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.… Click here to read the rest

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. … Click here to read the rest

2012 Statistical Trends: Ivan Nova’s XBH Allowed

This year he really was Ivan The Terrible

(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 starts (28), IP (170.1), K rate (20.5%, 8.08/9), and BB rate (7.5%, 2.96/9), Nova’s season was defined by his 5.02/4.60 ERA/FIP split and the never-ending barrage of XBH flying off of opposing bats that led to those high values.  Nova’s 87 XBH allowed were head and shoulders above his closest competition, not the type of league-leading black ink you want on your stats ledger, but the changes in his K and BB numbers suggests this shouldn’t have been the case. … Click here to read the rest

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.… Click here to read the rest

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

Trades

Click here to read the rest

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.… Click here to read the rest

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 a whole bunch of money, anticipating that they are spending future surplus resources, and giving the team some breathing room.

I’m of the opinion that this Yankee team is badly in need of a rebuild. Normally, the Yankees would do this (see the post-2008 offseason) by going out and spending a bunch of money, swinging a few trades, and promoting some prospects to the majors.… Click here to read the rest