a year ago.
Click here to read the rest

How Much Might Johnson And Granderson Be Worth?

Earlier this week, I took a look at how many Wins Above Replacement Curtis Granderson may be worth if he plays in center field and if he plays in left field. Today, I’m going to put a dollar amount to that figure, as well as Nick Johnson’s.

As a center fielder, Granderson projects to be worth 3.0539 WAR in left field. The value of a marginal win fluctuates from year to year, but a good estimate is about $5.5MM. So, to find the value of Granderson’s WAR, we multiply the two numbers together. When we do that, we get $16.79645MM. Let’s make life simple and round that up to $17MM.

A quick run to Cot’s shows us that Granderson is making $5.5MM this season. So, while he be payed like a one win player, Granderson’s likely to play like a three win player. All told, if Granderson hits his projection, the Yankees will be getting a value of $11.5MM in Curtis.… Click here to read the rest

Assessing the 2010 Yankee rotation

Not sure if anyone noticed, given that Mike and Jason did a stellar job of providing content in my absence as well as the fact that many of you have probably been similarly off the grid celebrating the holidays, but I was away this past week (the Bizarre Moves posts from this past weekend were written in advance). As a result, I haven’t yet had a chance to properly weigh in on the Javy Vazquez trade.

The news broke last Tuesday on my first day out of town, but thankfully I was able to piece the deal together quickly thanks to the magic of BlackBerries and Twitter accounts, as well as Mike’s solid analysis of the deal. I did jot down some quick thoughts on the trade in an e-mail thread a friend of mine sent around that morning, so let’s have a look:

“Initial impressions of this deal are that it’s a pretty nice move for the Yanks. I’ve always hated Melky, so to get anything of substance for Cabrera is a plus in my book.… Click here to read the rest

Price: Red Sox Team Of The Decade

Earlier today, Ed Price wrote an article about the team of the decade that included the following chart:

[image title=”aoajuv” size=”full” id=”13566″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ]

Considering that chart, it must be obvious who Price picked as the team of the decade, right? Not so fast:

But while the Yankees had the best winning percentage for the 2000s as a whole — .597, with a 965-651 record — we have chosen the Red Sox as the team of the decade.

Boston earns the nod not just based on its success but also for the way the franchise turned itself around and became a standard-bearer in ways for the industry….

That October was the defining time of the decade. It saddled the Yankees’ with a vulnerability that lasted five years, it dialed up the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry and it turned New England fans’ expectations from inevitable doom to annual contention.

The Yankees had more wins, pennants, and playoff appearances, and an equal number of championships.… Click here to read the rest

Bay to Beirut: It's about the money after all

Any chance Jason Bay ends up back with the Red Sox as opposed to in Queens?

I think he’d rather be playing in Beirut than Queens. The sad part of this is that sometimes there’s so much competition between agents that the players become pawns. I think in Jason’s case, it would have been really easy to take 4 x 15 [million dollars] in July, which I thought, actually, at the time was a little bit high as an offer. It was clear that the Red Sox just wanted to get him signed and get him out of the way. While the Mets offer is four [years] for 65 [million], it’s so backloaded that I’ve been told by Mets people that it’s far less than what the Red Sox were offering in present-day value. And he obviously doesn’t want to play there. And they’re scared of having him play left field there for four years. it’s really a shame it’s worked out this way.Click here to read the rest

What Do Derosa And Bay Mean For Damon And Left Field

In the last two days, we’ve seen both Mark DeRosa and Jason Bay agree to terms with the Giants and Mets respectively. While the Giants will play DeRosa at third, they could still use him in left field and other places. Bay will obviously play left field for the Mets, earning at least $66MM over at least four years. That leaves two fewer landing spots for Damon than there were this time last week.

What does this mean for the “former” Yankee outfielder? The meaning is a likely return to Pinstripes for Johnny. His options are dwindling rapidly, and the Yankees do not appear to be major players for the other remaining big-ticket position-playing free-agent, Matt Holliday. I’ve already discusssed the option of Jermaine Dye (ugh) and since then, that “rumor” has been thankfully debunked.

This basically leaves three choices: try and bring back Damon at the right price, go get a small-time outfielder to be part of a left-field platoon with Brett Gardner, or just stand pat with Gardner and Jamie Hoffmann as the outfielders.… Click here to read the rest

There are absurd headlines, then there's this

  • “But while the Yankees had the best winning percentage for the 2000s as a whole — .597, with a 965-651 record — we have chosen the Red Sox as the team of the decade.”
  • “For the decade, the Red Sox averaged 92 wins per season, compared to the Yankees’ 96.5. (St. Louis led the NL with 91.3.)”
  • “And when the Yankees bookended the decade with this year’s title, they matched the Red Sox as the only team with two championships in the 2000s.”

And Price was good enough to add this nifty table (which has not one, not two but three errors: how do you win a WS but NOT a Pennant? And the Yanks won FOUR pennants, not two. And the Rays won the division in 2008, not the Sox. Screw the facts!):

Best of the 2000s
Top franchises for the decade:
Team Wins Div. Titles Pennants WS Titles
Yankees 965 8 2 4 2
Red Sox 920 2 1 1 2 2
Cardinals 913 6 2 1
Angels 900 5 1 1
Braves 892 6 0 0
A’s 890 4 0 0

So, what was the reason for picking the Sox ahead of the Yanks, per Ed’s reasoning:

  • “Boston earns the nod not just based on its success but also for the way the franchise turned itself around and became a standard-bearer in ways for the industry.”

Ahhhh, intangibles.… Click here to read the rest

Mets closing in on Jason Bay

Its now being reported that the Mets and Jason Bay have come to terms on a four year $66 million contract, pending a physical. The move makes sense for the Mets, so long as Jason Bay has enough power to lift the ball out of cavernous Federal Bailout Park … I mean Citi Field. Bay will add power to an improved Mets lineup, provided injured stars Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran return from injury at full strength.

Attention will shift back to the Red Sox and the Yankees, now that Bay is off the market. The perception is that the Yankees need a left fielder, but to many analysts the team is currently strong enough to compete. More than anything, this will intensify the microscope on the Red Sox. So far this off season they’ve let Bay go, and tried to trade Mike Lowell to Texas. They replaced Bay with Mike Cameron, which may have saved money but is also an offensive downgrade.
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