So it’s not $25 million/year; it’s only $23-24 million/year

After yesterday’s ride on the Jeter Express, we are now “learning” that the demands of out the Close/Jeter camp are/were closer to $23-$24 million per year, not $25 million. And the term was shorter at four-to-five years. Glad that’s settled. From the NY Times:

Derek Jeter’s agent, Casey Close, is currently asking the Yankees to agree to a new contract of either four or five years at $23 to $24 million a year, according to a person in baseball who had been briefed on the matter. […]

The person familiar with the bargaining, said the Yankees and Close have been frozen at their offers for the last week and that in recent days there had been little, if any, negotiating. […]

Still, the current offers — three years at $15 million a year by the Yankees and a maximum five years at $23 to $24 million by Close — suggest an obvious compromise in which the two sides would settle at four years and, say, $19 million a year.

That is still a huge chasm, ain’t it? Yanks offering $45 million and Jeter’s demands start at $96m. Has anybody seen the bridge?

(click “view full post” to find the bridge) Continue reading So it’s not $25 million/year; it’s only $23-24 million/year

Answering Jeter’s defenders

Talking to fellow Yankee fans or listening to sports talk radio, you hear the same arguments being made over and over again by those who take Jeter’s side in these negotiations. I’ll recount them one by one and try to answer them as succinctly as possible. “They paid Kei Igawa/Carl Pavano/insert bum here XX mil and they can’t pay Derek?” This is the ‘repeat your mistakes’ argument. They made a bad deal here or there, so why not repeat it with Derek, who’s been a terrific Yankee. There are many problems with this argument, but I’ll try to sum it Continue reading Answering Jeter’s defenders

Answering Jeter's defenders

Talking to fellow Yankee fans or listening to sports talk radio, you hear the same arguments being made over and over again by those who take Jeter’s side in these negotiations. I’ll recount them one by one and try to answer them as succinctly as possible. “They paid Kei Igawa/Carl Pavano/insert bum here XX mil and they can’t pay Derek?” This is the ‘repeat your mistakes’ argument. They made a bad deal here or there, so why not repeat it with Derek, who’s been a terrific Yankee. There are many problems with this argument, but I’ll try to sum it Continue reading Answering Jeter's defenders

Spot The Problem With This Graphic

The following graphic represents the BIS data from 2002-2005 that is used as the basis for statistics such as UZR and +/-. The three plots represent all batted balls for those seasons, broken down by batted ball type. The graphic displays a major flaw in the current defensive metrics that are based on batted ball data. Can you spot the issue (I will post the answer in the comments)? [image title=”data charts” size=”full” id=”23292″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ]

Minor League Recap: Staten Island Yankees

The Staten Island Yankees struggled this season, finding themselves at the bottom of the McNamara division in the  New York-Penn League.  Their record of 34-40 put them 16.5 games behind the division winning Brooklyn Mets.

Staten Island saw some decent pitching performances, but they were unable to put together much on the offensive side of the ball, finding themselves towards the bottom of the New York-Penn League in almost all offensive categories.    As a team, Staten Island had a disappointing line of .239/.320/.345/.665.  They stole just 51 bases (3rd lowest in the league) during the short season and were caught stealing 30 times.

Pitching gave Staten Island some hope throughout the season.  Their team ERA of 3.86 put them in the middle of the league, but they pulled together six shut outs and gave up the fewest homers (24) in the New York-Penn League. Staten Island pitchers were also second in the league in strikeouts with 624.

(Click on “View Full Post” to read more) Continue reading Minor League Recap: Staten Island Yankees

Yankees Lack Flexibility This Offseason

This is an odd offseason for the Yankees, who got close enough to sniff the ambrosia this past October, but couldn’t make it to the chosen land. Simply put, the team isn’t very flexible, with players locked into deals ranging from somewhat short (and team friendly) to excessively long at LF, CF, RF, 3B, 2B, and 1B, as well as three of the five SP slots. At SS, CL and C/DH are Yankee icons Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera caught in the headlights of contract negotiations, and Jorge Posada staring a platoon situation in the face. One further SP slot is notably being held open for the fourth of the old guard, Andy Pettitte, who has made a habit of holding the team hostage while making up his mind year to year. It’s also very hard to imagine them trading Phil Hughes, both due to the lack of open slots needing to be filled, Cashman’s focus on pitching, and the Yankee budget (which Larry discusses in remarkable brevity here.)

So where could the Yankees look to acquire, either via trade or free agency? The most obvious spot is the starting rotation, where the Yankees are clear favorites to land Cliff Lee. Aside from that, they could pick up a bullpen piece or two, and will be looking for a bargain or two to sit on the bench. Anything else gets…complicated. Which isn’t to say it won’t happen.

(click “view full post” to read more)

Continue reading Yankees Lack Flexibility This Offseason

The Case for Cooperstown: Bernie Williams

Because of the on going Derek Jeter negotiations (they show up in every article, huh?), I’ve been thinking a lot about the last player the Yankees took a hard stand on: Bernie Williams. Like Jeter, he was an icon of the team. He’d spent his whole career with the Yankees, winning four World Series titles, as well as winning a batting title in 1998. He also led the league in intentional walks in 1999, which just goes to show you how “feared” a batter Bernie was (that one’s for you, TSJC & Jim Rice) When perusing Bernie’s stats, we realize Continue reading The Case for Cooperstown: Bernie Williams

Defining “sides far apart”: $80 million

The Jeterian Gap appears to be as wide as we all feared:

Some day, somehow Jeter and the Yankees are going to tie the knot again, if only because it would be suicidal on both their parts not to. But right now they’re at least $80 million apart, probably more, and neither side is budging.

Now, the $125m over 6 years is simply what “sources claim” is Jeter/Close’s initial demand. Nothing more. Just as the Yanks’ opening bid of 3 years and $45m is their opening bid. The truth is, barring some sort of Hankensteinian brain-fart, the final deal will be done closer to the Yanks’ side than Jeter’s side, if due only to the vast amount of leverage on the Yanks side as a result of no other significant bidders.

Messy : Understatement :: Jeter’s demands : Overstatement Continue reading Defining “sides far apart”: $80 million

How the Yankees have fared on their big contracts

While its fun to speculate, the reality of the Yankees hot stove situation is that Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera will be jerks about this, but they’re not going anywhere, and it is unlikely that Cliff Lee lands anywhere else because few other teams in baseball can pay anyone $25 million a year. Only the Yankees can stop the Yankees. If the team is willing to expand its payroll about $25 million then all the team’s offseason targets will eventually come under tow. If it’s unwilling to expand its payroll then Yankee fans will still have one hell of a Continue reading How the Yankees have fared on their big contracts