What happened to Joba Chamberlain, starting pitcher?

Per Marc Carig on Twitter yesterday, Brian Cashman was once again asked whether Joba Chamberlain would be given another chance to win a spot in the rotation. Cashman’s answer? “It’s [Chamberlain’s starting pitching repertoire] just not the same stuff.” While Cashman has continued to assert the team’s stance that Joba will not be given the chance to start, it’s hard not to wonder whether the organization reassess the situation if spring training arrives, Andy Pettitte decides to retire, and the Yankees are faced with two glaring rotation holes heading into a season for the first time in a long time. Continue reading What happened to Joba Chamberlain, starting pitcher?

Gap Year?

A commenter on RAB last night brought up an interesting point. Has anybody yet considered the out-of-this-world possibility that like all other franchises, it’s ok for the Yankees to have a gap year? In the back of all our minds, I’m sure we’ve considered this. And as soon as we did, we likely got sick, annoyed, frustrated, flabbergasted, whatever. Most of us probably thought “Wasn’t 2008 the bridge year?” Yeah, I guess it was. The Yankees were only an 89 win team that year, and that was a lot considering how many people got hurt and especially considering that the Continue reading Gap Year?

Facepalming a HOF vote

I know trying to parse Boston.com’s Dan Shaughnessey is much like parsing The Daily News’ Mike Lupica: A fool’s errand. Yet, I am the fool who continues to be amazed by BigRed’s antagonistic and foolish approach. Let’s get into it, shall we?

We won’t know who’s in until January, but this year’s ballot has some new challenges because the Steroid Boys are stepping forward in large numbers.

I just love how he capitalizes “Steroid Boys”. Where were you, Dan, when this whole “Steroid Era”* was in full bloom? Where were your exposés and hard questions at the players you were covering on a daily basis? The insinuation here is that Dan is more than able to distance himself from the distaste of those who used PEDs by putting them in a verbal corral. Sorry Dan, it doesn’t work that way. Your own silence, as an insider, leaves you at least partially complicit in the wrongs of the “Steroid Era”.

* Sidenote: I’ve struggled with how to properly evaluate the stars of the late 1980’s thru today as it relates to PED use. Yes, it was illegal and wrong and all those chest-pounding things, but since there is no accurate and practical way to establish guilt or innocence for everyone, we have to evaluate this era as its own. As such, I think every player from the last 25 years should be elected if their resumé dictates. We cannot summarily ‘haircut’ homerun or strikeout totals or outright dismiss portions of players’ careers. It will be up to us, the fans, to view their achievements through our own lenses and explain them in whichever way we feel best.

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Continue reading Facepalming a HOF vote

Yanks’ Lux Tax bill comes due

…and it’s the lowest since 2003! (note the artificial excitement)

New York was hit with an $18 million luxury tax Tuesday by Major League Baseball. The tax was New York’s lowest since 2003 and down from $25.7 million last year, when the Yankees won the World Series. […]

Since the current tax began in 2003, the Yankees have run up a bill of $192.2 million. The only other teams to pay are Boston ($15.34 million), Detroit ($1.3 million) and the Los Angeles Angels ($927,000).

In short, the Yanks have plenty of money to burn and nowhere, right now, to spend it. Some will go to Andy Pettitte if he decides to return. And the rest will be used during the season on any salary dump-deals, if there’s anything to be had. Continue reading Yanks’ Lux Tax bill comes due

Phil Hughes' OPS against in each count versus the league average

Arguably the biggest knock against Phil Hughes in 2010 — aside from giving up 8,000 home runs to the Toronto Blue Jays — was Hughes’ difficulty in putting hitters away with two strikes as the season wore on. I thought it might be instructive to look at how Phil fared with regards to OPS-against depending on the count, and compare his numbers against the league average to see where we might be able to expect improvement. Of course, it’s important to remember that the AL average sample draws from every pitcher in the league, not just starters. If the data Continue reading Phil Hughes' OPS against in each count versus the league average

Catching up with Matt Sosnick

It’s been a banner off-season for the Sosnick-Cobbe Sports representation firm. With two big extensions for some emerging stars in Jay Bruce and Ricky Nolasco and the (possible) extensions for Freddy Sanchez and Josh Willingham.  Agent Matt Sosnick was kind enough to take a few questions from me via email.

IIATMS: Jay Bruce is clearly one of MLB’s rising young stars. What’s your thoughts on him locking up a multi-year deal now when he could very easily earn a great deal more through the arbitration process and into free agency? Who leads this process, you or the player?

  • Matt SosnickWhen a player has ability that merits a multi-year deal, we sit down with him to discuss the pros and cons. The nature of these deals is that the player almost always leaves some money on the table in exchange for the security of a guarantee. Jay is a pretty conservative guy, so in his case he was able to get a guaranteed deal for more than he could ever spend, while still being young enough (30) when the deal expires to obtain one or two more big contracts. Ultimately it is the player’s decision. Our role is to inform him of what he would make if he went year-to-year, what the risks are, and how much we can get him on a multi-year so that he can make an educated decision.

IIATMS: You and your firm have been proponents of these pre-free agency extenstions. Do you recommend this course for all of your players?

  • MS: Our general philosophy is that if a player can get an early multi-year contract that guarantees him enough money to be set for life, he needs to at least consider it. Baseball careers can be cut short in the blink of an eye, and most players understand that. It’s not so much a matter of what we recommend as a matter of presenting the player with his various options and letting him make an informed decision.

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Managing Risk As A GM (The Greinke Situation)

A hot topic amongst Yankees fans over the last few days has been the mental state of Zack Greinke and his ability to handle New York. Many contended that his Social Anxiety Disorder made him a lock to melt down in New York, an assumption that is simply ignorant of the many contours of the human psyche. Having social anxiety disorder does not necessarily mean that you shy away from added attention or that you will have performance anxiety in more stressful situations. Some people who know Greinke, such as Joe Posnanski, thought that Greinke would thrive in a place Continue reading Managing Risk As A GM (The Greinke Situation)

Top (or really, bottom) 10 least valuable Yankees of the last 10 seasons

Back in the “Save Phil Hughes” days I once ran a post in which I tried to determine “The crappiest 25-man Yankee roster of all time,” which is always a fun way to kill some time on a slow Hot Stove day. The roster I ended up with — while entertaining — doesn’t appear to be based on anything other than my memory of how bad the respective players were, so I wanted to see statistically who the least valuable Yankees of the last 10 seasons actually were. Thankfully Fangraphs allows us to do so rather easily. There’s no minimum Continue reading Top (or really, bottom) 10 least valuable Yankees of the last 10 seasons

What would a two-slot spring training rotation battle look like?

If Andy Pettitte does not resign, the Yankees are currently set up to enter spring training with two open rotation spots. I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember that ever being the case on the modern Yankees. Even in 2008, when the Yankees attempted to use Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, and later Joba Chamberlain all in the rotation, the plan was set from the start. If the Yankees decide to go into spring training with their current roster, it’ll really be a rare sight, and pretty interesting too from an objective standpoint. Luckily for the Yankees, the team Continue reading What would a two-slot spring training rotation battle look like?