The plot thickens for Yankee DH

I swear, sometimes following the Yankees is like reading a mystery novel. You find yourself piecing together shreds of evidence and jumping to conclusions on who the real killer is, or in this case who the next Yankee is. We all know Brian Cashman operates like a ninja, and for good reason. He can’t let details of free agent and trade targets leak, lest other teams (read the The Boston Red Sox) jump into the mix and jack up the price. But they will feed their media beast with tiny bits of info to fill up the tabloids and blogs Continue reading The plot thickens for Yankee DH

Brett Gardner’s value

Finally the most exciting part of the offseason, salary arbitration, has arrived.  Teams and agents get to place values on cost-controlled players too young to get free agency, and if they can’t reach an agreement, submit their offers to an objective panel of arbitrators.  The Yankees recently have reached agreements with several of their important young players, including David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, and Brett Gardner, for reasonably affordable contracts (1.6 million, 1.675 million, 3.2 million, and 2.8 million respectively). The arbitration process has been critiqued for not adequately rewarding the true value of the involved players, relying too Continue reading Brett Gardner’s value

Playing Around with Comps

A couple of days ago I decided to put my thoughts regarding the Michael Pineda for Jesus Montero deal down on paper and I got a lot of excellent feedback in the comment section. Originally I had no intention to do a follow-up post but an interesting exchange with a commenter, MJ Recanati, left me feeling as though I had not entirely justified my position. To sum up this exchange: In defending the wisdom of dealing a 1B/DH bat for a more proven starting pitcher, I stated that it was “difficult to imagine this deal going poorly” while “easy to Continue reading Playing Around with Comps

Just say “NO!” to the rotating DH

It seems like the idea of using a rotating designated hitter has been the white whale of Yankeedom over the last couple of seasons; always talked about but rarely actually seen. Unfortunately, now it’s not just beat writers and local pundits invoking it as an option for the Bombers, their slugging third baseman is touting its virtues as well:

Alex Rodriguez says that his offseason workouts are going well and that he plans to do most of his work helping the Yankees in the field, not as a designated hitter.

The 36-year-old Rodriguez told ESPN Deportes that he expects several players to help fill New York’s DH role this season, in the wake of last week’s trade that sent power-hitting prospect Jesus Montero to the Mariners.

“I think the vision for us as a team is now … you want the DH spot to be one that’s kind of a revolving door,” he said in the interview. “I think a lot of us at some point or another, in such a long season, are going occupy that spot. But for me, I’m really excited about playing third base.”

It can not be stated enough: there are few ideas more awful than the “rotating DH.” Sure, it sounds good on the surface. Get your old and expensive sluggers into the lineup while limiting their exposure in the field, thereby hopefully making the grind of the season a little easier on their aging bodies. The problem is that someone has to actually play those positions when the aging guys are DH’ing, which means that those bench players become starters. So, one way to look at this from the Yankees’ standpoint is to imagine that the rotating DH means that Eduardo Nunez is the Yankees’ DH, only he’s also playing the field where he’s arguably worse than he is at the plate.

The Yankees reportedly have about $1-2 million to spend on a DH, which should be plenty considering that they only really need to find a left-handed batter to platoon with Andruw Jones. No, Carlos Pena was never going to be had for that price, but as I said all along, Pena probably wasn’t going to sign up for that sort of role with the Yankees anyway and, sure enough, he’s going back to Tampa Bay where he’ll likely be the everyday first baseman. But Johnny Damon, Russell Branyan, and J.D. Drew are all viable options and should come cheaply (heck, I’d imagine the latter two could be signed to a minor league contract), and in the worst case scenario could easily be cut loose if they don’t pan out.

And if the old guys need a rest, just give them the full day off. I’d gladly take that trade off in exchange for keeping Nunez a part time player. Continue reading Just say “NO!” to the rotating DH

Who is Gerardo Concepcion?

So you’ve heard of Yoennis Cespedes, and you’ve heard of Jorge Soler, but have you heard of Gerardo Conception? He is the latest Cuban player to hit the hot stove news circuit after emerging as a free agent on Wednesday. Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes Los Angeles reported that the left-handed pitcher was scheduled to attend a training session at the Yankees’ Dominican camp on Thursday. Concepcion projects to be everything the Yankees value in young pitchers. At 17, he broke out in the Cuban National Series, winning rookie of the year for his 2010-2011 performance. In that season he Continue reading Who is Gerardo Concepcion?

More on Kuroda

What you see there is a fairly simple chart. That’s the overlay of Hirkoki Kuroda’s performance at Dodger Stadium onto Yankee Stadium III. The dark blue dots are home runs. The light blue dots are doubles. The orange dots are fly outs. Though Hiroki Kuroda is a ground ball pitcher, we can’t help but think that moving from cavernous Chavez Ravine to the Bronx could have a negative effect on his fly ball numbers. As RLYW noted in this post, the dimensions alone cannot be responsible for any sort of change: If dimensions were the only factor, the answer would Continue reading More on Kuroda

Charleston looks loaded for 2012

There has been and likely will continue to be a lot of great discussion surrounding the merits of the recent Michael Pineda–Jesus Montero deal, but I thought I would leave that topic largely alone in this post.  Instead, the less-publicized acquisition of teenage RHP Jose Campos got me thinking about the Yankee farm, and in particular, the highly impressive array of talent that will likely be suiting up for the Yankees’ low-A club, the Charleston Riverdogs, next season. Campos, who tore up the short-season Northwest League (equivalent to the New York-Penn League) for the Everett AquaSox is likely to be Continue reading Charleston looks loaded for 2012

Reminder: We’re looking for new writers

I’d like to extend a thank you to all of you who have expressed an interest in joining the staff at IIATMS, and if you want to write for us but haven’t yet sent an application, there’s still time to do so. Just email a cover letter and at least two writing samples to me by this Friday at the latest. If you have a particular area of expertise or topic you’re interested in writing about be sure to say so in your email. And if you haven’t published any baseball writing on the internet before that’s okay, but please type up at least one piece of original, baseball-related, material for the application. Continue reading Reminder: We’re looking for new writers

Jim Callis of BA on Yankee Prospects

The It’s About the Money blog scored a great interview with Baseball America’s Jim Callis. I recommend reading the whole thing. Some excerpts: Chip Buck:  While Michael Pineda‘s no longer a prospect, can you give us a preview for what we might be able to expect out of him playing in New York this year? Jim Callis:  Safeco Field is much more forgiving than Yankee Stadium, but that said, I think Pineda is going to win 15 games, strike out 200-plus batters and be New York’s second-best starter, behind only C.C. Sabathia. CB:  After being listed as Baseball America ’s 108th best prospect prior Continue reading Jim Callis of BA on Yankee Prospects