Post-Pineda Trade, Yoenis Cespedes Makes More Sense

Yoenis Cespedes is officially a free agent. The hype on Cespedes has started to settle down, and so has the rumored price. Instead of looking at him as a $50-$60 million player, he may sign in a much more reasonable $15-20 million range. At that price, I think the Yankees would be wise to consider him. You probably know the story by now: he’s a 5-tool outfielder whose best tool is making awesome workout videos. And hitting for power too. I wrote about Cespedes in December, Add this all up, and I could see the logic behind starting Cespedes at Continue reading Post-Pineda Trade, Yoenis Cespedes Makes More Sense

How To Keep The Russell Martin Revival Tour Going

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod) 2011 was an important year for Russell Martin.  After two All Star-caliber seasons for the Dodgers in 2007 and 2008, he was basically cast aside like an old mitt after experiencing serious decline, much of it likely injury-related, in 2009 and 2010.  The Yankees were happy to pick him up off the scrap heap for $4 million and install him as their bridge between the Jorge Posada and Jesus Montero Eras behind the plate in 2011.  A funny thing happened on the way to that plan, though, as Martin bounced Continue reading How To Keep The Russell Martin Revival Tour Going

Introducing some new faces

We got a tremendous response to our recent announcement that we were seeking new writers, and I’m pleased to announce that we have added five new writers to the staff. So, without any gilding of the lily, allow me to introduce them.

-William Tasker is a name you might recognize as the man behind The Flagrant Fan, from Twitter, or as a regular contributor to the IIATMS comment section. William is a native of Bergen County, New Jersey presently relocated in the upper reaches of enemy territory New England. He’s been writing about baseball online since 2003, and has also published nine non-baseball related books.

-Michael Kuring may be more familiar to you as 3460kuri, the handle he has been contributing to Pinstripe Alley with. Michael has been a Yankee fan for 15 years, and counts as his most memorable experience witnessing Game 5 of the 2009 World Series, giving him the opportunity to potentially witness his favorite team close out a championship season with him in attendance. Unfortunately, A.J. Burnett and Cliff Lee conspired to muck that up. The more things change, eh?

-David and Aziz Nekoukar previously contributed to NJ.com’s Pride of the Yankees blog from 2004-09. They’re lifelong Yankee fans whose grandfather once served as Babe Ruth’s personal cab driver (though he unfortunately gave away his signed memorabilia over the years), and they have fond memories of growing up watching Thurman Munson, Donnie Baseball, and Dave Winfield.

-And last, but certainly not least, Gabe Lezra comes to us by way of Managing Madrid. He has the interesting distinction of having lived everywhere from Madison, Wisconsin, to New York, to the beautiful city of Cadiz, Spain, where he currently resides while teaching middle school English. He can also say that he became a Yankee fan while living in Boston in 1995, watching a young Derek Jeter break into the majors, and creating a Yankee fanatic in the process. Gabe will be moving back stateside this year, bolstering IIAMTS’ Mid-Atlantic contingent while he studies law at Georgetown.

The IIATMS team is very excited to welcome our new contributors on board, and very thankful to everyone who inquired about the openingsbut, unfortunately, we had more intriguing applicants than the number of positions we were prepared to add at this time.

And to leave you on the happiest of notes: pitchers and catchers report in 24 days. Continue reading Introducing some new faces

Applying park factors to Pineda

Whenever a pitcher moves from a pitcher’s park to a hitter’s park, there’s a concern about how he’ll adjust. This is definitely the case with Michael Pineda, who’s moving from Seattle’s spacious Safeco to the small confines of the (new incarnation of) the “Big” Ballpark in the Bronx. This post by RLYW helped to allay those fears for Pineda. Still, that doesn’t mean the concerns aren’t legitimate or aren’t there at all. To take a closer look at how park factors may affect the new Yankee right hander, I went over to StatCorner and took a peep at the park Continue reading Applying park factors to Pineda

Prince Fielder Worth His Weight (just not in projected WAR)

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog). Every time a player signs a mega-money deal, there seems to be a very common kneejerk reaction, particularly among saber-friendly analysts. The typical response is to run to fangraphs.com for the player’s WAR-based dollar value and then, using projections, conclude that by the end of the contract, the salary commitment will wind up being a financial burden. Unfortunately, this kind of analysis, which, admittedly, I have probably done on many occasions, completely overlooks several relevant points. The free agent process isn’t about determining a player’s long-term fair value. Rather, it is the Continue reading Prince Fielder Worth His Weight (just not in projected WAR)

Revisiting Russell

Back in mid-December, I wrote a piece in which I crowd-sourced a possible Russell Martin contract extension. I think it’s worth revisiting now, considering how the catching circumstances in the Yankee organization have changed. Obviously, Jesus Montero is no longer an option at catcher for the Yankees. The biggest impact player behind the dish, Gary Sanchez, is still years away. Francisco Cervelli is most definitely not a long term answer, and Austin Romine remains relatively unproven. Romine likely has the highest probability to succeed, but his ceiling may not be as high as we once thought it was. His bat Continue reading Revisiting Russell

A DH trade that (kind of) makes sense

With the Yankees suddenly in the market for a designated hitter after trading away top prospect Jesus Montero, much speculation has centered on who, exactly, the Yankees might find to fill that role. Publicly, Brian Cashman has said he’s going to look to the trade market for a match, as he attempts to trade away some excess pitching to fill the need, and along those lines many fans and commentators have engaged in heavy speculation as to how Cashman might go about filling the need and getting rid of the much maligned A.J. Burnett in the same deal.

That there are no shortage of hitters with bad contracts out there has made this a pretty easy game to play. Without question, the names I’ve seen mentioned most frequently are Jason Bay, Alfonso Soriano, and Adam Dunn. I discussed Bay this morning, and Soriano is more or less the same story, in my opinion. He’s not really a good hitter anymore, isn’t particularly good at all against right handed pitchers (he hasn’t had a wRC+ against RHP since 2007. Yes, I said 2007), and his contract is awful even in comparison to Burnett’s. Soriano is guaranteed $54 million over the next three seasons, or an extra year and $21 million more than what the Yankees owe Burnett. Add him to the ledger in 2014, and it’s virtually impossible for the Yankees to make any big league moves beyond re-signing Robinson Cano while staying under their payroll target. In other words, Brian Cashman had better not trade for Alfonso Soriano.

(click “view full post” to continue reading) Continue reading A DH trade that (kind of) makes sense

For Those Who Dissent, Our Fifth Starter Should Be AJ Burnett

Despite all that I’ve found, all that I’ve read, and all the optimistic data I’ve calculated, there is nothing that will make me like A.J. Burnett. Simply put, I strive for consistency, every baseball fan, manager, player, and general manager does; Burnett is as erratic as a starting pitcher gets. You can see it in his hit by pitch totals, you can see it in his wild pitch totals, you can see it in his walks, and worst of all you can see it in his ERA. Despite the trade rumors, Burnett is likely the Yankees’ die to roll for Continue reading For Those Who Dissent, Our Fifth Starter Should Be AJ Burnett