The price of pitching is too damn high

I discussed this topic over the weekend when the blockbuster Mat Latos trade occurred, and I think it still holds true following the news of the recent John Danks extension with Chicago.  To paraphrase worldly philosopher Jimmy McMillan: The price of pitching is too damn high. Danks was considered a likely trade target for the Yankees because the White Sox were reportedly in a rebuilding stage (having shipped their young closer Sergio Santos off to Toronto for a prospect), and Danks was going into a contract year. Rather than risk losing Danks for only draft picks in free agency, it made Continue reading The price of pitching is too damn high

The Fun And Frustration Of Being A Yankee Fan On A Budget

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod) As the Yankees continue down their path of self-imposed penny pinching, focusing on the big picture and future benefits of cutting payroll for 2014 rather than the immediate benefits of signing someone like Roy Oswalt or Hiroki Kuroda, we Yankee fans and distinguished members of the Yankee blogosphere suddenly find ourselves in some unfamiliar territory.  By now we are (or should be) used to the Yankees not always getting their man during Hot Stove season.  But to see them take a backseat approach to the offseason proceedings and not really Continue reading The Fun And Frustration Of Being A Yankee Fan On A Budget

The Yankees are broke!

I can’t even… (EDIT: emphasis mine)

It is about the money.

The Yankees are still unlikely to do anything major this offseason unless they can unload some money, a baseball official with knowledge of their plans. So even though they like Hiroki Kuroda a lot, Yankees GM Brian Cashman does not have the cash to spend on the righty starter. Kuroda figures to receive at least $12 million on a one-year deal.

Feeling they have five starters in CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett and Freddy Garcia, that is not in Cashman’s budget. The Yankees already have commitments that will put their 2012 payroll in the $185-$200M range.

I’m out of different ways to try to be clever about this, so I’ll just lay it out there and be done with it until after Christmas: this is a bunch of bunk. The Yankees have the money, they just don’t want to spend it. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe the money is being pocketed, maybe Brian Cashman is stubbornly insisting he has so put a really good rotation together already. Whatever the case, it is what it is. Unless the Yankees are putting up a completely false facade in their public statements now, no pitching upgrades are on the way.

I don’t particularly care for the faith someone has in this current group of starters, but that’s a mere difference in opinion, I guess. What I do very much care about is the fact that Brian Cashman talked endlessly about his desire to upgrade the pitching staff, even though he now appears to have had no such intention. Continue reading The Yankees are broke!

Baseball America ranks the top 10 Yankee prospects

Baseball America is scheduled to release their list of the top ten prospect in the Yankees’ organization January 4th, but the list is in the latest copy of the print edition, and multiple people have “leaked” the list online. Here’s how BA ranks the Yankees’ system:

1. Jesus Montero-C/DH
2. Manny Banuelos-LHP
3. Dellin Betances– RHP
4. Gary Sanchez– C
5. Mason Williams– OF
6. Dante Bichette Jr.- 3B
7. Ravel Santana– OF
8. Austin Romine– C
9. J.R. Murphy– C/3B
10. Slade Heathcott– OF

It’s worth keeping in mind that different evaluators will favor different factors when putting these lists together, and that can cause a seemingly large variance where there isn’t necessarily a lot of difference there. BA is obviously favoring projectable toolsy players with higher ceilings to “safer” prospects with smaller upsides, which is why Williams, Bichette, and Santana occupy the middle of the list despite not having a single appearance at a full season level between them while David Phelps and Adam Warren don’t make the top ten at all. Someone with a larger preference for high-floor players ready for the big leagues (like me) would probably have a much different looking list even working with the same information.

Other than that, there are only a few notable observations just from the list. Sanchez really wasn’t dinged at all by his up-and-down 2011 season, and BA apparently still loves his bat, Slade Heathcott is still impressing everyone with his upside, and, perhaps most obviously of all, 2010 first round pick Cito Culver is a rather glaring omission from the list, given the inclusion of so many other lower prospects. Continue reading Baseball America ranks the top 10 Yankee prospects

White Sox sign Danks to 5 year extension

If you had your heart set on the Yankees signing John Danks next winter, you can put those dreams to bed, as it’s been reported tonight that Chicago has signed the left hander to a five year $65 million extension. Danks was an intriguing target this winter, and the White Sox were shopping him around for a while, but by most accounts they were asking for far too much in return (they supposedly wanted two of Jesus Montero, Dellin Betances, and Manny Banuelos from the Yankees), for a non-elite pitcher with only a year left until free agency. Apparently they couldn’t get an offer they liked, and decided to keep Danks around for the long term instead. Considering he’s just coming into his prime and the terms of the contract are very reasonable, it’s not a bad decision by any means.

I don’t think this tells us much of anything about what the rest of the winter holds for the Yankees; as I said above the White Sox wanted too steep of a price for Danks, so the Yankees really didn’t get a chance to acquire the southpaw, but it is a reminder that what looks like a juicy class of free agent pitchers next winter will probably look a lot leaner by the time November rolls around again. If you’re hoping the Yankees are merely being quiet this winter in order to make a splash next year (not that a one year deal for Hiroki Kuroda would affect that at all, but I digress), you may be unpleasantly surprised when you see what the market actually bears in 2012. Continue reading White Sox sign Danks to 5 year extension

Avoiding the Cost of Interest

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog). “Not interested” have seemingly become Brian Cashman’s favorite two words, which hasn’t exactly been music to the ears of many Yankees fans (or agents hoping to ignite a bidding war). Although it’s easy to see why Cashman would remain aloof when it comes to big ticket free agents or inflated trade demands seeking the team’s best prospects, the cold shoulder given to pitchers like Hiroki Kuroda and Roy Oswalt has been harder for many to understand. As the winter has progressed, and the Yankees’ Hot Stove has remained without a flame, there has been a growing disenchantment among Continue reading Avoiding the Cost of Interest

Fear the Canadians?

The Blue Jays, the designated bridesmaid of the AL East, almost got Yu Darvish. Their bid ended up falling just behind the Texas Rangers. They are coming off a thoroughly average 81-win campaign with a young, promising team, while the Yankees and Red Sox haven’t made significant upgrades this season. Is this their year? Since the summer, the Blue Jays have made some pretty significant moves. They brought in Colby Rasmus, Ben Francisco and Kelly Johnson via trade. They have lost backup catcher Jose Molina. Brett Lawrie, acquired in the Shaun Marcum trade, hit .413 wOBP after being called up Continue reading Fear the Canadians?

The Building Frustration

Generally, I’m a patient person. I work with kids all day, so I need patience–even if they try my last nerve each and every day. In my baseball life, I tend to be relatively patient. I don’t (usually) overreact to one instance in the season or in a game, knowing it’s part of the larger picture. Perhaps it’s the absence of anything exciting going on in Yankee-land, but I’m beginning to grow frustrated and impatient. Yesterday, it was widely reported on the ‘net that Roy Oswalt has scaled back his “demands” and is willing to take on a one year Continue reading The Building Frustration