Sayonara Andruw?

Via NPB Tracker, it appears that Andruw Jones may be taking his talents to a whole new country in 2013. Nikkan Sports is reporting that the outfielder, who spent the last two seasons in the Bronx, has agreed to play for the Rakuten Golden Eagles for $3.5 million this coming season. If true, it’s a pretty interesting turn for a player with a borderline Hall of Fame case like Jones to take, as it sees like most of those kinds of players (*cough* Johnny Damon *cough*) do whatever they can to hang around and compile counting stats. I certainly can’t think of any who have spent their twilight years playing in another country, especially when there’s a decent chance he could have landed at least a Spring Training invite stateside.

Of course, that almost certainly wasn’t going to come with the Yankees. Jones was a surprisingly valuable player back in 2011, especially in the second half when he absolutely destroyed left handed pitching, but he was just as utterly useless last season. He always drew rave reviews for his clubhouse presence, however, and I’m not entirely sure he doesn’t have at least a little bit of life left in his bat, so assuming this report is true I’m glad to see him land on his feet in a spot he’s presumably comfortable with. Continue reading Sayonara Andruw?

Jayson Nix clears waivers, accepts Triple-A assignment

Jayson Nix was re-signed last week for $900K and was immediately designated for assignment. It was agreed that if he cleared waivers, he’d accept an assignment to Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barres. Well, he cleared waivers and while he won’t be on the 40-man roster, he will still be with the organization.

Nix batted .243/.306/.384/.690 with four home runs and 18 RBI in 74 games with the Yankees in 2012. Continue reading Jayson Nix clears waivers, accepts Triple-A assignment

2012 Statistical Trends: Ivan Nova’s XBH Allowed

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod) Last week I looked at Robinson Cano‘s disconcerting decline in production against left-handed pitching this past season, and what might have been the cause for the change.  This week I’d like to do the same thing with another negative 2012 trend, that being Ivan Nova‘s insanely high number of extra base hits allowed. Hopes were high for Nova in 2012 after his strong finish to 2011.  And in plain English he just flat out sucked this season.  There’s no other way to say it.  Despite setting new career bests in Continue reading 2012 Statistical Trends: Ivan Nova’s XBH Allowed

Was Marvin Miller bad for players? #Slatepitch

On Wednesday, Hippeaux linked to this piece written by Dan Rosenheck at The Economist that purports to counter the “hagiography” that has followed the death of MLBPA pioneer Marvin Miller. The basis of the charges: that Miller didn’t care about the rank and file baseball players, be it union members with less service time or non-union minor leaguers and even amateurs. The supposed proof for this is that today’s salaries are largely concentrated amongst the “elite” players, with a far smaller share of the pie concentrated amongst the masses. The raw data is interesting, I guess, but I don’t really agree with the conclusions drawn. Furthermore, I’m going to respectfully but forcefully disagree with my colleague and say that not only is Rosenheck’s premise not “compelling,” but rather obvious hogwash.

First of all, let’s take what is supposed to be the damning accusation here, that the free agent pricing mechanism is irrational because it unevenly distributes salary dollars, and note that this simply isn’t true. Instead, as commenter RandyH notes, a rationally functioning market should funnel more money to the top, since limits on the number of players you can have on your active roster means that one 6 WAR player is quite a bit more value than the combined worth of three 2 win players. Granted, Hippeaux is right to note that this isn’t exactly how the market is pricing talent (we’ll get to that in a minute), but if we’re working on the theoretical plain without any messy complications, this is more or less how it should happen. Now, on to Rosenheck.

(click “view full post” to continue reading) Continue reading Was Marvin Miller bad for players? #Slatepitch

Winter Meetings Day Four Wrap Up

I’m sure you know by now that the Yankees didn’t make a transaction during the Winter Meetings, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t productive. Yesterday was the final day of negotiations in Nashville, and although they left with one more need, a vacant third base, it wasn’t necessarily a failure. Signings The Braves agreed to a one-year deal with outfielder Reed Johnson. Koji Uehara and the Red Sox agreed to a one-year deal worth $4.25 million. The Cubs had agreed to re-sign third baseman Ian Stewart to a one-year $2 million contract with incentives. The deal also has some sort Continue reading Winter Meetings Day Four Wrap Up

Someone from the Yankees checked out Josh Hamilton

This is just a very, very strange report from Bob Nightengale:

I say it’s strange because, well, why is someone other than the GM doing this? After all, yesterday the story was that Cashman lacked the authority to make any offers at the Winter Meetings because ownership was already clamping down on their payroll spending, and now today someone other than Cashman (so presumably someone above Cashman’s head) is running a background check on the top position player on the free agent market? Talk about night and day.

Of course, checking up on someone isn’t the same thing as being all that interested in signing him, and I would still put the odds that Hamilton lands with the Yankees at somewhere between slim and none. Then again, there is a distinctly similar feel to the way the Mark Teixeira signing went down: a middle of the order bat the Yankees could certainly use just sitting in limbo on the free agent market, with no one seemingly making a particularly strong push to sign him. That gave the Yankees the chance to come in and swoop up Tex, and I suppose the Yankees could do the same thing here with Hamilton. Conversely, if no one is enthusiastic about giving Hamilton the 4-5 year deal he wants right now, maybe the Yankees ar just seeing if he can be had on a shorter term contract.

Either way, the picture we’re getting of the team’s front office right now is really the most interesting thing going in Yankeedom. Unless it’s all a Hot Stove smoke screen, it would appear from here that Cashman has less authority now than he has in recent years. Continue reading Someone from the Yankees checked out Josh Hamilton

1 Year-Deals and the Soft Yankee-Style Rebuild

By now, you’ve probably heard that the Yankees sent Kevin Youkilis a 1-year, $12 million offer to play 3rd next year. Given that Youkilis’s next best rumored offer is a 2-year deal for not much more money, it should be pretty obvious what the Yankee strategy is: use their financial advance to load up on 1-year deals, instead of signing costly free agents. The Yankees are about to have a ton of surplus resources. Once the soft cap is in place, they will be forced to limit their spending below their optimal level. However, they have one year to spend Continue reading 1 Year-Deals and the Soft Yankee-Style Rebuild