On Damon, budgets and Gardner's D

The inestimable @TylerKepner has a few good nuggets in his latest article and he was kind enough to summarize them for us. Of course, you might notice one or two things that we’ve been saying:

Johnny Damon is out, too – at least, that is what the Yankees insist, privately. The only way I can see Damon returning is if he gets to February without an offer and begs the Yankees to take him back for one year and, say, $7 million. I can’t really picture that, for four reasons:

  1. Ownership believes there is no reason to have a payroll over $200 million anymore.
  2. Damon is still a very good player and will probably get a better offer somewhere else, though I don’t know where.
  3. Knowing Damon, I don’t think the idea of begging for a job has any appeal to him whatsoever, no matter how much he loves the Yankees.
  4. The Yankees may really want to try Gardner every day, because he is so much better defensively.

Let’s take ’em one-by-one, shall we:

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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 Continue reading Is Scott Boras still a good agent?

Those other three players…

After yesterday’s trade, there has been plenty of discussion about Javier Vazquez and Melky Cabrera. In fact, it is possible even more has been said about Brett Gardner, who is now slotted to be the Yankees starting left fielder (Cashman has said he plans on keeping Granderson in center). However, putting aside memories of 2004, excitement over a stacked starting rotation and disappointment in saying goodbye to a fan favorite, there are three other players that are involved in this deal. Those players may not be particularly important right now, but time will tell whether the Yankees really pulled off the steal some have declared, or if Atlanta has planned well for their future.

Boone Logan: The Yankees picked up 25 year-old left-handed pitcher, Boone Logan. Logan made his major league debut with the Chicago White Sox in 2006, and owns a 5-5 career record with a 5.78 ERA. He is a big guy (he is 6-5 and weighs 215) with a strong fastball. While he can strike batters out, he struggles with control which has led to lots of walks and kept him from ever solidifying his place in the bullpen.

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A decade of decadence

Cue the Crue!

Late Monday, data was released by MLB that showed a total of $2.91 billion was spent on final player payroll for the 2009, an increase of 1.2 percent from the year prior when $2.87 billion was doled out. It was a slowing of growth – the chilly economy taking a chunk out of spending. But, how has spending on player payroll been over a longer period.

[…]

When accounting for inflation, the increase in total dollars allocated to player payroll has increased 60 percent over the last decade ($1,155,296,843 in inflation adjusted player payroll for 1999 to $2,913,904,332 in 2009)

Nice work, as usual, by Maury at Biz Of Baseball.

But you can blame it all on the Yanks.

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Surrender now! Resistance is futile!

Remember waaaay back in 2008? The Yanks missed the playoffs and the Rays made the World Series. At last, there was a third member of the two-party AL East system. Well, Ken Rosenthal thinks that two-party system is back and that all other candidates should just concede now:

Rest of AL East should just give up now

Oh please! Sure, it’s harder in the AL East to even compete for the Wild Card, but it can be done. The Rays still have the youth, energy, ability to do it. The Orioles might still be a year away, but are on the cusp of a “Rays-in-08” leap with their emerging talents. And as the Jays retool, they’ll come around again, though it won’t be for a few years.

I don’t think any Yanks or Sox fans would dismiss the rest of the division. Doing so would not just be foolish, it’d be flatly ignoring recent history.

But it sells advertising space, eh Kenny?

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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 Continue reading Revisiting the 2004 Offseason

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 Continue reading Yankees All Replacement Team of the Decade

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

Now, about Mark DeRosa

As the dust settles on the Javy Vazquez trade and we ponder the current Yanks defensive situation, we have to wonder if there’s another move on the horizon. There are some big names looking for homes, including Idiot Damon, Matt Holliday, Jason Bay, Mark DeRosa.

Let’s cross off Bay and Holliday due to costs and term committments. Let’s put aside Damon, too, as I don’t think he’s taking a short-term contract. I also think that Cashman has decided to move on, especially defensively. Could be wrong, but it’s just a hunch. That leaves DeRosa.

I like Mark DeRosa. Solid guy. Gamer. Great teammate. Heard it all. And I believe it, too. I am doubtful that he’d take a 1 year deal, but let’s at least consider him.

He’s got the intangibles to rival anyone, but does that make him the best choice to place in left field? He’s been a utility guy most of his career, usually bouncing from the around nearly all of the infield positions to a corner outfield spot.

Most of his recent OF experience has been in RF, with just 51 games in LF since 2006. So what does the data tell us about his ability to play multiple positions, from a defensive point of view?

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