What the DeRosa signing means for Damon

It was rumored that Damon was seeking a three-year deal with an AAV of $13 million. Welcome to Damon’s Alternate Reality. Then came the Granderson trade, the Nick Johnson rumors and ultimate signing and finally the trade of Melky Cabrera. [Needless to say, we’re still big fans of Brett Gardner as you can read here, and here, and here.]

I wrote a bit about Damon and the budget last week and most of the thoughts remain intact:

  • He sure is a very good player. However, if I were part of another team, I’d look at his 2009 home/road splits and notice that his power spike was largely due to the new Yankee Stadium, particularly early in the season. There might be some team who thinks Damon’s skills will translate to their team, but I think it’s going to be a stretch, particularly for any team with a spacious LF. But as the old saying goes: “All it takes is one (idiot)
  • Damon + Boras = It’s About The Money, Stupid.
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Fangraphs: Value Of A Win To The Yankees

Dave Cameron makes an interesting point about the value of a win to the Yankees, in the context of the Yankees going cheap in LF:

A while ago, we talked about the marginal value of a win, and how it differs from team to team, changing the calculation on what a team should pay for a given player given what they already have on the roster. The wins that have the largest impact on playoff odds are in the upper-80s, so if you’re a slightly better than .500 club, adding another additional win or two can have a pretty dramatic impact on your chances of playing in October……

The Yankees have made a bunch of good moves this winter, adding Curtis Granderson, Nick Johnson, and Javier Vazquez to a roster that was the best in baseball a year ago. Their true talent level, as currently constructed, is probably that of a 100 win team. The Yankees are going to be very good in 2010…..

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A 3rd Team In New York?

Since the Yankees won the World Series, there have been rumblings among baseball insiders about the need to correct the “Yankee problem,” namely the fact that the Yankees outspend some clubs by more than 100 million dollars. While a salary cap is the most popular suggestion, a cap on teams would by nature by a cap upon player salaries, and therefore would require approval of the players union. Tim Marchman suggests that one way baseball can deal with the competitive imbalance while bypassing the MLBPA is to add another club in NY:

According to the measure used by the Office of Management and Budget, the New York metropolitan region numbers about 19 million people. In other words, New York has one MLB team for every 9.5 million people. Chicago, by this measure, has one for every five million people, just as Miami and Atlanta do. Los Angeles has one for every 6.5 million people, as do Dallas and Philadelphia. (This doesn’t even take into account New York’s vast, inherent wealth.) As we learned a decade ago, baseball at large is quite willing to jury-rig a silly tax system that only works against the Yankees, because everyone else benefits, be it poor teams getting handouts or rich teams who see the Yankees ever so slightly chastened in their spending.

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What to expect from Derek Jeter?

Yesterday Yankeeist took a look at players who are similar Alex Rodriguez (one name stands out: Aaron, Henry) and attempted to predict a bit of what his future with the Yankees holds. Today we turn our sites on the team’s other inner-circle hall of famer not named Mariano Rivera: Derek Jeter.

This may be Yankee fan bias, but it has always seemed as though baseball analysts and opposing fans have been in a rush to predict the untimely end of Derek’s career. Baseball Prospectus wrote of Jeter’s 2007 season, “The second half of 2007, taken together with his age, suggests that the day of reckoning finally has arrived.” Jeter put an OPS+ of 121 in 2007. If that’s the day of reckoning then may all Yankee players prove so decrepit.

Prior to that it always seemed as though analysts would argue Jeter’s greatness, but couch the arguments in statements about how it was more than the numbers. This seemed to be an offshoot of the days when Jeter, Nomar Garciaparra, and Alex Rodriguez were vying to be the best shortstop in the game.
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Derosa, Nady, and Dye All Off The Table?

While today seemed to be a fairly quiet day in the Yankee Universe, a number of reports surfaced suggesting the pool of left fielders being considered by the Yankees is shrinking. First, from Ken Rosenthal, we learn that Mark Derosa is on his way to San Francisco:

The San Francisco Giants are closing in on a two-year deal with Mark DeRosa, according to a major-league source. The Giants are expected to use DeRosa at third base and also as a super-utility man who could fill in at multiple positions.

Then Jon Heyman nixed Jermaine Dye:

#yanks dont appear to be in on jermaine dye. #rangers, #cubs, #giants, #braves, #angels, etc. more likely.

Finally, Bryan Hoch reports that Xavier Nady has priced himself out of the Yankees budget:

Right now, it appears the hold-up would be more financial than physical. General manager Brian Cashman said on Monday that Nady’s price is above the Yankees’ current budget, which explains why they have not been seriously linked to him while some other clubs have.

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Jermaine Dye is a terrible outfielder

Season Team Pos G GS Inn PO A E DP FP RF/G RF/9 DG exO Arm DPR RngR ErrR UZR UZR/150
1996 Braves LF 25 14 131.1 21 0 4 0 .840 0.8
1997 Royals LF 1 1 5.1 0 0 0 0 .000 0.0
2003 Athletics LF 1 0 5.0 0 0 0 0 .000 0.0
0 0 -0.1 0.0 0.0 -0.1 -8.0
1996 Braves CF 4 0 9.0 5 0 0 0 1.000 1.3
2001 Royals CF 2 2 17.0 3 0 0 0 1.000 1.5
2003 Athletics CF 3 1 12.0 4 0 0 0 1.000 1.3
1 3 -0.3 0.7 0.0 0.4 58.4
1996 Braves RF 71 55 505.0 124 2 4 1 .969 1.8
1997 Royals RF 75 66 600.0 164 7 6 3 .966 2.3
1998 Royals RF 59 56 513.1 153 4 2 3 .987 2.7
1999 Royals RF 157 155 1358.2 363 17 6 6 .985 2.4
2000 Royals RF 146 145 1260.1 277 11 7 3 .976 2.0
2001 Royals/Athletics RF 153 152 1334.0 271 13 6 1 .979 1.9
2002 Athletics RF 111 109 956.1 170 2 5 1 .972 1.5
91 180 -3.9 -8.1 -0.3 -12.3 -20.3
2003 Athletics RF 60 59 500.1 102 1 0 0 1.000 1.7
56 113 -2.9 -3.3 0.5 -5.7 -15.0
2004 Athletics RF 134 132 1178.0 258 3 2 2 .992 1.9
119 241 -2.4 8.7 1.5 7.9 9.8
2005 White Sox RF 140 137 1235.1 259 9 8 2 .971 1.9
134 266 -1.5 -0.2 -0.5 -2.2 -2.6
2006 White Sox RF 146 145 1245.0 305 4 6 2 .981 2.1
162 324 -4.0 -17.1 -1.4 -22.5 -21.5
2007 White Sox RF 135 135 1156.0 284 9 3 3 .990 2.2
150 300 -5.7 -17.0 1.1 -21.6 -21.5
2008 White Sox RF 151 151 1312.2 266 5 1 0 .996 1.8
140 281 -3.9 -16.1 0.6 -19.4 -21.4
2009 White Sox RF 133 133 1120.2 238 9 5 0 .980 1.9
126 252 -2.7 -16.5 -0.7 -20.0 -24.5
1996 Braves OF 100 69 645.1 150 2 8 1 .950 1.5
1997 Royals OF 76 67 605.1 164 7 6 3 .966 2.3
2001 Royals/Athletics OF 155 154 1351.0 274 13 6 1 .980 1.9
2001 Royals OF 94 93 813.1 178 6 3 0 .984 2.0
2001 Athletics OF 61 61 537.2 96 7 3 1 .972 1.7
2003 Athletics OF 64 60 517.1 106 1 0 0 1.000 1.7
57 116 -3.3 -2.7 0.5 -5.4 -13.8

So no, despite what some might say (looking at you here), Dye is NOT a quality rightfielder.… Click here to read the rest

Commish For A Day II: #6 Automated Strike Zones

(Another issue is how much we trust these machines to get it right. Is the margin of error used in QuesTec acceptable for games? I think so, but I can imagine the PR nightmare if people find that the system gives too much of the corner of the plate, or something similar.)

One of the biggest problems with the game is that the umpires don’t enforce the zone, and many have “personal” strike zones, and the players know it. Worse, umpires give calls to individual players based on reputation. Heck, pitchers and catchers have skills like framing pitches, expanding the zone, and so on, which are really ways of tricking the umpire into calling more pitches in their favor. The strike zone is a fixed area, and should be enforced as such.

I think there are two main arguments against this:

First, people may complain about removing the human element from the game. I have 2 responses to that:

  1. We’re not removing it entirely- you’ll still need umpires to make decisions about out/safe calls, whether a batter checked his swing, calling infield flies, and all kinds of other things that either require judgment calls, or that no amount of camera work or automated processes can do better than an actual human on the field.
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Kepner and MLB parity

This comes in the middle of a Kepner article in which he subtly tells us that he’s becoming the national baseball writer for the NY Times, no longer just a Yanks beat writer. As a Yanks fan, this is a loss for our daily coverage. We lost Pete Abraham (whatever you might think of him; some were rubbed the wrong way) this Fall and now Kepner’s lens is widening. We still have a slew of great beat writers, but we’re a bit short without Pete and Tyler giving us the daily nuggets. Kepner’s not-surprising-low-key notice:

I am eager to learn and share more of their stories the hopeless, the hopeful and all the rest in my new role as a national baseball writer. I have worked the beats here for 10 years, two with the Mets and eight with the Yankees. Every season was its own mystery, dozens of parallel story lines building to a conclusion, and it was fun, at the finish, to write a happy ending and not a post-mortem.Click here to read the rest

Joba or Phil?

Unless the Yankees plan on rocking out a six-man rotation in 2010, one of Phil Hughes/Joba Chamberlain will not be in the starting rotation. Obviously, this is incredibly unlikely and the Yankees will probably stick to the traditional five man rotation. With six starters–Hughes and Chamberlain, along with Sabathia, Burnett, Petttitte, and the newly acquired Javier Vazquez–there is going to be an odd man out. Who should it be?

Chad Jennings took a stab at answering this question, and he thinks Phil Hughes is the one who should start, while Joba Chamberlain should be shifted into the bullpen.

He touches on the typical reasons: Joba’s velocity plays better as a reliever, he thinks Hughes has more of a starter’s arsenal, and he just thinks that Hughes will be a better starter. I take issue with some of these things.

First, there’s the velocity argument. For some reason, we’ve come to accept that velocity = results and value. Just because a guy throws hard, that doesn’t make him better or more valuable to the team.… Click here to read the rest