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...

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

Photo by Al Bello, Getty Images

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...

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

Sure, the Yankees are one of the most valuable franchises in sports – Forbes values the team at $1.6 billion, just behind Manchester United and the Dallas Cowboys, and well ahead of any other baseball team.  According to Forbes, the Yankees brand is the most valuable in sports.  The Yankees play in the third most expensive stadium in the world, and by some measures they have the most expensive player payroll of any sports team.  Yes, by most measures, the team is very, very rich.

But first and foremost, the Yankees are a business, a successful business.  They are governed by the same rules that apply to all businesses, and they have achieved success by doing the things that successful businesses do.  Successful businesses spend within their means. Joe Posnanski noted for Sports Illustrated that in 2009, the Yankees’ spent  94.4% of their revenues on their baseball operations.  This is a high percentage for a baseball team, but not an unusually high percentage: in 2009, the Kansas City Royals spent 94.3% of their revenues on their baseball operations.…

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Understanding Jeter

The other argument against Jeter receiving that much money is his “declining performance”. Well, that’s true. He did play worse in 2010 than 2009, but I don’t think anyone expected him to repeat his 7.1 fWAR season. Almost anything is a “declining performance” from that. But Jeter recorded only 2.5 fWAR this past season, and it was his lowest ever, including his rookie season. However, if you look a little deeper, there are reasons to believe Jeter will be better next season with the most obvious being his .307 BABiP, which is almost 50 points below his career norm. In other words, he was highly unfortunate in a season that he couldn’t really afford to have one. 2007 was pretty close to an “average” season for Jeter, and he racked up 3.5 fWAR that season. That also included a nasty -17.9 UZR rating that he hasn’t neared in the past three seasons, and you could make the argument that even a -8 rating would leave him with 4.5 fWAR, which sounds more accurate.…

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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...

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