Why we can expect a better OBP from Alex Rodriguez in 2011

In the grand baseball scheme of things, Alex Rodriguez had a solid, if unspectacular season in 2010, posting the 4th-best fWAR (3.9) among third basemen in the American League. However, the gap between A-Rod and the third-best fWARs (Jose Bautista and Evan Longoria at 6.9 each) was pretty massive, and along with the fact that Alex recorded career lows in a host of meaningful statistical categories it’s hard to characterize A-Rod’s 2010 anything other than a disappointment. However, there are a lot of encouraging signs pointing to an A-Rod recovery in 2011. Though his power stroke went missing for much Continue reading Why we can expect a better OBP from Alex Rodriguez in 2011

Touching on Mo

While we at TYU have spilled a lot of virtual ink over the Derek Jeter contract, we’ve seldom touched on the Mariano Rivera contract situation. The negotiations have gotten much less press than the Jeter ones, so let’s check in. Last we heard, Mariano Rivera wanted a two year contract. Last night, we learned that the Yankees want to offer Rivera a one year deal, though. According to that piece from MLBTR, Rivera wants not only a two year deal, but a raise from his $15MM salary. I’m of the opinion that, overall, these negotiations will go more smoothly than Continue reading Touching on Mo

Jeter not offered arbitration

No major surprise here as Jeter is not offered arbitration (Marc Carig via Twitter):

Cashman says via email that the Yankees will not offer Derek Jeter arbitration.

While offering Jeter arbitration would, at least for 2011, take the Yanks off the hook on a multi-year commitment, it would likely result in a higher 2011 cost (assuming Jeter accepts). I think it would further antagonize Jeter and Close and I’m glad that the Yanks aren’t doing this. Enough of this dance has been public already.

I was beginning to get into this a bit but Buster Olney just weighed in (Insider required) and he captures it well here:

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Jeter not offered arbitration

The Yankees' Top 10 WPA Games of 2010

Following up on yesterday’s Top 10 WPA Swings of 2010 post, today we’ll take a look at the Yankees’ Top 10 WPA Games of this past season. As you might expect, the list has a fair amount of overlap with the top individual plays list, but by adjusting our criteria to full games we also get to include pitchers, namely CC Sabathia. Here are the Yankees’ Top 10 WPA Games from 2010: The September 17 game featuring Alex Rodriguez‘s go-ahead, eventual game-winning winning blast off Koji Uehara — which was the second-highest individual WPA swing — was the Yankees’ top Continue reading The Yankees' Top 10 WPA Games of 2010

Two Mo Years? Done. Next? *UPDATED*

Seems that Mo Rivera wants two more years (Heyman twitter link):

the imcomparable mo rivera has told friends hed like 2-yr deal from #yankees. team says they haven’t talked terms. now they know.

No brainer. Give him the deal and we can be done in 45 minutes. “Mo, how’s $15 more million each of the next two years?” Good? Done. Where’s my “there, that was easy” button?

UPDATE (11/23/10): A bit of “news” as the Yanks appear to only want to give Mo one year. Of course they do. It’s the team’s stance to pay less and for fewer years than the player wants. This is normal can be found on your Page 1 of Negotiations 101 text book. Note to everyone: Don’t panic; this will get done.

The Yankees want to re-sign Mariano Rivera to a one-year deal, but the closer wants a two-year contract worth about $18MM per season, according to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan (onTwitter). Jon Heyman of SI.com reported on Friday that Rivera was looking for a two-year deal and it now appears that the 40-year-old wants a raise from his 2010 salary of $15MM.

(click “view full post” for more, plus my favorite Mariano ad, too) Continue reading Two Mo Years? Done. Next? *UPDATED*

Preview: AL Most Valuable Player

The final award is probably the one with the most candidates (close to ten players have various cases for the award), but Josh Hamilton seems to be the favorite due to his sparkling performance (and, let’s face it, he’s still getting bonus points for turning his life around, which is extremely impressive but irrelevant to this discussion). Your own Robinson Cano has been awesome this season stabilizing the Yankee lineup, but he’s pretty far back when the wins above replacement numbers do all the number-crunching. Unfortunately, his great season hasn’t been one of the top 5 AL performances of the season, and while you can make an argument to get in the top 5, there aren’t too many to get him into the top spot. I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, especially because I think there’s a half-way decent chance he walks away with the award, but he isn’t the AL MVP. Let’s look at the rest of the arguments.

Josh Hamilton

Let’s start with the favorite, again. FanGraphs has him blowing away the competition with 8.0 fWAR, 0.9 above anyone else, but Baseball-Reference has him 6th, actually right behind Cano. Hamilton’s offensive numbers are staggering—.359/.411/.633 for a wOBA of .447(!)—and his defense (+8 UZR) has been an additional positive and another point of contention. The offense has been legitimately outstanding, and there’s no debate about that (though, there are serious questions about his ability to repeat it, but that’s for another day). B-Ref hates his defense by valuing it 6 runs below average, and if you adjusted it closer to +8 (like UZR), Hamilton’s bWAR of 6.0 would be much closer to Longoria’s 7.7. So who do you believe? I went on record yesterday saying I don’t like B-Ref’s way of doing it because it hated on Zimmerman, but let’s take a look. UZR has seen him as a slightly above-average defender 3 of the past 4 seasons, and while the +8 seems a bit too optimistic, it seems only slightly off. B-Ref’s defensive metric bounces around on Hamilton from 5 to -3 to 8 to -6 this season. UZR seems more consistent, and I’ll take its word for it with less skepticism. We’ll give his B-Ref a win boost.

click “view full post” to read more Continue reading Preview: AL Most Valuable Player

Historical Flotsam And Jetsam: Mantle, Moose, CC

A few interesting historical and statistical bits of data came to my attention lately, and I thought I would share them: 1) In Steve’s posts on Derek Jeter a few days ago, he compared Jeter to Mickey Mantle, and noted that Mantle’s decline greatly hurt the club in 1965-1968. In an ensuing discussion that took place on GReader, Matt Bouffard of Fack Youk pointed out that Mantle’s decline has become overstated among pundits and Yankees fans. To quote: Mickey Mantle’s final four seasons: 1965: 2.9 fWAR, 2.0 bWAR, 137 OPS+, .371 wOBA 1966: 3.8 fWAR, 3.7 bWAR, 170 OPS+, .402 Continue reading Historical Flotsam And Jetsam: Mantle, Moose, CC

BBWAA Afraid of Internet Bullies?

I pay very, very, little attention to Murray Chass. I’m assured by many that he was once a serious baseball writer who thought deep thoughts and so on and so forth, but in any event those days are long passed. Today he’s a curmudgeon, or at least he plays one on the internet, who more or less comes off as though he’s doing it just for the sake of being a curmudgeon. In fact, Chass doesn’t even inspire me to insult his thought process, writing style, or anything really because I honestly can’t tell if he believes what he writes or if he’s just carved out a particular niche in the internet market. I mean, the guy’s main schtick at this point is operating a blog he insists isn’t actually a blog, referring to his posts as columns as if to pretend he’s still writing for the New York Times, and getting red faced outraged anytime someone calls him a blogger. Even though he publishes on a blog. So yeah, that says everything you need to know about Murray Chass.

But every now and then he is good for a laugh, and today is one of those times:

So Felix Hernandez, as expected, won the American League Cy Young award, and he won it handily. I don’t have a problem with Hernandez. I think he is the best pitcher in the league, and I think he should have won the award last year.

My problem is with Hernandez winning the award with 13 wins. I am not alone in that view. Four writers voted for David Price (19 wins) and three voted for CC Sabathia (21).

Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune voted for Price because, he said, Hernandez’s 13 wins didn’t merit the award and Price was a dominant pitcher in his own right.

Speaking of the one-sided outcome of the vote, Rogers added, “I wonder how much of it was bullying on the Internet. There were a lot of columns written in September saying no one should be stupid enough not to vote for Felix. Maybe that’s what happened, but I hope not.”

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading BBWAA Afraid of Internet Bullies?

Votto nearly unanimous 2010 NL MVP

The Reds’ Joey Votto won the 2010 NL MVP, nearly unanimously:

Of the 32 ballots submitted by two writers from each league city, Votto was listed first on 31 and second on the other to score 443 points, based on the tabulation system that rewards 14 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third and on down to one for 10th.

Albert Pujols finished second, followed by Carlos Gonzalez. Mark had this one right on:

Though Pujols is awesome, Votto has been just as awesome and maybe better. Votto’s .324/.424/.600 line is ever-so-slightly better than Pujols’ (just better is still better), and it gives him a .439 wOBA that is quite a bit better than Pujols’ .420.

Even though Mark’s Zimmerman-love was noted, Zimm finished a distant 16th:

His .307/.388/.510 line converts to a .389 wOBA, and while that isn’t nearly as good as Pujols or Votto’s, the position adjustment and Zimmerman’s ungodly good defense make up the difference, giving him 7.2 fWAR. B-Ref says Zimmerman is only a tick above average on defense, and if I hadn’t given up on that metric already, I would now. But even if you give him a win’s worth of defense, he’s still a win behind Pujols and Votto’s adjusted value according to B-Ref, and he played in only 142 games. Zimmerman should get more attention for what he’s done, but in the end I think he’s somewhere in between FanGraphs and B-Ref, which makes him just a little worse (but still worse) than Pujols and Votto. Sorry Ryan, but you’re playing Pujols to Pujols’ Bonds this time.

(click “view full post” for full voting results in table form) Continue reading Votto nearly unanimous 2010 NL MVP