What to expect from A-Rod?

The focus in Yankee-land is going to be on left field until the team addresses the last opening on its roster or the season begins. Yankeeist has been as involved as any other site in the left field speculation, but at this point only Brian Cashman and a handful of agents know the direction the Bombers are headed. The rest of us can just wait. When not discussing the Giants and the Yankees’ completed off season moves with my sports-minded family this holiday a surprising topic came up: Alex Rodriguez. From my mother to many of my friends, everyone wanted Continue reading What to expect from A-Rod?

Who’s Our #5 Hitter?

The easy answer is shown above, but as a Catcher who’s turning 38 this year we’ll need a plan B. That’s where it gets to be an interesting debate. First, let’s establish who our 1-4 hitters are. There shouldn’t be much debate about this: 1-Derek Jeter 2-Nick Johnson 3-Mark Teixeira 4-Alex Rodriguez Nick Johnson’s the #2 hitter, no matter who you want in the 5 hole. You want his 420 OBP (last year) to get as many ABs as possible, and the stuff about him ‘clogging up the bases’ is silly with the equally slow footed Mark Teixeira hitting behind Continue reading Who’s Our #5 Hitter?

Next Year’s Free Agent Class

This off season, we’ve heard the oft-repeated line that ‘next year’s FA class is better’ and that it makes sense to sit back this season, to have money available for the bumper crop of star players available next year. But is that true? Are the players who will become available good fits for the Yanks and/or are they the types of players they’re likely to sign? MLBTR produces an advanced Free Agent list every year, and has one for the class of 2011. Right off the bat, I’m not going to consider anyone who has a team option of any Continue reading Next Year’s Free Agent Class

Bizarre Moves from Seasons Past: The trading of Ted Lilly

Welcome to the latest installment of Yankeeist’s “Bizarre Moves from Seasons Past” series. We previously covered the trading of Mike Lowell, the non-signing of David Ortiz, the non-signing of Andy Pettitte after the 2003 season, the non-signing of Vladimir Guerrero and the non-signing of Carlos Beltran. On July 5, 2002, the Yankees were 54-31 and in first place, two games up on Boston. Though the team started the year with a rotation of Mike Mussina, David Wells, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Orlando Hernandez, injuries to both Pettitte and El Duque pressed 26-year-old lefthander Ted Lilly into starting duty in Continue reading Bizarre Moves from Seasons Past: The trading of Ted Lilly

Dispelling the Rotation Myth

Thus far this offseason the Red Sox and Yankees have both splashed the pot rather dramatically, with the Yankees pulling off trades for Javier Vazquez and Curtis Granderson and bringing in Nick Johnson, while the Red Sox have reeled in free agents Marco Scutaro, Mike Cameron and John Lackey. Chit chat around the internets still gives a pretty heavy edge to the Yankees in 2010, but this is based on lineup strength. The Yankees are perceived to have a juggernaut offense, with a very good rotation. On the other hand, the murmers around baseball regarding the Red Sox generally give them the edge rotation-wise, but a fairly big gap to make up offensively. Some examples can be found here and here.

After the tremendous expenditures by Cashman and Company last offseason, this struck me as a bit odd. Could Lackey really offset Javier Vazquez enough to actually give the Red Sox the edge? That got me working, and as I expected, the Yankees still have a significant edge.

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Outfield WAR Projections

When the Yankees traded for outfielder Curtis Granderson, we all assumed he would be manning center field every day and Melky Cabrera would be the left fielder, with Brett Gardner and Jamie Hoffmann on the bench as the extra outfielders. Now, with the trade of Melky Cabrera for Javier Vazquez, it would seem that Brett Gardner is the Yankees’ Opening Day left fielder. On discussion boards across the Yankee blogosphere, some have suggested switching Granderson and Gardner, so the former plays left and the latter plays center. The argument is that Granderson likely has the bat to play left field Continue reading Outfield WAR Projections

Jesus Montero Is A Catcher

[image title=”Montero” size=”full” id=”13510″ align=”center” ]I hope everyone is having an excellent holiday season. Mine has  been a bit busy, and I wasn’t planning on writing today. However, some of the comments here and from other bloggers regarding Jesus Montero’s top-5 BA rating  (which is a bigger deal than most people realize) have planted some thoughts in my mind for a few days that I’d like to write about. I think that Jesus Montero is going to be a major league catcher. I think that the Yankees think so too, and that their 2009 offseason helped reveal their long term Continue reading Jesus Montero Is A Catcher

Bizarre Moves from Seasons Past: The non-signing of Carlos Beltran

Welcome to the latest installment of Yankeeist’s “Bizarre Moves from Seasons Past” series. We previously covered the trading of Mike Lowell, the non-signing of David Ortiz, the non-signing of Andy Pettitte after the 2003 season and the non-signing of Vladimir Guerrero. Following the nightmarish manner in which the 2004 season concluded for the Yankees, the organization correctly set out to address the team’s most glaring deficiency: starting pitching. Unfortunately, not only did the Yankees end up going about addressing the problem in a startlingly shortsighted and impatient manner, signing both the injury prone and mostly mediocre Jaret Wright and the Continue reading Bizarre Moves from Seasons Past: The non-signing of Carlos Beltran

Free Brett Gardner!

After the changes of the past month, the Yankees are just about restocked. They have four starting pitchers who could arguably head up many major league rotations and two talented youngsters fighting for the last spot. They’ve got 8 batters who could smack 20 home runs (and a number of whom will challenge 30 and 40). And they’ve got a solid bullpen between Rivera, whichever pitcher doesn’t win the #5 spot in the rotation, Robertson (led the AL in K/9 last season), Aceves, Marte (who was great for us in the playoffs), Melancon and Boone Logan.

The team has gotten cheaper, younger and better all at once. It appears the bullpen is sorted (pending Joba/Hughes’ competition, and possibly one of Gaudin/Mitre as swing man). That leaves one spot still in flux–the final outfield starting position (which will either be LF or CF, depending on the Yankees’ defensive analysis of Curtis Granderson). As of right now, that’s taken by Brett Gardner, with Rule V draftee Jamie Hoffman taking the 4th outfielder role (rated the best defensive outfielder in the Yankees’ system by Baseball America).

Twitter and the blogosphere is alight with discussion of who could take that final spot away from Brett Gardner. The wide assumption is that the Yankees are out of the Holliday and Bay sweepstakes based on cost (both in years and dollars). Frankly, either would be overkill offensively, and Bay would be disastrous defensively. Both have offers currently on the table for $16 million+ per season at least four seasons–and Brian Cashman has made it clear that any additions hereafter would be small in nature. Granted, he also called the concept of signing AJ, CC and Tex “candyland”, so who knows.

The names being considered at the moment: Reed Johnson, Jonny Gomes, and Xavier Nady. All three have seven years of ML experience, and all three have a single good season hidden amongst mediocrity (or worse). Let’s take a look:

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