Against a Cliff Lee Signing

[image title=”cliff_lee1″ size=”full” id=”22629″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ]Cliff Lee is a really good pitcher. He’s become a modern-day Curt Schilling: dominating the playoffs unimaginably well. He is healthy. He has no makeup issues to worry about. But we still shouldn’t sign him.

Let’s get this out of the way first: Cliff Lee is going to make bank this off season. He is going to command somewhere around 20 million dollars for 5-6 years, possibly more. If I’m wrong about that, and Lee signs a Halladay-like short term deal, my argument in this post doesn’t really apply.

Cliff Lee is going to turn 32 years old next season. At some point, old players start to decline. It tends to start around 34-35, and descend rather steeply after that. The Yankees were lucky when Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettitte were productive into their mid and late 30s. They were the exception to the rule. We can count on our players beginning to decline around that age.…

Savers and Drainers, Pitcher Edition

We looked at the Yankee savers and drainers on the offensive side of things yesterday, so today, let’s look at the pitching side of things. Again, we’ll go top 9 guys in fWAR order.

1. CC Sabathia, 5.1 fWAR worth $20.4MM. Salary: $23MM. Value: -$2.6MM
2. Phil Hughes, 2.4 fWAR worth $9.5MM. Salary: $0.447MM. Value: +$9.053MM
3. Andy Pettitte, 2.3 fWAR worth $9.2MM. Salary: $11.75MM. Value: -$2.55MM
4. Mariano Rivera, 1.7 fWAR worth $6.8MM. Salary: $15MM. Value: -$8.2MM
5. Joba Chamberlain, 1.4 fWAR worth $5.6MM. Salary: $0.487795MM. Value: +$5.1122MM
6. A.J. Burnett, 1.3 fWAR worth $5.2MM. Salary: $16.5MM. Value: -$11.3MM
7. David Robertson, 0.7 fWAR worth $2.9MM. Salary: $0.462650MM. Value: +$2.437MM
8. Ivan Nova, 0.5 fWAR worth $1.8MM. Salary: N/A. Value: N/A
9. Kerry Wood, 0.4 fWAR worth $1.5MM. Salary (Yankees only): $8.3279MM. Value: -$6.8279 $2.0279MM. Value: -$0.5279MM.

Ivan Nova’s salary wasn’t listed on Cot’s, but we can assume he gave the Yankees at least decent value because there’s no way he made anything close to $1MM this season.…

Positive storylines from the 2010 season

As we get further into the offseason I’ll be doing comprehensive rundowns of each individual player’s seasons, but for now I’d like to take a look at the Yankees’ 2010 year at a more macro level. I’d also like to take a moment to give a brief shout-out to our sponsor at Sports Interaction, and that you should please click on the following link if you’re a fan of online betting.

A lot of great things happened during the regular season in 2010, and today we’re going to focus on some of the things that went right for the Yankees. Tomorrow we’ll take a look at some of the aspects of the season that didn’t turn out so well.

Positive storylines from 2010

Phil Hughes was given a full season in the starting rotation. Matt rehashed the Spring Training “contest” between Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain yesterday, so need to get into that here, but it was particularly gratifying for those of us who have been devouring anything we could find about Hughes on the Internet since 2004 to finally see him get a full season’s shot in the starting rotation.…

Wrapping Up 2010: What Went Wrong

A.J. Burnett & Javier Vazquez

Pretty sure I’m not going to get much of an argument on this one. After a solid enough year and some memorable postseason heroics in his first year as a Yankee, Burnett was just awful this season, pitching to a 5.26 ERA and 4.83 FIP over 186.2 IP. His 6.99 K/9 was also his lowest since 2001. Burnett is under contract for 3 more years, so getting him straightened out is going to have to be a major priority in the Winter and Spring. Does Kevin Long know anything about pitching?

As for Vazquez, while the Yankees were hoping he could at least reasonably approximate his stellar 2009 season as the team’s 4th starter, he was even worse than Burnett. When the wreckage settled after 157.1 IP, Vazquez was the proud owner of a 5.32 ERA and 5.68 FIP. It was easily the worst year of his career, but his contract is up and he most certainly won’t be a Yankee next year.…

What to do at Catcher?

One of the trickiest areas to address this off season is the Yankee Catcher position. As we all saw during the ALDS, an aggressive base running team like the Rangers can expose the Yankee defensive deficiencies and is a major problem in the playoffs. It’s becoming generally accepted that 39 year old Jorge Posada will see less time at the position next year, yet most Yankee observers think Francisco Cervelli can’t hit enough to play the position full time.

This has led many fans to the notion that super-prospect Jesus Montero could be the answer. It’s already being discussed, Brian Cashman said this at his year end press conference:

“I do have people who believe he is ready at the catching position with a tremendous offensive bat,” Cashman said. “But nothing gets handed to somebody. You have to take it and earn it. He’ll have a chance to come to spring training and fight for something, and he’ll either show he is ready for something at a higher level or not.”

There’s little question his bat is ready.…