In a big coup for Cashman, Sabathia chooses to stay before hitting the market

CC Sabathia has agreed to, in essence, forgo opting out in lieu of an extra year of guaranteed cash from the Yankees, with the chance to vest an option if his arm is still attached after 2016. From ESPN:

The total deal is for five years and $122 million, which is instead of the four years and $92 million remaining on his original contract. Sabathia, 31, will be paid $25 million in 2016, which is the final year of the new contract, the source said. The deal contains a vesting option for $25 million in 2017 with a $5-million buyout solely on the condition of his shoulder since the Yankees have some concern about a pre-condition. Sabathia, who also retains a hotel suite on trips, a no-trade provision and the right to buy tickets, will qualify for the vesting option as long as he spends less than 45 days on the disabled list with a shoulder injury in 2016.

To which I say: Bravo, Brian Cashman.… Click here to read the rest

CC’s coming back!

The man himself broke the news, tweeting “Yankee fans, I’ll be here fighting for number 28 next year!”  Sabathia has signed an extension rather than opting out of his contract.  Buster Olney has the contract details, which would reportedly be a 5- year deal worth $122 million, with an option for a 6th year ($25 million, with a $5 million buyout).  Overall, this seems like a pretty nice deal for the Yankees, as I was worried that they would cave and give him the 6th year guaranteed.

Update: Per Joel Sherman the option automatically vests unless CC is “disabled by a left shoulder injury”, so it’s basically a 6-year deal unless CC hurts his shoulder.  This offers the Yankees a little protection if Sabathia does in fact get injured, though only from one type of injury.  I’m sure we’ll learn more about specific language and terms later, but it’s good to get the big man back in pinstripes without having him hit the market.… Click here to read the rest

How good would Robinson Cano be if he took more pitches?

Robbie shouldn't be surprised to learn that we all want him to walk more.

On Friday I wrote a post asking if we actually over rate Robinson Cano. The premise of the post is that while Cano is a great baseball player, he is not a top five or top ten baseball player. He’s actually a top twenty baseball player, so when we describe him as a top ten guy we’re actually over rating him a bit. Unsurprisingly, the post turned out to be one of my most heavily commented since I started blogging about the Yankees.

Larry Koestler said something interesting in the comments section. He compared Robbie to Miguel Cabrera. He used Cabrera as an example to counter the logic that it is ok for Robbie to swing as much as he does because he’s such a dangerous hitter. Cabrera is also a dangerous hitter, Larry explained, but he walks a lot. He had a 15.7% walk rate in 2011, and has a career walk rate of 11.1%.… Click here to read the rest

TYA Live Chat | 11/3/11 (3:30 PM EST)

Be sure to join Matthew Kory and me this Thursday (11/3 at 3:30 PM EST) for the first TYA Live Chat of the offseason.  Matt is an excellent baseball writer and and an even better guy; he also happens to write for Over The Monster, the premier destination of all things Red Sox.  We’ll be discussing a variety of hot topics including The Collapse, prospects in both organizations, the Hotstove, 2012 expectations, and anything else comes to mind. 

I think it’ll be really entertaining hearing a voice belonging to a fan of the “other side.”  We will absolutely field questions and thoughts from anyone and everyone who joins us (and yes, OTM will have a link to the chat on their site as well so expect some Sox readership to show up too!).  I hope to see you all there!… Click here to read the rest

On Brett Gardner and Those Enigmatic fWar numbers.

How many over the typical replacement player does Brett Gardner provide the Yankees? That’s a tough question to answer. One of the best easily accessible methods to determine this is fWar, over at Fangraphs. Fangraphs will tell you that Gardner was worth 5.1 wins over replacement in 2011, and 6.1 in 2010. A lot of people think that this doesn’t pass the smell test, since it would make Brett Gardner right about as valuable as Robinson Cano. Intuitively, that doesn’t make a lot of sense to us.

The problem lies in measuring defense. That’s been the hardest thing for people to measure for a long time. Scoring runs is easy to measure, because the batters are solely responsible over the long run. Preventing runs, on the other hand, comes from a combination of the pitcher and 8 defenders in the field. How much credit do the defenders get, and how much credit do the pitchers get?

Fangraphs uses Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR), which has its problems.… Click here to read the rest

New CBA almost complete

To that end, Rosenthal reports that the dynamic I’d mostly assumed would prevail has, in fact, come to pass. While Selig is adamantly in favor of the idea, there’s not much of a will to fight for it amongst the various clubs, and some clubs are outright opposed to the idea, according to Rosenthal. Apparently the two sides are settling on some sort of luxury tax equivalent for draft spending.

The nature of the union:

This isn’t relevant to the agreement itself, but I thought this was a pretty solid point about MLBPA in general, that illustrates exactly why the union has become the powerful player it is in the game:

On the players’ side, a superstar such as Derek Jeter might not strike on behalf of high school and college players. The union, however, views slotting as a precursor to a major league salary cap, and it has succeeded over the years in educating players about the broader implications of capping spending on picks.… Click here to read the rest

Chuck Johnson on Chase Whitley

Over at New York Baseball Digest, Chuck Johnson posted some of his thoughts as a scout on the Yankees Arizona Fall League crew. He got to see everyone play but David Phelps. I recommend reading the whole thing, caveating that he’s drawing conclusions only after observing a very limited example of what a player does. He doesn’t have many good things to say about the (admittedly unimpressive group of) Yankee prospects, but he does have some interesting things to say about Chase Whitley:

Chase Whitley: The Yanks 15th rounder in 2010 out of Troy State, Whitley is a big 6’4” 220 right-hander with a nasty repertoire. He throws a four seamer which touches 96 and has a very late rise, just enough where he will miss a lot of barrels. He throws an 85 or so slider, and while the break isn’t big, it’s late, which, in the overall scheme of things is almost a preferred option because the potential of a mistake is less.

Click here to read the rest