Jeter in 2011

While there is always the small possibility that Jeter doesn’t return in 2011, I think we can all agree it’s on the unlikely side. How unlikely I’m sure we’ll disagree on, but we can probably find common ground in the unlikelihood of a Jeter-less 2011 in the Bronx. How Jeter performs in 2011, though, is obviously a mystery. In 2008, it looked like the beginning of the end was coming. Aside from his cup of coffee in 1995, 2008 saw Jeter with his worst ever wOBA to that point (.343), second lowest walk rate (7.8%), and lowest IsoP (.107). It Continue reading Jeter in 2011

2010 Season in Review: Phil Hughes

In the history of Yankeeist, only two players have been tagged in more posts: CC Sabathia, with 78, and Alex Rodriguez, with 77. Phil Hughes is third, having been tagged (coincidentally enough) 65 times. Of course, those tallies only account for the posts in which we bothered to affix their names to the labels at the bottom; in reality those three have appeared in many more Yankeeist posts, but the category tallies are a reasonable benchmark. However, what those tallies don’t account for is that (as many of you already know) I’ve been writing about Phil Hughes for just under Continue reading 2010 Season in Review: Phil Hughes

Addressing the “We’re better off without Derek” theory

As I talk to Yankee fans both in person and online, a common theme has been popping up the past few days. Many fans are arguing that Derek isn’t all that hard to replace, and some even say the team would be better off without him. He’s a .270 hitter who was 10th in OPS last year, and given his defensive liabilities at SS pretty much anyone else at the position in baseball would be an upgrade in the field. They say swing a deal for a Stephen Drew-type and deploy the balance of that 15-23 mil you would have Continue reading Addressing the “We’re better off without Derek” theory

Addressing the "We're better off without Derek" theory

As I talk to Yankee fans both in person and online, a common theme has been popping up the past few days. Many fans are arguing that Derek isn’t all that hard to replace, and some even say the team would be better off without him. He’s a .270 hitter who was 10th in OPS last year, and given his defensive liabilities at SS pretty much anyone else at the position in baseball would be an upgrade in the field. They say swing a deal for a Stephen Drew-type and deploy the balance of that 15-23 mil you would have Continue reading Addressing the "We're better off without Derek" theory

Money To Burn? (More On the Yankees’ Budget)

Two weeks ago, we looked at the Yankees’ budget: whether such a thing really exists (we concluded: “yes”), how large the budget might be (we concluded: in the range of $210 – $215 million for beginning-of-season player payroll), and whether a free agent like Cliff Lee could be fit within this budget (we concluded: no, not without increasing the budget).

The reaction to my post was interesting! Brian, a top poster and great friend to our site, wrote that “the Yankees true budget is… whatever it takes to make the playoffs.” New friend to the site Jim P commented that Yankees spending could conceivably bump up against “what are at some point limited resources”, but Jim seemed to imply that the Yankees were nowhere near that bumping point.

The comments here reflect comments elsewhere. A widely published article last week referred to the Yankees’ “money machine-gun”. ChicagoBusiness.com is one of many places you can read that the Yankees have “money to burn”. Craig Calcaterra (one of my favorite sportswriters) put it this way: “The Yankees basically print money.”

In short: my commenters and the baseball press do not take the Yankees’ budget seriously. The common view is that the Yankees might have a budget in the same way that Bill Gates might have a credit limit on his VISA card, the same way that Michael Bloomberg might clip coupons or Paris Hilton might buy a dress off the rack.

This common view is silly, of course.

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Continue reading Money To Burn? (More On the Yankees’ Budget)

Understanding Jeter

Let it be known that this is NOT a Jeter apologist post. I feel like everyone has gone overboard in criticizing Jeter’s demands, and frankly assuming that a man and a team of intelligent, well-paid people have gone insane is … well … a little insane.

6 years and 150 million dollars. Let that sink in for a moment. 6 years and $150 million. That’s a lot of money and years for anyone, and it’s a lot for an aging shortstop. Whether you think Jeter’s actual demands were a little lower, 6 and 125 is still a lot, and 4 or 5 years at $23 million per (which is the lowest demand I’ve seen from that side) is still a lot. When it was revealed that one of these was Jeter’s asking price, the immediate reaction was one of shock and disdain. How he could he ask for so much? I mean 3/45 is maybe a little short, but 6/150? That’s insane. But is it?

First of all, this is the starting point. While 6/150 or 6/125 is entirely too much for Jeter, it’s not exactly outrageous. The Yankees have handed out contracts to Alex Rodriguez ($31 MM for next season), CC Sabathia ($23 MM), and Mark Teixeira ($22.5 MM) that are all right around what Jeter is asking per season, and when you ask who has meant more to the franchise, Jeter definitely wins in that competition. Jeter is at least at that level of stardom, and he has the right to ask for what the other stars on the team are receiving. But the key part of that last sentence is the word “ask”. We all know how negotiations work. One side, the paying side, offers a little lower than what they’re willing to pay, and the other side, the receiving side, asks for a little more than they’re willing to settle for. In this case, Jeter shot over the moon, but he, as stated above, has the right to ask for that price. Most of us understand that part, so the next question becomes why it is taking so long. We’ve established the sides, so let’s move towards the middle, right? Well, the quicker side to relent shows weakness, and Jeter, being stubborn, has refused to relent so far. Yes, he risks the Yankees simply pulling the offer, but we all know that the Yankees aren’t going to do that. Jeter knows that, too, and he can simply wait for a while. This doesn’t have to go down now. But it is essential that we remember that this is not Jeter’s final offer, just an opening bid. Starting out ridiculously high makes everything else seem “reasonable”, even a fourth or fifth year.

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Could Jeter just walk away?

Rob Neyer touched on a subject that few others have even dared to speculate about, but I must admit it’s something I’ve been kicking around myself the past few days. Here’s what Rob said: I haven’t seen Derek Jeter‘s portfolio. I’ll guess that even a paltry $45 million (before taxes) does mean something to him, but it’s quite possible that it doesn’t. Or that it does, but not as much as his foolish pride. I still think everything will work out OK in the end. The Yankees will move some, Jeter will move some, and everyone smiles a lot and Continue reading Could Jeter just walk away?

Yanks add 2 to the bullpen mix

With the Derek Jeter contract soap opera looming large in the background, occupying media and fan attention, nothing major has happened during the Yankee offseason.  Despite the lack of progress (as far as we know) with the Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte, or Lee contracts, Brian Cashman has moved ahead to explore some bullpen alternatives.  Ken Rosenthal reported via twitter that the Yankees have signed LHP Andy Sisco and RHP Brian Anderson to minor league deals.  If neither of these names ring a bell, that would not be too surprising. Sisco is a 6’10”, hard-throwing lefty who came up with the Royals Continue reading Yanks add 2 to the bullpen mix