King Felix and Josh Johnson Headed Towards New Deals?

[image title=”p1.felix.hernandez.getty” size=”full” id=”14005″ align=”right” linkto=”full” ] [image title=”josh-johnson” size=”full” id=”14007″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ]

From the excellent Craig Calcaterra D.J. Short over at Circling The Bases, we get word of two likely Yankee targets involved in discussions that would preclude them from making it to free agency. The first link D.J. provides is from MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro:

Sometime this week the Marlins plan to have discussions with agent Matt Sosnick regarding a contract for Josh Johnson.

Whether there is movement on a multiyear deal will depend on a key factor.

Sosnick claims if the Marlins will guarantee a four-year deal then he will listen.

Arbitration-eligible for the second time, Johnson is in line to make about $4.2 million in 2010, if both sides don’t reach a multiyear agreement for the 6-foot-7 right-hander.

Johnson is just beginning to blossom as a star pitcher, with 2009 being his first full “ace” type year. He required Tommy John surgery for an elbow injury that cost him chunks of 2007 and 2008, but is now fully healthy and seems ready to take that next step into stardom at just 26.… Click here to read the rest

The Brothers Hairston

Scott and Jerry Hairston

BIG, FAT, GIANT EDIT: SCOTT HAIRSTON IS NOT A FREE AGENT

Since the World Series ended, we’ve spilled a lot of virtual ink on the left field situation. Well, I’m going to throw out more left field scenarios, with one of them spilling into the utility player’s spot as well. For today’s venture, we’ll be looking at the Hairston brother.

As we’ve heard recently, and as Steve reported this morning, the Yankees are interested in bringing Jerry Hairston, Jr. back. In general, this seems like a pretty good move. Hairston offers extreme positional flexibility, as he can play all three OF spots well (career UZR/150 of 20.6 in 323 OF games) and he can also play each position on the infield without being a total embarrassment out there.

Jerry also offers an upgrade over probable utility candidates Ramiro Pena and Kevin Russo. Not only is he a more experienced player than those two, but he can also play the outfield. Pena and Russo would both be awfully green heading into 2010, so it’d be nice to get at least one of them some more seasoning in the minors.… Click here to read the rest

Some lazy Saturday afternoon links

If you read Yankeeist you probably also already Fangraphs, so even though you don’t need me to tell you to go there, I’m going to anyway. Matt Klaasen’s post from yesterday on Dayton Moore and Omar Minaya cracked me up. To wit:

“One might be tempted to see the Royals’ signing of outfielder Scott Podsednik as a move to steal the headlines in the wake of cross-state rival St. Louis’ big Matt Holliday contract earlier this week. Or maybe they just wanted to sneak in the bad news on Friday. Close observers, however, know better. This is all part of The Contest.

I’m not exactly sure what the goal of The Contest is: to put together a team that might contend in 2005, get fired, or to shatter the blogosphere’s Universal Snark-O-Meter in one fell blow, but it’s been apparent for some time now that Royals General Manager Dayton Moore and his Mets counterpart Omar Minaya have been involved in some sort of bizarre rivalry for at least the last year.”

Awesome.… Click here to read the rest

To Platoon or Not to Platoon

Brett Gardner

…that is the question. However, it would seem that the question has been answered. From Moshe’s post, via Pete Caldera:

Out in the Bronx, there is no cause to add a slugging left fielder to the Yankees’ lineup.

“Our team is, for the most part, set,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday by phone from his office at Yankee Stadium……..

“We have a left fielder,” Cashman said, adding, “We do like Brett Gardner.”

“With the money we had to spend, we chose to spend it in those spots,” Cashman said. “We’re just playing with the bench right now.”

Still, the Yankees have room for another outfielder – preferably a right-handed bat; Cashman acknowledged that he’s searching for a right-handed hitter.

.

It would seem, then, that the Yankees will only be searching for:

“right-handed hitting outfielder that Joe can look on the bench and say, I’m not going to start one of my left-handers, I’m going to start a right-hander.”

We heard recently, though, that Cashman may be open to signing Damon to a one year deal.… Click here to read the rest

Skimming the HOF voter's pool

  1. Term limits: Those eligible to vote can do so for five years. After that, they must cycle out of the voting pool for at least two years. After that, they can reapply for voting rights for the next five year period.
  2. Voting Board: A group of 10 senior BBWAA members (elected by their peers) who have the ability to remove a writer from the voting pool using a majority vote. This group will be able to decide that if a person, such as Lisa Olsen, who refuses to select any player on any ballot he/she has ever been given deserves to remain part of the BBWAA pool. Making a sham of the vote is reason for being ousted. Not paying attention is also grounds for dismissal, as what happened last year with Rickey’s vote showed us; sorry, if you’re not taking this seriously, you lose the right to vote.
  3. Credentials: Review the credentials of every person currently eligible to vote for the HOF.
Click here to read the rest

Cano may not meet with Long this winter

Earlier today, Moshe wrote about Bryan Hoch’s recent article detailing Kevin Long’s busy winter, as he’ll be meeting with Curtis Granderson, Nick Johnson, and an assortment of other Yankees this offseason. However, one player noticeably absent from Hoch’s report was Robinson Cano.

I had hoped Cano and Long would continue their successful winter workouts following the second baseman’s particularly productive 2009 campaign, but it appears as though the two may not be meeting. I asked Hoch about the situation and he said Cano’s agent had already requested that Long meet with Cano in the Domincan Republic, just as he did a year ago. However, and unfortunately, the agent was told that Long’s current schedule may not permit such a meeting. While this is a bit troubling, I suppose we can find solace in the fact that Cano at least tried to meet with Long, and that he has not grown disconcertingly complacent after a great season and a World Series win.… Click here to read the rest

A closer look at Robinson Cano

A few days ago I put up a post comapring the current Yankees and Red Sox rosters, on paper (the bombers won). I used Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus to value players on either team. Those two sites didn’t agree on a lot of player values, and often disagreed about which team had the better player at a given position. Second base was one such position. Baseball Prospectus felt that Robinson Cano was a full win more valuable than Dustin Pedroia, while Fangraphs felt the opposite.

The disagreement has motivated me to examine Cano as a player again. On the one hand, Robbie is a career 113 OPS+ second baseman, which is excellent. On the other hand, I’ve often argued that only Melky Cabrera was a worse batter on the 2009 Yankees due to Cano’s complete and total inability to draw a walk of almost any kind (take a pitch Robbie, take a pitch).

My impression is that Yankee fans don’t focus on Cano as much as we should.
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A-Rod’s defense at third in doubt?

In 2008, Alex Rodriguez’s defense at third base had declined significantly.

Though his UZR was a respectable -2.6 — basically an average mark — a significant portion of that figure was masked by Alex’s ability to refrain from making errors, as he was worth 3.1 error runs (ErrR) above average. A player’s UZR is a three-pronged statistic calculated by adding error runs, double play runs, and range runs together. While A-Rod was fairly effective in the way of avoiding errors and average in double play runs (-1.0 DPR), ultimately, it was his range that had betrayed him. Alex was 5.6 runs below average with regards to range runs, which was the second worst mark in the American League and the second worst in all of baseball. Further, the number was actually the worst of A-Rod’s four-year career at third base. Thus, his final UZR figure of -2.6, while generally “average” on the surface, was troubling when viewed at season’s end.

For those who wondered about the off-year, range-wise, questions regarding the 33-year old’s age seemed salient.… Click here to read the rest