A retired number measuring stick

Yesterday, all of our rooms got a little dusty between 11 AM and noon as Jorge Posada announced his retirement from Major League Baseball. There is no doubt that Posada was a great Yankee. He gave us so many incredible memories and I cannot wait for the day when Jorge is brought back to Yankee Stadium and given the honor of a plaque in Monument Park. As I was driving to lunch, my iPod died (as it usually does) so I flipped on sports radio (yes it sucks, but it’s better than FM) and Joe Beningo and Evan Roberts were Continue reading A retired number measuring stick

Jason Bay? Why?

It has apparently become fashionable in some circles to envision the Yankees and Mets swapping Jason Bay and A.J. Burnett in the prototypical bad contract-for-bad contract swap. I guess it makes for decent discussion fodder for about 5 minutes, what with the move seeming to fit some nominal needs for each side and the two clubs residing in the same city and all of that, but beyond being good for a slight chuckle, I’m not sure why more people haven’t dismissed it out of hand.

First and foremost, let’s just get the most relevant fact on the table; Jason Bay isn’t very good anymore. Or, at least, he hasn’t been very good in the past two seasons. Since Omar Minaya did what everyone knew Omar Minaya was going to do after the 2009 season, Bay has hit .208/.305/.386, which is not the sort of production you want to pay $49 million to get out of your DH. And though some of you might be thinking, “well, sure, but playing his home games away from the cavernous Citi Field will help those numbers,” you’d probably be surprised to know that Bay has actually been significantly better in Flushing Meadows than he has been away from it. In fact, in his two seasons as a Met, Bay has had a wRC+ of 125 and 129, respectively, at Citi Field, while those same numbers fall to just 93 and a putrid 78 on the road (remember that wRC+ is park adjusted). Bay also doesn’t exactly kill right-handed pitching, which is what I would assume the Yankees are primarily looking for in a new DH.

But most damning for this hypothetical deal is that Bay’s contract is actually quite a bit worse than Burnett’s, thanks to a nasty vesting option for 2014. Without that, the trade might actually make sense as a one for one swap (Burnett will make $33 million over the next two seasons, Bay will make $32 million), but that option should be a flat out deal breaker without question. If Bay gets either 600 plate appearances in 2013 or 500 plate appearances in both 2012 and 2013 (according to Cot’s) his team would owe him an additional $17 million salary for 2014, a fact that would both make him markedly more expensive than even Burnett and blow up the Yankees’ much documented payroll plans for that season. Granted, as a part-time player Bay could probably be kept below that threshold, but why take the risk for someone who isn’t very good to begin with? Continue reading Jason Bay? Why?

214,000,000 Reasons to be Thankful

This crazy off-season just got that much crazier. In a move that absolutely no one could have anticipated, the Tigers today shelled out 214 million dollars over nine seasons in signing former-Brewer Prince Fielder despite hundreds of millions of dollars already invested in a first baseman and designated hitter over the next several seasons. And while the Tigers will certainly be a force to be reckoned with in the near future, while the team that knocked the Yankees from the playoffs just a few months ago just got better, my first reaction to this trade was “thank you Brian Cashman.” Continue reading 214,000,000 Reasons to be Thankful

Yankees agree to terms with Martin

Via David Waldstein, the Yankees have come to terms with starting catcher Russell Martin on a salary for 2012, avoiding arbitration. Martin will make $7.5 million plus incentives this upcoming season, which is right about halfway between the arbitration figures submitted by both sides. Martin enjoyed a resurgence with the Yankees in 2011 after being non-tendered by the Dodgers, hitting .237/.324/.408 with 18 home runs while being universally praised for his work behind the plate.

The deal leaves Boone Logan as the only remaining unsigned arbitration eligible player on the Yankees’ roster. Continue reading Yankees agree to terms with Martin

JD Drew as a DH option?

The long, tumultuous era of JD Drew in Boston is finally over, and there are rumors that the 36 year-old outfielder is considering retirement.  It is not clear whether the lifetime 127 wRC+ player and whipping boy of the Boston media (Nancy Drew?  Really?) is simply ready to hang his spikes up, or if a total lack of interest from clubs is causing him to consider this path.  In any case, he is coming off a horrible, injury-riddled 2011 season in which he hit .222/.315/.302 over a half-season worth of at bats. As terrible as his season was, and as Continue reading JD Drew as a DH option?

Posada makes it official

It was an emotional day at Yankee Stadium as Jorge Posada officially announced his retirement from the New York Yankees. The man often referred to as the heart and soul of the Yankees choked up as he said goodbye (for now) to the only organization he’s ever known, and the day was made even more emotional by the presence of Diana Munson. Though it was a somber event, saying goodbye to a great player, it was also a fitting tribute to one of the most underrated players in Yankee history.

Goodbye Jorge, and thanks for the memories. You’re a Hall of Famer in my book, but whether you get the call to Cooperstown or not, you’ll always have a special place in Yankee history, though something tells me it won’t be too long before we see you back with the team in some capacity.
Continue reading Posada makes it official

Triple-R: The Bullpen

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod) Since I did such a bang up job predicting the rotation that will no longer include almost half of the analyzed members, I figured I might as well see this series all the way through to its conclusion.  With what happened last time, maybe there’s some Triple-R karma left over from the Pineda trade and a few days after this is posted the Yankees will somehow add Craig Kimbrel and Sean Marshall to the bullpen before the season starts.  But if not, here’s what we can expect from the current Continue reading Triple-R: The Bullpen

Tuesday notes

Football sucks, that is all. On (mostly) happier notes, pitchers and catchers report in less than a month, so let’s get caught up on the last minute developments as another too-long winter begins to wind to a close.

First and foremost, as you’re undoubtedly already aware, Jorge Posada will make his retirement official with an 11:00 A.M. press conference at Yankee Stadium today. When the Yankees traded Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda it opened up a hole at the DH spot in the lineup, creating a glimmer of possibility that Posada may indeed be able to return to the Bombers, but that’s obviously not going to happen now. Posada, much like Andy Pettitte last year, reportedly wasn’t feeling up for another turn through the grinder of a Major League Baseball season, and has decided to hang ’em up after 15 seasons with the Yankees. he finishes his career with a .273/.374/.474 slash line, 275 home runs, a 122 wRC+, four World Series championships as a regular, and a spot in Monument Park waiting for him.

If you have the chance, you can watch the press conference on YES. It will be the second such press conference in as many years, a streak I’d be happy to break next winter.

Speaking of Montero, he finally made it to Seattle for his physical, and The Trade is now official, but Brian Cashman may not be done yet, as he may prefer to fill the DH role via trade. This sounds good in theory, but I’m not sure how it would work in practice. A.J. Burnett isn’t likely to return any useful players unless the Yankees are willing to swallow the vast majority of the money left on the deal, which doesn’t seem likely. Freddy Garcia would have to consent before any deal could happen, and wouldn’t likely return anything better than what’s currently available on the free agent market. The minor leaguers left at Triple-A are interesting commodities, but how much are you really likely to get for low ceiling prospects with no big league experience?

All of which leaves Phil Hughes, who is going to be a hard piece to move right now. His value is likely down after his injury plagued 2011 campaign, and if the Yankees really do still see him as a starting pitcher, and if it’s going to be hard to a trade partner willing to do much more than take a flier on Hughes, you probably aren’t going to find anything better than what Hughes will be able to do for the team if he can get right. So if I had to parse this statement from Cashman, I’d guess that he’s mostly trying to scare the free agents on the market (Johnny Damon, perhaps?) into dropping their asking price and signing a deal before the Yankees fill the role with someone else. Continue reading Tuesday notes