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 Jarrod Parker went down with an arm injury, and it remains to be seen if he recovers. Beyond him, there isn’t a lot to write home about.

Besides Upton, their MLB team doesn’t have a lot of really bright spots. Stephen Drew, Miguel Montero, Chris Young, Kelly Johnson (for now, at least), and Mark Reynolds form a solid little hitting core, but aren’t anything special.… Click here to read the rest

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 was about $85MM. That is your budget. You cannot spend more than $85MM on this team.

2. All players are available. Use their 2010 salaries, per Cot’s MLB Contracts. Edit by Moshe: There is a limit of 3 pre-arbitration (less than 3 years of service) players who have not signed long-term deals per team. 

3. You must pick FOUR (4) players from each of the six (6) divisions.… Click here to read the rest

If Levine is in control, this WILL be ugly

UPDATE: Seems that an initial three year offer is forthcoming, and that offer has some built-in headroom:

The expectation is the Yankees will offer something in the three-year, $45 million range, which will create some negotiating room to climb toward $57 million to $60 million on a three-year deal or perhaps go to a fourth-year option or a straight fourth year as a way to reach a settlement. Of course, that is assuming Jeter finds that range acceptable.

The will is there to get it done,” Yankees president Randy Levine said. “And I believe there is a way.”

I’m good with this. This is precisely the range I have been discussing (along with many others).  If Jeter holds out for $21+ million and a minimum of four years, I’ll be disappointed.  I want Jeter back to finish his career but the mistake of the ARod contract can’t be duplicated just because he’s “Derek Jeter, Face Of The Franchise”. … Click here to read the rest

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 to maintain its mythic qualities and capture the hearts and minds of its fans, then baseball has become a depressing failure.

The point is not to mock capitalism. After all, baseball is an industry like any other. What I am trying to highlight is the feeling that Bud Selig and his cronies at both MLB and MLBPA have given making money an infinitely higher priority over their custodial duties relating to what used to be America’s Pastime.… Click here to read the rest

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 lost in the past that it destroys the future by giving Jeter a contract that either lasts way beyond his effectiveness and/or overpays him to such a degree that hurts financial flexibility elsewhere.

That is why, the confidants say, Cashman decided to have a face-to-face, turning-the-page meeting with Jorge Posada in Manhattan to tell the longtime catcher that the plan is to go with youngsters behind the plate and that Posada is now viewed as a DH.

Click here to read the rest

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 lost in the past that it destroys the future by giving Jeter a contract that either lasts way beyond his effectiveness and/or overpays him to such a degree that hurts financial flexibility elsewhere.

That is why, the confidants say, Cashman decided to have a face-to-face, turning-the-page meeting with Jorge Posada in Manhattan to tell the longtime catcher that the plan is to go with youngsters behind the plate and that Posada is now viewed as a DH.

Click here to read the rest

Chass goes off again

Yes, Doc Halladay did, in essence, admit that win totals should matter; after all that’s why they’re paid to pitch.  But wins don’t always tell the best, whole story. Said Halladay:

“Felix’s numbers are very, very impressive, but ultimately they look at how guys are able to win games. Sometimes the run support isn’t there, but you find ways to win games. Guys who are winning deserve a strong look no matter what Felix’s numbers are. When teams bring pitchers over, ultimately they want to win games.”

Halladay doesn’t say that wins are the determining factor.  He says guys who win deserve a strong look and they sure as heck do. They get the first look.  People naturally look towards win totals, along with strike outs and inning pitched among their first columns of data. Stopping there is incomplete.  Failing to use the resources at hand these days is tantamount to negligence.  Choosing to ignore/denigrate these resources is ignorance.  Which brings me back to Chass…

Murray was all too happy to take an extra swipe at his old paper, the NY Times, for their increasing usage of statistics beyond Wins, RBIs and Errors.… Click here to read the rest

Preview: AL Cy Young

Justin Verlander

A whole 0.8 fWAR behind Lee is Verlander. After 224 innings and an FIP of 2.98, Verlander notched 6.3 fWAR. His 3.08 K/BB is better than CC but worse than Lee’s, and while his 5.6% HR/FB is low, it’s only 2% lower than his career mark. He’s good, but he prevents home runs at nearly the same rate as Lee, had nearly identical GB/FB rates, had a much, much lower K/BB, and only threw 12 more innings than Lee. There’s no way I can justify picking Verlander over Lee.

Felix Hernandez

I thought about putting Hernandez second, but I didn’t want to put this exactly in order, thus forcing you to read more (though I guess you could have just skipped Verlander). I thought about putting him last, but that’s just rude. Hernandez was awesome this season, and he deserves to be mentioned here. His 3.31 K/BB is really good, but it’s nowhere near Lee’s. His 249.2 IP, however, trump Lee’s 212, big time.… Click here to read the rest