A closer look at Hector Noesi's 2011, and what to expect going forward (or, What to Expect When You're Noesing)

Developed primarily as a starter during his time in the Yankees’ minor league system, Hector Noesi rather quietly had a very good rookie campaign out of the bullpen for the big league club in 2011. He finished the season with a 4.47 ERA/4.09 FIP/4.02 xFIP, 7.2 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 1.0 HR/9 and a 41% GB% over 56.1 innings, most of which came in relief. However, his numbers look even shinier if you remove the two innings-limited spot starts he made at the end of the season — 4.01 ERA/3.88 FIP/3.91 xFIP, 7.3 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and 0.9 HR/9. While the Continue reading A closer look at Hector Noesi's 2011, and what to expect going forward (or, What to Expect When You're Noesing)

Free agent profile: Hiroki Kuroda

Of all of the free agent pitchers available this offseason, my guess is that the Yankees would like to sign none of them as much as Hiroki Kuroda. The Yankees have been connected to Kuroda for awhile now, reportedly targeting him during free agency last year, as well as trying to acquire him at this year’s trade deadline, but in both cases Kuroda opted to remain a Dodger. Now they’ll have another chance to acquire him, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them be a little bit aggressive in their push to bring Kuroda to the Bronx.

Why? Well, first of all, Kuroda’s a good pitcher. He’s only got four years of big league experience to his credit, but he sports a 3.45 ERA and 3.55 FIP in 699 career innings. His peripherals are solid, if not wowing, and he does a reasonably good job of limiting the number of home runs he allowed. Yes, he’s 37, but he also just had his best season in MLB. Additionally, the age factor make him relatively cheap. Kiroda probably won’t command any more than a one year deal, and indeed may not want one, a fact that makes him an even more attractive target.

So what’s the problem? Well, it’s not clear Kuroda wants to pitch for anyone other than the Dodgers. He resigned with LA during the exclusive negotiating period last offseason, meaning he didn’t even give other teams a chance to make him an offer, and then he invoked his no trade clause to stay with the Dodgers in 2011, despite interest in trading for him from at least the Yankees and Red Sox. Most seem to assume that Kuroda will either be a Dodger in 2012, or he’ll return to Japan if they decide not to bring him back. So while I’d like to see Kuroda pitching for the Yankees, and signing him makes a lot of sense, it’s still probably a long shot that it happens at this point. Continue reading Free agent profile: Hiroki Kuroda

Story of a Season: Jorge Posada

All other hitters If I had to describe Jorge Posada‘s 2011 season in a word, I don’t think a word would do. Instead, I’d settle for an onomatopoeia: Ugh. Just like there was little to say about Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano because their seasons were so good, there is little to say about Jorge Posada because his season was just so disappointing. The whole picture is just ugly. A .235/.315/.398 slash line with a .309 wOBA and an 89 wRC+ leading to a -0.4 fWAR mark. His walk rate was good at 10.1% and his Iso wasn’t horrible at Continue reading Story of a Season: Jorge Posada

Looking Back At The "Worst Managerial Decision Ever"

On this date in 2003, Josh Beckett pitched a complete game shutout to lead the Marlins to a 2-0 victory and a World Series championship against the Yankees. What many Yankees fans remember most vividly about that series was a decision made by Joe Torre in Game 4. In an article about Tony LaRussa’s interesting evening in Game 5 last night, Jay Jaffe referenced Torre’s gaffe: If a Hall of Fame-bound manager has had a worse night in a nine-inning World Series game—for the sake of argument, we’ll chalk up Joe Torre’s decision to pitch Jeff Weaver in 2003 as Continue reading Looking Back At The "Worst Managerial Decision Ever"

Free agent profile: Mark Buehrle

Outside of C.J. Wilson and Yu Darvish, Mark Buehrle is the upcoming free agent that’s generated the most interest amongst Yankee fans, as far as I can tell. It’s easy to see why, he’s a well known pitcher who’s been a front of the rotation guy for a few years in Chicago, and he’s even thrown a perfect game and a no-hitter. Additionally, he’s a groundball pitcher who works super fast, which I’ve always suspected is a big part of why he seems to be one of those guys who’s sort of inexplicably well liked by just about everyone.

I’m just going to cut right to the chase; I have absolutely no interest in Buehrle as far as the 2012 Yankees are concerned. That’s mostly because I’m pretty bearish on Buehrle’s future. Buehrle’s never been much of a strikeout pitcher, but it’s gotten pretty ridiculous in the past few years, as he hasn’t managed to strike out at least 5 batters per nine innings since 2008. Add in the fact that he isn’t an extreme groundball pitcher by any means and doesn’t do a particularly job of limiting home runs, and it’s sort of befuddling that he’s had as much success as he’s had.

Buehrle will be 33 in March, and given his name factor I’m reasonably sure someone will probably guarantee him a 2 or 3 year deal, in which case I wouldn’t even seriously consider him if it were my call. The wheels are bound to come off of this train at some point. Continue reading Free agent profile: Mark Buehrle

Taking a look at the payroll

Because I was bored today, I decided to take a look at Cot’s Baseball Contracts to see what the Yankee payroll looks like for 2012, and get an idea of how much money may be in the Yankee budget to add pieces.  While theoretically the Yankees have a lot of payroll flexibility, it has hovered in the $200-210 million range over the last few seasons, so it seems reasonable that it will be around there for 2012. Currently, Cot’s has the Yankees’ 2012 payroll obligations at $153.16 million, though it’s important to note that this is not for an entire Continue reading Taking a look at the payroll

Cashman's Biggest Contribution

Brian Cashman will almost surely sign a new contract with the Yankees in the next week or so. Its amazing to think that Cashman is just 44 years old. He’s been general manager since 1998, and we can all recite the team’s accomplishments during that time. He might be haggling with the organization over some small amount of money (what’s a few million dollars between friends?), but as the off season begins, he’s once again at the helm. After watching the fiasco with the Red Sox over the past 30 days, I think we are all reminded how lucky we Continue reading Cashman's Biggest Contribution

Will C.C. Sabathia become the new Mike Hampton?

This article from Andrew Marchand and ESPN New York has a pretty interesting premise, but once you really get down into the weeds of the matter you find that it doesn’t necessarily hold a lot of water, or at the very least doesn’t provide much in the way of guidance to the Yankees as they try to deal with C.C. Sabathia‘s contract situation.

First of all, the article clearly tries to include too many examples, especially once they’ve excluded non-free agent contracts and Cliff Lee. You can argue about how bad each deal from John Lackey to Kevin Millwood looks now, but the size of those contracts just aren’t comparable to what Sabathia is going to command. That Texas gave Chan Ho Park $65 million once upon a time might be one of the great baseball oddities of my lifetime, but we’ll all be doing cartwheels down Park Avenue if Sabathia signs a 5 year contract in the range of $65-90 million.

(click “view full post” to continue reading) Continue reading Will C.C. Sabathia become the new Mike Hampton?

The New Guy

Greetings, TYA readers and fellow Yankee fans.  I’m Brad.  As you may or may not know, I’m the founder, President, CEO, and sole writer over at An A-Blog for A-Rod.  Recently I was invited by Larry to join the fine team here at TYA and I accepted the invitation.  I figured that being the new kid in class, it was only right to introduce myself and give you all an idea of who I am and what I’m about before I just started firing posts up and giving you reasons to call me insane. First off, I’m 25 years old, Continue reading The New Guy