The Offseason Officially Begins

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Say goodbye to the 2012 baseball season. The Giants completed their sweep of the Tigers last night, and brought the 2012 Commissioner’s trophy to San Francisco. Congratulations to them, but now it’s time to start analyzing the 2012 season in full. We plan to look at the players on the 2012 roster, what we’re left with during this offseason, and what they could do with the organization over the next few years.

Analysis of the past, present, and future makes the Hot Stove season one of the most more interesting times of the year. We’ll throw around an absurd amount of numbers, and of course some strategic/ridiculous trade and free agent signing proposals for 2013 and on.

Now that the last day of baseball was officially set, we have some dates to anticipate this fall.

Monday, October 29th: Eligible players are now free agents. From this point there is a five day negotiation period exclusive to their former team.… Click here to read the rest

World Series Game 4: Bring Out The Big Brooms

What a crazy playoffs. It started with some awful calls, then each of the Division Series going to 5 games, then a sweep of the Yankees, a 7 game NLCS that included a huge comeback from the Giants. Tonight, the red hot Giants try there to sweep Detroit and take home a championship.

Jackson CF
Berry LF
Cabrera 3B
Fielder 1B
Young DH
Dirks RF
Peralta SS
Laird C
Infante 2B

Pagan CF
Scutaro 2B
Sandoval 3B
Posey C
Pence RF
Belt 1B
Blanco LF
Theriot DH
Crawford SS

On the mound, Matt Cain and Max Scherzer duel it out.

With the way things have played out, I won’t even try to analyze this game. Enjoy.… Click here to read the rest

Fair value for Nick Swisher

What ever happens, Nick is going to make a lot of money next year.

Ask anyone who the best Yankee is and the answer will always be the same: Robinson Cano. Ask anyone who the second best Yankee is, however, and things get murkier. Some will say Derek Jeter. Others will say CC Sabathia. Few would say Nick Swisher, few except Fangraphs, that is. Your number two Yankee in terms of fWAR is none other than Nick Swisher.

Swisher wasn’t just the second best Yankee in terms of wins either. He was also number two on the team in wOBA (.363) and wRC+ (128). Throw in the fact that he also rates as a plus defender (he may look ugly doing it, but Swisher is better with the leather than folks realize) and Swisher is a solid, all around commodity.

The assumption among the fans this season has always been that Nick will leave the team as a free agent.… Click here to read the rest

Is Grandy a product of Yankee Stadium?

All or nothing at all...

One of the names being bandied about as a trade candidate this offseason is Curtis Granderson. It stands to reason. He was so useless down the stretch and in the playoffs that he wound up being benched during the ALCS. He only has one year left before hitting free agency, and with the new CBA rules he won’t garner a draft pick for his new team unless he’s traded this winter. That’s not much of a factor, the Yanks don’t make many (if any) midseason deals where they sell off a starting player. But the idea is something you at least have to investigate now as opposed to later if you’re Brian Cashman. He can publicly downplay trade talk all he likes, I don’t take those comments too seriously and chalk them up to positioning. Our own MJR looked at the idea of dealing Grandy last Sunday, but I’d like to explore a different angle.

The Yanks postseason failure was widely attributed to their all-or-nothing offense, lack of productive outs (tied for 10th in AL) and inability to advance runners (tied for 8th).… Click here to read the rest

Programming note

Obviously posting has been pretty light here over the past couple of days, but as I’m sure you’re all aware, there’s a tropical storm headed for the Northeast, and all of our editors are located from the Mid-Atlantic up through New England. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ve spent most of the past couple of days prepping to ride out the worst case scenario, and still have plenty of work to do before things get bad late tomorrow night. Posting should get back to normal whenever the power is back up and things are reasonably cleaned up down here. The most important thing, obviously, is staying safe, and I hope all of our friends/readers in the New York area in particular are doing just that. If you can, be sure to evacuate if you’re in a low lying area, and make sure you’ve got plenty of batteries/water/other necessities to get you through any outages. … Click here to read the rest

The Idea of Ichiro

Ichiro Suzuki‘s arrival in pinstripes always seemed surreal, even as the playoffs came and went (too soon). Perhaps it was his performance that lent to the lasting feeling of disbelief. While it was easy to assume that leaving Safeco Field and the more-than-feeble Seattle offense for the greener pastures of Yankee Stadium and the more potently rounded New York lineup (in which he wouldn’t be the focal point) would lead to an offensive improvement, few could have predicted the renaissance-style performance e put up as a Bomber.

In 67 games (240 plate appearances) for the Yanks, Ichiro hit .322/.340/.454, good for a .342 wOBA and a 114 wRC+. His IsoP with the team was .132; for posterity, his career high in IsoP is .133 (2005). In typical Ichiro fashion, he also stole 14 bases (though he was caught five times). While he was weak against the Orioles in the ALDS–his first playoff action since 2001–he was one of the only Yankees to have a pulse at the plate against the Tigers in the ALCS; in the four game series, he tallied six hits and a walk.… Click here to read the rest

Did Having To Play All The Way Through The Regular Season Hurt The Yankees?

Ain't no lineup changes that fix tired. Courtesy of the AP

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

Yesterday The other day I made a comment on our daily TYA email chain that it seemed like most of the blogopshere was caught in a no man’s land when it came to Yankee coverage now that the season was over.  The combination of such a one-sided postseason exit with what was otherwise a very strong season seems to have put everybody in a situation where they aren’t quite ready to go back and fully review 2012 and also aren’t quite ready to let it go and start looking towards this offseason and 2013.  Well if that’s the case then I’m just as guilty as everybody else, because I’ve had this idea jotted down for a couple weeks, even going back to the start of the postseason against Baltimore.

The general consensus was that playing hard through the end of the regular season would benefit the Yankees because they would still be mentally locked in and would not lose any momentum by having guys sit and rest down the stretch like they would if the division was already locked up. … Click here to read the rest

Building a bullpen without Mo

The Yankees got their first taste of life without Mariano Rivera this year, after the greatest closer of all time tore his ACL in Kansas City in early May. That was supposed to be something they didn’t have to repeat in 2013, but yesterday we learned that Rivera is having “second thoughts” about a return to the mound, even going so far as to share those thoughts with Brian Cashman. Having Mo call it quits would definitely be an emotional and psychological gut-shot for Yankee fans, but would would it mean for the team’s bullpen? Maybe not as much as you’d think.

Now, to be clear, the Yankees are obviously better with Rivera than without him, and the difference between Mo and the guy who would take his roster spot is enormous. The Yankees should absolutely hope that Rivera returns for at least one more season, I’m just saying that it wouldn’t be a catastrophe for the unit as a whole if they don’t have Rivera anchoring them next season.… Click here to read the rest