Yanks to sign DePaula; age fraud schmaud

I’m pretty much in the camp that the ages of most of the kids coming out of the DR and the like are bogus, no matter how hard the officials try to nail it down. So finally Rafael DePaula Figueroa admitted to actually being Jose Rafael DePaula, helping end his suspension. Well, now that he’s eligible (and only 20 years old), the Yanks are expected to sign him for $700k. Per MLBTR:

The 6″3′ hurler was clocked in the 91-93 mph range last year in the Dominican Prospect League but according to Arangure, he has been known to throw as hard as 97 mph. The Yankees, Red Sox, Mariners, and Padres have all reportedly had interest in DePaula in the past, but Arangure tweets that he doesn’t know what teams are currently involved. Arangure also points out that the pitcher could have trouble obtaining a visa.

Here’s another prospect report on DePaula. Here’s some video, too Continue reading Yanks to sign DePaula; age fraud schmaud

Three Deals For Justin Upton

Justin Upton is as good a bet as any to become a superstar. Moshe already went over how good Upton could potentially be. There are enough rumors floating around right now to make his trade at least a theoretical possibility. I would like to offer three deals that I would do for Upton, that I think the diamond backs would accept. First, I think I understand what Kevin Towers is thinking. The Diamondbacks have, put simply, a terrible farm system. They lost a lot in the Dan Haren trade, and haven’t been especially good on draft day. Their best prospect Continue reading Three Deals For Justin Upton

Make Your Own Team

It’s, obviously, Hot Stove season. GMs everywhere are trying to sign and trade for all the right players to make their respective teams just right. Without fail, we all think we can do a better job than they do. So, for this post (excuse its brevity; I have a lesson plan project due tomorrow), I’m going to ask you guys–readers, writers, lurkers, whoever–to construct your own fantasy team. However, there are some catches here. 1. You’re not going to just put together a team made of All-Stars. You’re going to be working with a budget. The median payroll in 2010 Continue reading Make Your Own Team

If Levine is in control, this WILL be ugly

I hope Brian Cashman is truly in control of all contact with Jeter and his agent, Casey Close, as well sitting at the lead seat at the negotiating table. Why? Because I believe Cashman will be able to best balance business and nostalgia. Maybe I am too quick to give Cashman the benefit of the doubt, maybe not. Though, I firmly believe that if Randy Levine is steering the ship, it is bound to get ugly because Randy Levine is a bully.

Said Levine:

“Derek Jeter is a great Yankee and he’s a great player. With that said and done, now is a different negotiation than 10 years ago.” […] “He’s a baseball player, and this is a player negotiation. Everything he is and who he is gets factored in. But this isn’t a licensing deal or a commercial rights deal, he’s a baseball player. With that said, you can’t take away from who he is. He brings a lot to the organization. And we bring a lot to him.”

These are absolutely true statements. However, negotiating in public NEVER works and doing it with your franchise player is unseemly. I’ve tried to not dip into every rumor and article about Jeter’s free agency. This, on the other hand, scares me.

(click “view full post” for Jeter update) Continue reading If Levine is in control, this WILL be ugly

Why baseball needs to get rid of the rigid six-division format, shorten the playoffs and move to a tiered system

I’m pleased to present the following guest post from friend-of-the-blog Lenny Vaisman. Lenny’s a die-hard Yankee fan and was actually a semi-regular contributor to my initial foray into Yankee blogging, Save Phil Hughes, posting as HitMan23. Lenny comes to us today with a great (and fairly radical) argument for how baseball can vastly improve the regular season and playoffs. To paraphrase Howard Bryant from Ken Burns’ “The Tenth Inning,” there are two ways to measure the success of Major League Baseball: If your only criterion is money, then MLB is more successful than ever. But if you measure baseball’s ability Continue reading Why baseball needs to get rid of the rigid six-division format, shorten the playoffs and move to a tiered system

There’s no crying nostalgia in Baseball

There is certainly room for nostalgia for us fans. We love digging through past records, watching Yankee Classics and reliving past glories of players on teams from days of yore. But for those who are running a franchise like Brian Cashman, Randy Levine and Hal Stienbrenner, there’s little room for sentimentality. Especially when you have to decide what kind of contract to give to an aging icon like Derek Jeter. Joel Sherman addressed this yesterday in his column for the NY Post. He writes: But confidants of Cashman said the GM is determined not to have the team get so Continue reading There’s no crying nostalgia in Baseball

There's no crying nostalgia in Baseball

There is certainly room for nostalgia for us fans. We love digging through past records, watching Yankee Classics and reliving past glories of players on teams from days of yore. But for those who are running a franchise like Brian Cashman, Randy Levine and Hal Stienbrenner, there’s little room for sentimentality. Especially when you have to decide what kind of contract to give to an aging icon like Derek Jeter. Joel Sherman addressed this yesterday in his column for the NY Post. He writes: But confidants of Cashman said the GM is determined not to have the team get so Continue reading There's no crying nostalgia in Baseball

Chass goes off again

Here’s my beef with crusty ol’ Murray Chass: He resorts to the same sort of name-calling and derogatory referencing of others points of view that he seems to be so upset at when it’s lobbed in his direction. And this is the problem. Instead of just making a case that “wins do matter, dammit” and allowing that argument to be his battle cry, he gets all squirrelly about the use of second and third order statistical analytics.

The development, I believe, is directly related to the growing influence of the new-fangled statistics which readers of this site know I have no use for, a fact that sends stats-freak denizens of the blogosphere into a stats-freak frenzy.

Murray bubula, taunting doesn’t work. You give the multitudes of guys like me ample fire just by insisting that the world is flat. [At some point, wins do matter and I’ll try to discuss this at a later time because my half-baked posting just isn’t ready for consumption yet.]

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Chass goes off again

Preview: AL Cy Young

So the raging battle between CC and Felix has come to a head, and we await the official word on who will take home the AL Cy Young Award. I’m guessing a lot of you would like to CC win the award for obvious reasons. He’s the ace of a staff that was in utter turmoil. He’s been worth every penny so far. And he’s one of the better pitchers in the American League. There’s nothing wrong about any of that, but it doesn’t make CC the best pitcher in the AL. His 2.66 K/BB isn’t awesome. His 8.6% HR rate is above-average but not outstanding. His FIP of 3.54 is good but no match against nine others. But those 21 wins. They’re tempting. So are Sirens, and they killed people. So, who’s left?

Cliff Lee

Let’s start with the most interesting case. Lee missed the first month of the season with an injury, but he went on to post an epic 10.28 K/BB ratio over 212.2 innings with an FIP of 2.58, which was good for 2nd-best in the majors behind Josh Johnson’s 2.41. His fWAR of 7.1 is better than even Roy Halladay’s 6.5, and it’s almost a win better than his nearest AL competitor. But his bWAR of 4.3 is almost 2 wins below Hernandez’s 6, and Lee doesn’t even come in the top ten. I mean, WTF, mate? The answer lies in how the two sites calculate their pitching statistics. FanGraphs’ FIP uses K, BB, and HR, and B-Ref uses runs scored against. B-Ref’s WAR hurts Lee because Lee’s ERA (essentially runs scored against) is 0.6 points higher than his FIP (that’s not exactly how it works, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll stick with that). Sorry, but I’ll trust FIP and the underlying statistics over runs scored. Additionally, Lee pitched 212 innings, and he couldn’t get more than four and a half wins? Really?

to read more, click “view full post” Continue reading Preview: AL Cy Young