On Damon, budgets and Gardner's D

  1. Ownership believes there is no reason to have a payroll over $200 million anymore. I’m OK with this. Could Hal call down from on high and give Cashman the authority to spend another $10 million to land Holliday? I’m sure it’s possible, but I don’t think it’s likely. Guessing next year’s free agent class, including their own uber-stars (Jeter, Mariano), will require another spike in spending.
  2. Damon is still a very good player and will probably get a better offer somewhere else, though I don’t know where. 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)
    Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
    Home 73 68 318 272 56 76 18 0 17 42 6 0 43 44 .279 .
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Is Scott Boras still a good agent?

We all know the players, and the dollar values. Alex Rodriguez at $252 million. Barry Zito at $126 million. Johnny Damon at $52 million. Mark Teixeira at $180 million. These are some of Scott Boras’ greatest hits.

But, in the last few seasons his failures have been mounting as well. They don’t get as much attention as Boras’ victories. The super-agent has cemented his reputation as a money maker for his clients, but other than Mark Teixeira isn’t it beggining to seem like he’s failed more noticeably than succeeded of late?

Three major failures to read baseball’s free-agent market stand out: Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and now Johnny Damon. In each case Boras’ greed seems to have gotten the better of him, and his willingness to advise players to sabotage their teams to get to free agency makes it unlikely teams would want to work with him.

His handling of Alex Rodriguez’s opt-out still stands out in recent memory.
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Those other three players…

Logan’s 2009 splits against lefties definitely shows potential for him to replace Phil Coke as the Yankee lefty specialist.

Split G PA
AB R H 2B 3B HR SB CS BB SO SO/BB BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
vs RHB as LH 14 38 33 7 12 1 0 1 0 0 5 3 0.60 .364 .447 .485 .932 16 1 0 0 0 3 .379 143 144
vs LHB as LH 19 44 39 3 9 3 0 0 0 0 4 7 1.75 .231 .318 .308 .626 12 1 1 0 0 0 .281 63 80

Another interesting note is the success Logan has against the first batter he faces:

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR SB CS BB SO SO/BB BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
First Batter 20 20 19 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 .158 .200 .158 .358 3 1 1 0 0 0 .200 -6 1

Now, let’s look at who the Yankees gave up:

Mike Dunn:
Dunn, a 24 year old left handed pitcher, played his college ball at Austin Peay, signed with the Yankees as an outfielder in 2004.… Click here to read the rest

Revisiting the 2004 Offseason

The Javy Vazquez trade turned my mind back to his initial acquisition.

The Yankee World Series loss in 2003 was a painful one. Today, we regard it as the end of the dynasty era. The Yankees made the World Series in 6 of 8 years, but had lost the last two. The Yankees wouldn’t make it back until they won the 2009 World Series, but with a decidedly different team. I strongly believe that the 2004 offseason was the most important of my lifetime for the Yankees, and for baseball as a whole.

Brian Cashman had a huge job on his hands after the 2003 World Series loss. The 2003 team was one heavily reliant on its starting pitching. Andy Pettitte, David Wells, Mike Mussina, and Roger Clemens were all 200 inning starters, and the bullpen was solid. The team’s position players were not so healthy. Years of pitching dominance and aging hitters had left the team with a lot of holes.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees All Replacement Team of the Decade

So with the Yankees blogospohere talking about the best of the decade, I thought it would be fun to talk about the worst of the decade. I went ahead and found the worst offensive seasons for positional players on the Yankees in the past decade. In order to qualify for this list, the players had to amass 300 Plate appearances in a season. There are a few players who are just below that number and were too good to leave off the list.

As for pitchers, starting pitchers had to amass 100 IP in a season while relievers needed 45 IP to qualify.

The idea came to fruition based on one of my favorite pastimes of going back and forth with a good friend of mine rattling off role players from the early 90’s (i.e Andy Stankiewicz, Mike Gallego, Hensley Muelens, Eric Plunk, Steve Howe, Melido Perez, etc.).

Some statistics used in this analysis that you may not be familiar with: wRC+OW%ERA+, and FIP.Click here to read the rest

What is Brian Cashman's Long Term Plan In Left Field?

Famously, we all watched Brian Cashman pass on a potential Hughes/Kennedy/Melky swap for Johan Santana because of the possibility of signing C.C. Sabathia the following year. They planned a strategy years in advance that included holding on to certain young players, but not all their young players. I think he’s up to something similar this year.

Cashman sent out the top 2 internal candidates for left field in Melky Cabrera and Austin Jackson in trades this season. He has been involved in no hard rumors concerning Matt Holliday or Jason Bay, and seems to have spent little time trying to bargain Johnny Damon down to a pretty reasonable 2-year deal. In fact, besides Granderson’s team-friendly contract, Cashman has been completely unwilling to add long term payroll this year, and doesn’t seem to really care much about a long-term solution in left field. Matt Holliday doesn’t seem to be that expensive.

Part of this may be Hal Steinbrenner reigning in the team’s finances.… Click here to read the rest

Now, about Mark DeRosa

The main thing: He has the equivalent of one full year in RF during his career and in that time, he’s been VERY good. At every other position, he’s been a defensive liability. This surprised me as I gotta believe it’s hard for a utility guy to be below average at so many positions for so long:

Season Pos G GS Inn PO A E DP FP RF/G RF/9 DG exO Arm DPR RngR ErrR UZR UZR/150
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0

DeRosa’s got the arm to man RF, but that’s where Swisher resides.… Click here to read the rest