Take The Poll: Lee or Jeter?

Tom Tango has a poll up at his excellent website in which he asks the following question:

I AM a Yankees fan. My team has 150 million dollars to spend. I’d rather it go to:

1) Derek Jeter

2) Cliff Lee

Tom is trying to determine how attached Yankees fans are to Jeter, and whether they would sacrifice him for Cliff Lee. 88.6% of voters chose Lee. Tom has a very “saber” oriented audience, and I wanted to see whether a more mainstream readership would reach the same conclusion. I think the 150 million number is obviously too high, so I will just simplify and ask this:

I AM a Yankees fan. My team can afford to hand out just one expensive contract. I’d rather it go to:

1) Derek Jeter

2) Cliff Lee

Please take the poll to the right, and then chime in on this topic in the comments.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees Reportedly Sign IFA CF Wilmer Romero

Wilmer Romero BP from Blake Bentley on Vimeo.

According to Melissa Segura of SI, the Yankees have signed international free agent CF Wilmer Romero. The video above is a brief clip of Romero taking batting practice. Segura does not have bonus data as of yet, but “imagines it is significant.”

Keith Law provided an encouraging scouting report on Romero prior to the July 2nd scouting period:

Romero is a potential five-tool center/right fielder who takes a huge BP and has above-average speed and arm tools. But he is still extremely raw and has to go through MLB’s age verification process. As a result, he won’t sign as early as most of these other players. Both de la Cruz and Romero train at one of the independent facilities on the island, the International Academy of Professional Baseball.

Romero seems to fit in with the Yankee philosophy of picking up high upside players who play the middle of the field, and the scouting report reminds me a bit of Slade Heathcott.… Click here to read the rest

The Joba Chamberlain conundrum

Word spread like wildfire throughout the Yankee blogosphere yesterday that Joba Chamberlain will be officially relegated to relief work next season, presumably for the rest of his Yankee career.

If this declaration is indeed true (and let’s face it, most of us have assumed this decision inevitable), it will finally signal the ridiculous conclusion to an absurd saga. The table below demonstrates how The Joba Experiment has progressed thus far.

Year Age W L Win-Loss Percentage
W / (W + L)
For players, leaders need one decision for every ten team games.
For managers, minimum to qualify for leading is 320 games.” align=”center”W-L%
9 * ER / IP
For recent years, leaders need 1 IP
per team game played” align=”center”ERA
G GS GF SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WP BF ERA+
100*[lgERA/ERA]
Adjusted to the player’s ballpark(s).” align=”center”ERA+
(BB + H)/IP
For recent years, leaders need 1 IP
per team game played” align=”center”WHIP
9 x H / IP
For recent years, leaders need 1 IP
per team game played” align=”center”H/9
9 x HR / IP
For recent years, leaders need 1 IP
per team game played” align=”center”HR/9
9 x BB / IP
For recent years, leaders need 1 IP
per team game played” align=”center”BB/9
9 x SO / IP
For recent years, leaders need 1 IP
per team game played” align=”center”SO/9
SO/BB
For recent years, leaders need 1 IP
per team game played” align=”center”SO/BB
2007 21 2 0 1.000 0.38 19 0 3 1 24.0 12 2 1 1 6 34 1 91 1221 0.750 4.5 0.4 2.3 12.8 5.67
2008 22 4 3 .571 2.60 42 12 5 0 100.1 87 32 29 5 39 118 4 417 171 1.256 7.8 0.4 3.5 10.6 3.03
2009 23 9 6 .600 4.75 32 31 0 0 157.1 167 94 83 21 76 133 5 709 97 1.544 9.6 1.2 4.3 7.6 1.75
2010 24 3 4 .429 4.40 73 0 18 3 71.2 71 37 35 6 22 77 5 305 98 1.298 8.9 0.8 2.8 9.7 3.50
4 Seasons 18 13 .581 3.77 166 43 26 4 353.1 337 165 148 33 143 362 15 1522 119 1.358 8.6 0.8 3.6 9.2 2.53
162 Game Avg.
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Yanks To Splurge On Free Agents?

Going into the 2008-2009 free agency period, it was pretty clear that the Yankees were going to make a big splash on the free agent market. The club had missed the playoffs in 2008, and had a number of contracts coming off the books. With a large need at the top of the rotation, it was clear that the team would make a run at CC Sabathia and either Derek Lowe or AJ Burnett. After signing Sabathia and Burnett and trading for Nick Swisher, it seemed like the Yankees were basically done retooling. However, Brian Cashman looked at the upcoming free agent markets and decided that Mark Teixeira was too good to pass up, and the Yankees swooped in and nabbed him at the last moment. All three free agents were instrumental in the Yankees 27th championship, and their presence on the roster allowed the Yankees to bypass a weak free agent market in 2009-2010.

Now, as the calendar begins to inch towards the 2010-2011 free agency period, I am left wondering whether we may be in store for a repeat of 2008-2009.… Click here to read the rest

Money Savers and Drainers

As I like to do every season, I’m going to compare the Yankee players’ theoretical fWAR dollars to their actual salaries and see which players gave the Yankees the most value and which players drained the most money. We’ll do batters today and pitchers tomorrow.

We’ll do the list in WAR order (nine highest), then we’ll sum it up at the end.

1. Robinson Cano, 6.4 fWAR worth $25.5MM. Salary: $9MM. Value: +$16.5MM
2. Brett Gardner, 5.4 fWAR worth $21.6 MM. Salary: $0.425MM. Value: +$21.175MM
3. Nick Swisher, 4.1 fWAR worth $16.4MM. Salary: $6.75MM. Value: +$9.65MM.
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3.9 fWAR worth $15.3MM. Salary: $32MM. Value: -$16.7MM.
5. Curtis Granderson, 3.6 fWAR worth $14.3MM. Salary: $5.5MM. Value: +$8.8MM.
6. Mark Teixeira, 3.5 fWAR worth $14.00MM. Salary: $20MM. Value: -6.00MM.
7. Derek Jeter, 2.5 fWAR worth $9.8MM. Salary: $21MM. Value: -$11.2MM
8. Jorge Posada, 2.4 fWAR worth $9.7MM. Salary: $13.1MM. Value: -$3.3MM.
9. Francisco Cervelli, 1.1 fWAR worth $4.4MM. Salary: $0.418MM. Value: +$3.82MM

Value Ranks:
1.… Click here to read the rest

Playoff expansion possible

This is faulty logic:

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig appears to be increasingly in favor of proposing more playoff teams during collective bargaining with the union next year, which will determine the postseason format for 2012 and beyond.

We have less teams than any other sport,” he said last month. “We certainly haven’t abused anything.”

Great, let’s compare ourselves to basketball (“we’re so top-heavy that letting the crappy teams in doesn’t make a big deal, just mo’ money“), hockey (“everyone gets in“) and football (“look, we allow mediocre .500 or worse teams a chance in a one-and-done scenario“).  Mr. Selig, I implore you not to follow what those other league are doing and have faith in the quality of your own product. Don’t be a slave to the ratings game. Your business has survived the recession with ever-increasing revenues.  You will top $7 billion in 2010, in all likelihood.  Do not water down the post-season tournament!… Click here to read the rest

Defending Brian Cashman’s offseason moves

The Yankees held their end-of-season press conference yesterday. From Cliff Lee to Derek Jeter, most of the conference’s subject matter was to be expected. One thing surprised me, though. Brian Cashman confessed that he felt he had a poor offseason heading into 2010. The results of Cashman’s efforts may have been subpar, but let me state it clearly: Brian Cashman and the Yankees had an excellent offseason between 2009 and 2010. Cashman is confusing inputs with outputs.

At worst, Cashman was too self-deprecating in the press conference, but it was wiser to say he’d had a bad offseason than to get into the nuances of why it was actually a good offseason. Cashman can’t come out and explain that without sounding defensive or petulant. Fortunately, I can.

The 2009 Yankees were a fantastic team, but they had to overcome obvious weaknesses to win the World Series. First and foremost, the team needed pitching. It took a scheduling fluke to allow the team to start only three pitchers throughout October, and even then it was big gamble heading into the World Series.

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