Time to Complain

It’s January 25th as I write this. When you read it, it will be January 26th. We’re definitely at the lowest of the low point in the offseason. The Hot Stove is about as hot as the weather in the northeast right now. I’ve been pretty even keeled for most of the offseason, but I think it’s time to complain about some things, even if they’re not big in the grand scheme of Yankee basketball.

The MLB.com prospect rankings came out yesterday and there are two things I want to complain about. Jesus Montero clocked in at number 9 on the rankings. In terms of the top 50, that’s great. Still, though, I think I’m in the majority in saying that 9 is too low a ranking for Mr. Montero. His future position may be in question, but no one can deny his bat and how special it is and how much his age intensifies that specialness. In my semi-educated opinion, Montero should be no lower than 5th on that list.

My next complaint about the rankings is the fact that Eduardo Nunez showed up as the number 9 second base prospect. Whiskey tango foxtrot? Nunez has played a total of 20 games (19 MiL, 1 ML) at second base (and that ML appearance was a one inning “stint”). Not only is Nunez a shortstop and not a second baseman, but even if he was, he’s not even the best 2B prospect in his own system, let alone the 9th best in baseball. For the record, I think David Adams is the Yankees’ best 2B prospect.

There was a lot of complaining about Brian Cashman on the radio yesterday. Yeah, I know, I should shut it off. But, I’m in a (terrible) rental car so I don’t have my tape-deck aided iPod to play so I’m forced to listen to the radio. Anyway, personalities on both WFAN and ESPN were bemoaning Brian Cashman and his situation. While they didn’t exactly chastise him, they were at least a bit critical of his handling of the Derek Jeter situation, especially the part when Cash told Jeter to test the market and his comment yesterday about Jeter in the outfield. Cashman should’ve told Jeter to test the market and if in his shoes, I would’ve done the exact same thing. As for Jeter in the outfield, well, that makes some sense considering Jeter’s age. I don’t think he could handle center field, but that’s a conversation for another time.

Anyone who thinks that comment was a “shot at Jeter” is stretching at least a little bit. While it’s not exactly flattering to the Captain, it’s not exactly against common sense either. If there was an opening somewhere, I think we could be discussing Jeter moving off of SS NOW rather than later. It makes sense that a guy who’s a below average shortstop now will have to move off the position when he’s older.

Lastly, I just want to touch on something that was in the comments of an article I wrote. The comment was about a user being against the Granderson trade when it went down and being more against it now, especially considering the fifth starter’s situation. I’ll grant the user the pre/during trade hesitations (though I’ll later address them), but looking back and saying it was a bad deal because of the current fifth starter situation is a bit of hindsightism.

At the time of the trade, Kennedy had no spot on the team and the Yankees had a need in center field. They could’ve used Austin Jackson but Curtis Granderson was, is, and probably will be the better player going forward. 2010 may not have been perfect for Granderson, but he was just as valuable as Jackson in a lot less time. Going forward, I highly doubt that Jackson’s bat will match Granderson’s. That trade was a good deal at the time and unless Granderson gets hurt very badly, it will continue to be a very good trade. I’d do it every time, especially for that price. For the record, I’d do the Vazquez trade every time, too.

About Matt Imbrogno

A native and resident of the Mean Streets of Southwestern Connecticut, Matt is a narcissistic, misanthropic 20something English teacher who lives by a simple creed: Yankees Only.

10 thoughts on “Time to Complain

  1. I’m glad to see someone address Montero being 9th on this list, before I saw the breakdown of the list I had in my own mind the number 4 standing out real clear but after watching the breakdown of how they ranked each player I could be swayed to go as low as 6th but there is no way he is 9th and the fact that Aroldis Chapman is above him is a travesty IMO. The only reason Chapman ranks so high is because of his velocity and while impressive (extremely impressive) as it is he is still nothing more than a setup man now and long term it looks like they have no goal higher than closer for him, they haven’t ruled out starting 100% but they have come as close to saying he is in the pen forever as they can for now and there is no way 60 innings from a closer can equal a terrible defensive catcher hitting .300, 30, 100 which Montero has a chance to do and more.

    As far as the Granderson trade goes I would do it today! Curtis had a better WAR last year while missing a month than he had the previous two years and his defense was improved as well which points to him finally being healthy after an injury in 2008 which seemed to make his D take a serious dip. I don’t see anyway a 5th starter and a slap hitting CFer without a ton of stolen base potential match up to a guy who has the talent and potential every year going into ST to hit 30 and steal 20 while playing gold glove caliber D in CF the one of the most prized positions on the field.

    • I have to disagree with you about Austin Jackson and Curtis Granderson. The Grandyman has proven he is an established above average contributor and a valuable piece to any contender. Austin jackson is on his way to being a star in this league and I know the powers that be had to see it. If the Yankees have Jackson and not Granderson in their lineup last yaer do we go further? considering how things played out? My opinion more upside with Jackson. Plus the Yankees get the leadoff hitter they covet.

      • A star? You do realize that Granderson was more valuable than Jackson last year right? I know that doesn’t discount Jackson from improving but when you look at the numbers and skill set I doubt AJax ever gets better than Grandy.

        Jackson had a 2.9 WAR last season 151 games (675 ABs) while Granderson had a 3.6 WAR almost a full win more in 136 games (528 ABs) so I’m not really sure how we would have done better with a player who was worth less wins in more than 100 extra ABs….

        Also I’m not quite sure how we solve a leadoff problem with Jackson, remember that Granderson was leading off for Detroit the entire time he was there, just because someone is making a player hit in that spot doesn’t make him a leadoff man.

        Jackson had a 27.5 K% (170 Ks) last season while only walking 7.0% (47 BBs) of the time, these are pretty god awful numbers for a leadoff especially one that only had 27 stolen bases in 675 ABs, he isn’t overly fast, he doesn’t have a ton of power, he strikes out consistently and walks inconsistently none of that screams him becoming a star and none of that says he is a leadoff man.

        In comparison Granderson had a 24.9 K% (116 Ks) and he walked 10.0% (53 BBs) of the time so if anything between the two of them Granderson profiles as a better leadoff man than Jackson.

        If you want to dig deeper into the numbers Jackson had a .333 wOBA while Granderson bests him again with a.346 wOBA, however the most damning stat of all if the BABIP of the 2 because Jackson had an off the charts BABIP with a .396 one that he couldn’t maintain in his career if he was one of the all time greats while Curtis was all the way down at .277 which is .037 off of his career BABIP of .314 so we would expect for these numbers to be even better next year.

        A profile of power also goes in Grandy’s favor as he hit 24 HRs last year while Jackson managed only 4 in over 100 more ABs.

        Also if you want to look at defense last year Granderson had a 6.6 UZR/150 in CF but if that is too small a sample size (which it is) then you go to his career UZR/150 of 4.4 while in comparison Jackson had a 5.9 UZR/150 in his only year playing in the bigs so they are pretty much equal defensively which means the tie breaker for better player is decided by their bats and Curtis has a much better bat.

        If Jackson is the “leadoff man we covet” then so is Curtis because they K at a similar rate but Granderson K’s less and they BB at similar rates but once again Granderson is better walking slightly more, the power is Granderson’s and the speed is pretty much a draw, neither one profiles a true leadoff man on any team the Tigers just forced them both to do so.

        I like Jackson but nothing about him says he is going to be a superstar and nothing about his numbers suggest that he will ever be better than Granderson.

  2. I was going to put this in the off-topic thread but since the title of this is “Time to complain” I figure this news fits to some degree (although since it’s a minor league deal it’s more irrelevant than anything) but the Yankees have signed Bartolo Colon, this is a move I really see no upside too, the guy hasn’t pitched in a year or so and the last time he did he was giving up multiple home runs to Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees per game. In actuality it isn’t a move you can complain about because it’s a minor league deal and almost doesn’t matter but if our 5th starter ends up being Colon is anyone happier with that than giving Joba another shot? I think Joba is probably 5x better an option but that’s me.

    • I’m interested to know why you think that is it because you think anything outside the top 2 isn’t likely to contribute any time soon? Because last year the top 7 prospects on the MLB.com prospect list all made it to the big league level and had some degree of success for their teams so if anything everyone in the top 10 matters a good deal.

      • For comparison here is last years top 10

        1. Jason Heyward
        2. Madison Bumgarner
        3. Mike Stanton
        4. Justin Smoak
        5. Buster Posey
        6. Neftali Feliz
        7. Chris Tillman
        8. Brian Matusz
        9. Jarrod Parker
        10. Tim Beckham

        8 of these 10 players will start this year on a major league team in some sort of starting role either in the lineup, pen or rotation and last year’s top catcher Buster Posey was ranked 5th and we all know how well that turned out, many fans of the Yankees believe Montero should be 5th this year.

  3. Montero is a much better defensive catcher then people think. What misleads a lot of fans is this constant talk of his size. Yes he is big but that does not mean he cannot catch. He has an above arm and will in time throw out runners better than Posada did in his career. The other thing is that he works well with pitchers. I don’t know if he calls a good game but he loves catching and I have a sense he will call a good game in time as did Cervelli. I see him with that big bat as the yankee catcher of the future. Much better hitter than Posada ever was, can hit for average and power. This guy can hit 40 home runs and bat 320 in the same year.

    • He does have a strong arm but he is a little lumbering when it comes to coming out of the crouch and actually throwing to 2nd so while I agree he has an above average arm it doesn’t always translate to throwing out base runners.

      I am almost leaning away from having him as the catcher of the future based on the fact that he would get more healthy ABs and have a longer career at DH than he ever would having his knees and back raged by catching 130 games a year.

      I would almost rather have him be a part time catcher and part time DH for his career obviously seeing more time at catcher when he first comes up but with a wealth of catcher and the more guys like Romine, Sanchez and Murphy get a chance to come up I think he should slowly slide closer and closer to that semi permanent DH role where he is catching 20-30 games a year at most. It will save his body, allow him to appear in more games per season and it will make sure the thunder in his bat isn’t worn down at the end of the year thanks to injury as Posada was from time to time.

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