Free agent profile: Roy Oswalt

2011 was a disappointing season Oswalt, who entered the season as a major part of the Phillies much ballyhooed rotation only to be limited to 23 starts and 139.2 innings by injuries, but his performance was still pretty good. His strikeout rate plummeted to just over 6.0, but all of his other peripherals were strong, and Oswalt pitched to a 3.69 ERA and 3.44 FIP. Fangraphs has him valued at 2.5 WAR for the effort, while Baseball-Reference says he was worth 1.7 wins. That’s not too bad considering the limited work load. Additionally, Oswalt is still just one season removed from a very good 2010 season in which he pitched to an FIP of 3.27 and an ERA of 2.76 in 211.2 innings. Both versions of WAR have Oswalt right around 5 wins for that season, a nice performance by any measure.

The really nice thing about Oswalt is that he won’t cost a ton to sign, given that he is 34 years old, certainly not as much as C.J.Click here to read the rest

TYA Mailbag: Mike Aviles and Adam Kennedy

Happy Tuesday morning, everyone. Glad you all survived Monday and are joining us bright and early here at TYA. Today’s mailbag question comes courtesy of Travis:

Matt mentioned Casey Blake as a potential backup infielder. What about if the Red Sox non-tender Mike Aviles? I know his 2011 wasnt stellar, but his 2010 seemed a bit more interesting. What is the real Aviles and would the younger player be an option for the backup spot? And what about Adam Kennedy or even bringing up a youngster, like David Adams (if he’s healthy)?

Let’s start with David Adams. Adams definitely has shown a nice bat, but he hasn’t exactly been a model of health since he joined the Yankee organization. With the exception of a .325 wOBA this year in A+ ball, Adams has hit well everywhere. The problem is that he’s only played in 68 games since the start of 2010, while only racking up 294 plate appearances in that time.… Click here to read the rest

Would You Sign…..

I am trying to get a sense of the level of interest that the fanbase has in the Yankees’ free agents, as well as the major targets available on the free agent market. Please vote in the polls below as if you were the GM, so signing Prince Fielder means you need to find somewhere to put Jesus Montero, and signing CJ Wilson means it is unlikely that you pursue Yu Darvish. Also, assume that the players are available at market value contracts similar to those received by similar players in the past (ie Darvish at Dice-K money, Wilson at Burnett money). Tomorrow, we will look at the results and sift through the plan that the readers have provided.

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[polldaddy poll=5610149] … Click here to read the rest

Is time running out for A-Rod to become the Home Run king?

The story has been re-told hundreds of times, but the Yankees have been in the off season for more than two weeks now. With post ideas running a little thin forgive me for recapping it here. In 2007 Alex Rodriguez had the best season of his career. He hit 54 homers, with a wOBA of 449 and a wRC+ of 178. He was just 32 at season’s end. With over 500 home runs to his name already, it was a matter of when, not if, he would take control of baseball’s most cherished record.

Things have not gone to plan since the 2007 season. A-Rod’s power numbers largely remained in tact from 2008 through 2010, but he played less than 140 games each season. As a result he hit “just” 95 homers over those three seasons. That’s a great result for just about any other slugger in his mid-thirties, but it’s not enough for a player trying to hit 763 homers in his career.… Click here to read the rest

Is the World Series “sacred?”

On the other hand, I guess you can put the blame for this on Selig himself, who pushes this “don’t take away from the World Series” stuff, which seems to border between pointless and counter-productive to me. At the end of the day, are fans really supposed to care more about the World Series than their own teams? That seems pretty naive to me. I know I’m a lot more interested in Brian Cashman’s contract and Nick Swisher‘s option than I am in the Series (though to be fair I have a genera disdain for both teams, and knowing that you’re going to throw up in your mouth a little bit no matter who wins has a way of dampening your enthusiasm, even if the games are great), and I very much suspect your average Cubs fan is much more interested in who is going to be running the organization moving forward than they are in other things.

I just don’t get what the point is supposed to be.… Click here to read the rest

Negative Storylines from the 2011 Season: Phil Hughes takes a giant step backward

(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Last winter we did just two comprehensive “Positive Storylines” and “Negative Storylines” posts. In the interest of fleshing the 2011 positives and negatives out a bit further — not to mention we have more days to fill with content this offseason — the Positive and Negative Storyline trends are going to be broken up across multiple posts this year.

Phil Hughes. Almost certainly the Yankee pitcher I’ve spent the most time writing about during my blogging career. I’m not quite sure what to make of you anymore, the player formerly known as The Franchise. Our own Moshe has given up on expecting anything better than Hughes developing into a potential #3 starter at best, and based on what we’ve seen out of Hughes over the years, it’s difficult to disagree with that sentiment.

The Phil Hughes story is old as time by now and everyone knows it, but I’m going to recap it anyway.… Click here to read the rest

Free agent profile: C.J. Wilson

There’s much debate over whether Wilson is a “true ace” or not, but the bottom line is that he’s been the number one pitcher on the two-time defending American League champions for the majority of the past two seasons (excepting Cliff Lee‘s brief time in Arlington). This season the Rangers were third in the A.L. in FIP by starting pitchers, despite playing in a very hitter friendly ballpark. And Wilson was no slouch either, with an ERA/FIP/xFIP line of 2.94/3.24/3.41 in 223.1 innings pitched, backed up by a K/9 of 8.3 and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.83. In other words, he had a really good year.

On the other hand, this is just Wilson’s second season as a starter, and as the local media has become all too happy to point out, he hasn’t been at his best in the postseason. Including both 2010 and 2011, Wilson has a 1-5 record with a 5.32 ERA over 45.2 innings in October.… Click here to read the rest