Derek's new digs

It’s been a busy week for Derek Jeter’s real estate broker. Earlier this week we heard that Yankee captain Derek Jeter is selling his Trump Tower penthouse for a mere 20 mil. I’ll guess with that huge pay cut he took he’s going to have to stay at the local YMCA when the team is in town. Now, we learn that from Tampa Bay Online that Derek’s new home in Tampa is finished. At first blush it may seem a big, but its my understanding he plans to rent it out for weddings during the season. “You know what’s the Continue reading Derek's new digs

Jays jettison Yankee Killer Vernon Wells while Tampa Bay goes all 2004 Red Sox and signs both Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon

I step away from the Internet for two hours only to come back and find that two of the Yankees’ AL East rivals have made a handful of notable moves. First up, the Toronto Blue Jays apparently traded Vernon Wells to the Angels for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera. I’m having a hard time figuring this deal out from the Angels’ perspective — the Jays are undoubtedly thrilled to be free of Wells’ contract, and they’re getting not one but two pretty serviceable players in return. Wells started last season out on fire before cooling off some and finishing with Continue reading Jays jettison Yankee Killer Vernon Wells while Tampa Bay goes all 2004 Red Sox and signs both Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon

A look at the Yankees’ projected 25-man roster

With the signing of Andruw Jones as a dangerous bench bat/4th outfielder, I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take a look at the possible composition of the Yankees’ likely 25-man roster, if the season were to begin today.    Most of the spots are set at this point, but there are a few that may still be up for grabs.  Let’s take a look first at the players who either definitely have spots on the team, or are most likely to. Postion Players Definite: Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Russell Martin, Nick Swisher, Continue reading A look at the Yankees’ projected 25-man roster

More on the “messed up Joba”

Brien took a look at Joba today and it’s certainly worth a read and a discussion. Furthering the theme, Buster Olney tabbed Joba as one of his Top 10 guys who need to step it up in 2011 (Insider access required):

4. Joba Chamberlain. The Yankees apparently have decided that they don’t think he can be a starting pitcher in the majors, given his struggles to maintain his velocity and repeat his delivery, and at least some members of the organization — the guys whose names are at the bottom of the paychecks — were concerned enough about his inconsistency that they invested $35 million in Rafael Soriano. Chamberlain, who posted a 4.40 ERA in 73 appearances last season, is getting more expensive as he gains service time, and if he doesn’t become the late-inning force that he had shown to be earlier in his career, the risk-reward equation will start to turn against him.

The hyperbole and chest-pounding over Joba is so overblown, so maddening, I am not sure what more I can say. Truthfully, I’m fed up with the discussion. He was a good prospect, not a great one. He dropped to the Yanks because of injury history/fears and other conditioning worries. At the same time, I have to remind myself, and everyone I can, that Joba is only 25 years old. That’s a baby. Give the kid a chance before I/you/we bury him!

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The Readiness of the Killer B’s

ESPN New York writer Wallace Matthews and I had a civil back and forth Wednesday and Thursday over the readiness of the Yankees’ trio of starting pitching prospects Manny Banuelos, Andrew Brackman, and Dellin Betances. Matthews indicated, with no real justification, that the Yankees feel both Banuelos and Betances are more ready to contribute than Brackman is. Matthews indicated that this isn’t his personal feeling, but the organization’s. Either way, I’ve got to disagree here. Betances and Brackman are both on the 40-man roster as of right now, and Betances has more innings pitched, but he’s also been in the Continue reading The Readiness of the Killer B’s

Is Joba Really Messed Up?

Via Calcaterra, at the end of one of those random musing type columns, Bob Ryan asks:

Has any team, anywhere, at any time in history, ever messed up a valued prospect as badly as the Yankees have Joba Chamberlain?

Now I normally have a strict rule about ignoring what Boston writers have to say about the Yankees, but Craig adds:

The Yankees are a lot of things, but they’re not a dumb organization. It makes me wonder if the injury he suffered in 2008 was more serious than anyone has let on. Makes me wonder if the team doesn’t have far more serious doubts about him than “his stuff playing up better out of the pen” or however they’ve put it recently as they’ve absolutely eliminated the possibility that he will ever start for the Yankees.

I guess what I’m saying is that, while I don’t like how the Yankees have handled Chamberlain these past couple of years, I’m not prepared to say that they simply “messed him up” like Ryan says. It has to be more complicated than that, doesn’t it?

Well honestly, I would say that it’s actually much simpler than that, and the quick and easy answer is that there’s nothing wrong with Joba.

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A different way to look at the performance of starting pitchers

When baseball analysts talk about pitchers they cite a number of familiar statistics: ERA, FIP, WHIP and ERA+, for example. These are all valuable metrics, but they don’t accurately portray the modern game. With the exception of WHIP, these stats are scaled to nine innings. This made sense when pitchers were often called upon to pitch entire games, but today pitchers seldom pitch the full nine frames. As a result, a statistic such as ERA, probably the statistic in baseball cited to describe the quality of a pitcher more frequently than anything else, doesn’t entirely capture a starting pitcher’s effectiveness. Continue reading A different way to look at the performance of starting pitchers

Is Andruw Jones a HOFer?

With the Yanks officially signing Andruw Jones yesterday, I took a look at his numbers and began to wonder if he has date with Cooperstown in his future. He was an elite player with the bat during his prime, and his reputation as a CF is well known. At first glance, his offensive numbers seem to fall a bit short, but his outsized reputation as the games best defender at a premium defensive position made me think the modern defensive metrics and WAR that take defense into account might be more kind to him. Here’s his offensive numbers courtesy of Continue reading Is Andruw Jones a HOFer?

The Accidental Budget

Just think! It wasn’t long ago when we were wondering how to fit a Cliff Lee megacontract into the Yankees’ budget. I was projecting a 2011 record-breaking payroll of around $230 million, maybe more. Guys in the press were writing about how the Yankees might sign Cliff Lee AND Carl Crawford.

That’s not the way things panned out. So far, the Yankees’ big free agent signings are relief pitchers Rafael Soriano and Pedro Feliciano — solid ballplayers both, but neither near as expensive as a Lee or a Crawford. So the way it looks now, the Yankees’ 2011 opening day payroll will be lower than it was last year.

Now is a good time to update my projection of the Yankees’ 2011 payroll, given the Yankees’ signing of Soriano and Andruw Jones:

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