How Lee's Deal Will Impact CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia has been fairly excellent in his first two years as a Yankee. He has given the Yankees 467 innings of 3.27 ERA ball, and carried their rotation in the 2009 postseason. It is hard to be disappointed with his performance thus far. As such, most Yankees fans are hoping that he does not opt out of his contract after the 2011 season, as is his right. He has said on a number of occasions that he loves it in New York and will refrain from using his option, but we have heard that before from players such as Alex Rodriguez and AJ Burnett only to be surprised when they exercised their opt-outs. If CC has another good year in 2011, he may very well choose to re-enter the free agent fray, and the pending Cliff Lee deal may impact his decision.

CC’s status after 2011 is likely to be similar to that of Lee after 2010. CC will be a year younger than Lee is now, but he also has a lot more mileage on his arm and has been a bit worse that Lee over the last few seasons.… Click here to read the rest

Season in Review: Robinson Cano

What a hell of a year for Robinson Cano, huh? “You thought 2009 was good?” Robbie said. “You haven’t seen anything yet.” While we could hardly say he came out of nowhere to play as well as he did in 2010. His .389 wOBA bested his previous career high by 12 points. His 145 wRC+ beat his career best by 15 points. He set new career highs in home runs, runs batted in, walk rate, and isolated power. He had his second straight season of 200 hits (204 in ’09) and just dazzled us at the plate.

Like I did for Tex and Jorge, I’m going to review Cano’s season in terms of his projections.

For this post, I’m going to take Robbie’s median projections and compare them to his actual production.

Hits: 182 (200)
Home Runs: 20 (29)
RBI: 85 (109)
BB: 31 (57)
SO: 69 (77)
BA: .305 (.319)
OBP: .342 (.381)
IsoD*: .037 (.062)
SLG: .489 (.534)
IsoP* .184 (.214)
wOBA: .359 (.389)
wRC: 88.7 (118.2)
wRAA: 15.7 (38.3)

*Computed using median BA, OBP, and SLG.… Click here to read the rest

Mapping Montero

With the Yankees seemingly ready to use Jesus Montero as the number one catcher in 2011, let’s think about how he will be deployed, both in a catching platoon and in the lineup.

Ideally, Montero will catch 100 games”, so let’s go on that assumption. Like I did in the comments of that article from River Ave. Blues, let’s assume that we have a normal week with one off day (Monday) and two day games after night games (assuming Thursday and Saturday). The catching rotation, in a typical week, will probably look something like this:

Monday: OFF
Tuesday: Montero C, Posada DH
Wednesday: Montero C, Posada DH
Thursday: Montero DH, Posada C
Friday: Montero C, Posada DH
Saturday: Montero DH, Posada C
Sunday: Montero C, Posada DH

Of course, that could be rather flexible. There are times when Montero will likely be able to play some day games after night games. He is going to be only 20 years old and we can assume that he’s not going to be too worn out by the catching grind.… Click here to read the rest

What about Vlad, and other Yankee DH possibilities

With yet another long-coveted (by me) hitter hitting the free agent market, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least broach the idea of the Yankees signing Vladimir Guerrero — who recently had his $9M 2011 option rightly declined by the Rangers — to be their DH, assuming the Yankees pass on my boy Adam Dunn. I know Mike Axisa threw cold water all over this idea the other day, but I think it merits further exploration. Vlad may have gone ice cold in the second half and postseason after a lightning-hot start, but there may still be some life left in that bat.

While I imagine the Rangers will try to re-sign him at a discount, it remains to be seen whether Vlad will have Johnny Damon/Hideki Matsui-itis and not be able to swallow his pride and return to his team at a lesser pay grade. At the very least it seems like it’d be worth seeing what it might take to get Vlad on a one-year deal.… Click here to read the rest

Jorge the DH?

Yankee fans have been abuzz with the news that super-prospect Jesus Montero will get an opportunity to win the starting Catchers position out of Spring Training. Jorge himself was asked about this at a charity function over the weekend, the Daily News has the story:

But when blue-chip Yankee catching prospect Jesus Montero’s name was broached Sunday, and that there have been reports the Bombers’ front office wants Montero to assume the starting role behind the plate in 2011, Jorge Posada didn’t cede the baton yet and accept a new role as full-time designated hitter.

“I’m going to prepare for (the starting catching job). I love catching, love being behind the plate. I take a lot of pride – that’s my position,” Posada said at the charity bowling tournament at Chelsea Piers to benefit his foundation. “If (the Yankees) want me to be DH or catch, just be honest and let me know what’s up.”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the idea from Jorge, and clearly he doesn’t plan on losing his starting gig without a fight.

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Why It’s Important to Not Overpay for Jeter

The legacy of that winter is apparent; aside from the overcommitments to A-Rod and Posada, Jeter probably expects to be treated similarly. Thankfully, Hal at least seems to have learned his lesson and may not be willing to repeat his mistakes, but that may just ratchet up the bad feelings on the part of Jeter, especially if he’s offered less than Posada signed for. This is where the hard feelings could come into play, and things could get messy in negotiations.

The second problem is simply production. While I think the Posada and A-Rod contracts were mistakes, at least you can say that both of those players were coming off of great seasons in 2007. Jeter, of course, is in much less fortunate circumstances, having just had the worst season of his career. And let’s not downplay this, Jeter’s season was really bad. It wasn’t a matter of luck, or a pesky injury to a finger or wrist limiting his productivity, Jeter just did not look good at the plate all season.… Click here to read the rest

Minor League Profile: Austin Romine

Romine is a California native, who will turn 22 just before Thanksgiving.  The Yankees took him in the second round of the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft, signing him right before the deadline for a hefty $500,000 bonus.  Because of his late signing, Romine only played in a handful of rookie league games in 2007, but has steadily progressed in his three years of professional ball since then.  He spent 2008 in Charleston, 2009 in Tampa and this past season as the backstop for the Trenton Thunder. It is likely Romine will be catching in Scranton this season, but that is contingent on whether the Yankees truly believe Montero will be able to produce in the Bronx in 2011.  If not, they will want both their prized prospects to be able to catch regularly, meaning Romine could start the year back in Trenton.

People may not be salivating over Romine’s bat the way they look at Montero’s, but this does not mean Romine is a slouch at the plate. … Click here to read the rest