Lunchtime Links: Vernon Wells, more Vernon Wells and last place predictions

No, you weren’t dreaming and no, this isn’t shared nightmare by Yankee fans that we will all wake up from, sighing in relief and wiping the sweat from our brows, it is very real and it is not spectacular.

Vernon Wells is really going to be a Yankee – Bud Selig just has to approve the money exchanging hands – and this offseason has now officially hit rock bottom. (At least I hope so, there are six days left and anything can happen…)

As you can imagine there were a ton of articles, blog posts, rants, etc. written about this move. Most of them were of the negative variety. It even got so bad at one point that a well-known blogger/podcaster who happens to be a Kansas City Royals fan was making fun of the Yankees on Twitter. For a fan of a team that hasn’t sniffed the playoffs since I was in elementary school to make fun of the Yankees so viciously, the move has to be terrible, right?

In other news, Chien-Ming Wang returned to Yankees camp today. Pictures of him surfaced this morning from the beat writers on Twitter and in those pictures he was surrounded by the press.

“It’s like back in the day,” Wang said through an interpreter. “This was my first team, this is where I started. I feel great.”

I’m happy to see Wang, or “The Wanger” as Mike Mussina liked to call him, back in Pinstripes. I hope he can stay healthy and contribute to the last place New York Yankees (Just kidding).

Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger took a look at the projected lineup and, well, it’s not pretty.

Projected 2013 lineup

1. Brett Gardner (121 OPS+ in 16 games, 0.2 WAR)
2. Ichiro Suzuki (95, 1.6)
3. Robinson Cano (149, 8.2)
4. Kevin Youkilis (99, 1.3)
5. Travis Hafner (121, 0.7)
6. Vernon Wells (91, 0.5)
7. Juan Rivera (81, -0.9)
8. Eduardo Nunez (96, 0.3)
9. Francisco Cervelli (.657 OPS in Triple A)

2012 WAR total: 11.9

2012 lineup on April 6 against Tampa Bay

1. Derek Jeter (114 OPS+, 2.1 WAR)
2. Curtis Granderson (116, 2.7)
3. Robinson Cano (149, 8.2)
4. Alex Rodriguez (112, 2.0)
5. Mark Teixeira (116, 3.6)
6. Nick Swisher (126, 3.5)
7. Raul Ibanez (104, 0.3)
8. Russell Martin (92, 1.5)
9. Brett Gardner (121 in 16 games, 0.2)

2012 WAR total: 24.1

Our own Brad Vietrogoski also took a quick look at the Yankees’ lineup so if you missed it, check it out here. And Tamar Chalker previewed the Charleston RiverDogs which you can read right here.

Some odds and ends:

  • This is the last Monday without meaningful baseball for a really long time. So that’s a good thing.
  • I really hope the Yankees defy all reasonable logic and make the playoffs just so I can tell certain fans of certain teams to go somewhere not very nice.
  • And one last thing, is it just me or does this song sound better this way?

Happy Monday!

Stacey is co-Editor-in-Chief of It's About The Money and is co-host of the It's About The Yankees, Stupid podcast. When she's not blogging about baseball, she's blogging about the New York Knicks and when she's not doing either of those things, she's tweeting.

23 thoughts on “Lunchtime Links: Vernon Wells, more Vernon Wells and last place predictions

  1. I think the Yankees are for sure better than Baltimore. And probably Boston

    • srosegots

      I really wish they'd finish better than Toronto because that fan base has become entirely too mouthy this offseason. Haven't they learned from the Marlins last year and Boston and Philly two years ago? There's no offseason championship and the moves you make over the winter don't mean jack if you miss the playoffs.

  2. Scar

    Jeff Passan is a hack and nothing else. Sad he works for Yahoo because it's apparent he wishes he was part of the anti Yankee rhetoric of espn. I'm no fan of the Wells trade but holy shit slow down on the hyperbole.

    • srosegots

      Yeah, his piece was a bit much.

      I honestly don't think they'll finish in last place and that's not me wearing pinstriped glasses, it's just a gut feeling I have.

  3. Mike

    I don't get why the Yanx are not going with Mustelier at 3B (.324 / .378 / .588 this spring in 34 ABs) and Youk at 1B while Tex is out. Is Juan Rivera really going to be a better option? The only Yankee with higher OPS this spring than Mustelier is Youk.

    BTW, Vernon Wells brings his 1.112 spring training OPS to the Yanx and their dead last .673 OPS this spring. I know I was looking with rose-colored glasses with my previous comments, but now I'm just telling myself spring training is totally meaningful for Vernon Wells, but not the team overall.

    In the pitching staff we trust.

    • I'm hoping like hell that Wells is rejuvenated.

      • Maybe he's on the juice

        • srosegots

          Well, duh, he's a Yankee now ;)

  4. jay_robertson

    NICE Seinfeld reference.

    I too, am pretty pumped to see Wang back on the team – no matter how many new guys SAY they're happy to be in pinstripes, I believe Wang.

  5. Bill

    Last I looked, it was a 162 game season. With a healthy pitching staff that has a pretty good resume, that should at least keep them competitive. Granted this lineup is not going to score 900 runs, but at the same time it's not going to score 600. If the pitching performs to expectations, there's no reason this team can't win in the high 80s to around 90. Which might very well be enough to win this division. Every team in the East has shortcomings that will prevent anyone from running away. Whether it's Toronto's bullpen, Baltimore's rotation, the Rays offensive woes and the Red Sox in retooling mode, I'm thinking we should all just let this play out. Sure the Yanks could finish last, but if enough people get healthy or improve just a little bit, they easily could finish first. Been a long time since there's been this much uncertainty, but we all have been spoiled for the better part of two decades now. Having lived through the Horace Clarke era (and the 1982-92 period of ineptitude), this team is a whole lot better than that era.

  6. Norm

    I love how these "sportswriters" make predictions before the season starts that have no basis in reality. Wasn't it these very same pundits that were predicting two years ago Boston was a lock to win every thing? Personally, I think I'll wait until June or July before I start wondering if they'll finish first or last.

  7. chris

    These predictions might be good if the team that hits the field in April is the team on the field in August. Assuming injuries rebound in form, the Yanks look to have Tex, Jeter, Arod and Grandy all back in the starting lineup at varying points between May and late July with the possibility that Pineda could come back as well. Not sure that any team in the AL East has a deeper rotation or better bullpen at this point either. All the Yanks need to do between now and the all-star break is tread water and, if those guys come back, they should make the playoffs.

  8. Jim

    I thought rumors this spring about the Yankees demise were way over hyped.

    Good teams find a way to over come spring injuries. Last year Detroit lost Austin Jackson (yes THAT Austin Jackson) for several weeks but some AAAA player, Quinton Berry, came up, hit like hell for a few weeks and generally kept the Tigers in it while A-Jax was on the shelf.

    The Yankees ALWAYS find a way around injuries and I really expected them to this time. I thought Brennan Boesch might find new life in New York and smack a few home runs in April and May and help keep the Yanks in it tell the rest of the boys got back. My HOPE was that the Yankees would still be searching for their butt with both hands when they play the Tigers early on.

    But the Vernon Wells contract has me scratching my head. What the hell is Brian Cashman or the Steinbrenner Boys thinking? This one makes no sense at all. They just HELPED the Angels win their division and saved them 8 million in salary they would have had to eat when they released Wells next week.

    This infatuation with veterans is amazing. It gives me an idea. Need a shortstop til Jeter comes back? Take Ramon Santiago and his 2 milion dollar salary. He is a switch hitter that can catch the ball. – The Tigers will probably pay half his salary if you pay the other half.

  9. oldpep

    I think the Wells trade was a terrible move, but I don't see how it affects where the Yankees finish this season. Nobody that was going to contribute has left the organization because of it.
    Nice to get good news on Pineda, and Wang is one of my favorites.

  10. Duh Innings

    ENOUGH WITH ALL THE ARTICLES ABOUT/BEMOANING THE YANKEES OFFENSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Baseball is a three-facet game: offense, defense, and…drum roll please…PITCHING with pitching the most important.

    The Yankees have hands down the best pitching including the best ace, 1-2 rotation punch, closer, and depth in the league thus the second, third, or fourth best pitching staff in baseball.

    The Yanks will be FOUR DEEP in the fifth starter slot when Hughes comes off the disabled list and Pineda is done with rehab as follows:

    Sabathia/Kuroda/Pettitte/Hughes/Nova with Wang, Phelps, Pineda, and Warren

    The Yanks will be FOUR DEEP in the last slot in the bullpen when Rapada comes off the disabled list as follows:

    Rivera/Robertson/Aardsma/Logan/Chamberlain/Kelley/Rapada with Phelps, Eppley, Montgomery, and Nuno.

    Granderson will be back in mid-May. Hopefully Vernon Wells can channel his mid 2000s self for a month.

    The Yanks lost 21 homeruns with Martin signing elsewhere? Ok, well let's see if Cervelli could pop 7 HR, Stewart 3 HR for 10 HR from the catchers and Cano can show he's an 8-year $25M a year, $200M player by finally slamming 40 HR, a 7 HR improvement from last year for 17 HR between the catchers and him, a loss of only 5 HR from 2012 Cano/Martin/Stewart – big deal. Cano is fully capable of hitting 40 HR and I believe he'd have posted at least 37 HR and 100 RBI had he hit better with RISP last year.

    I think Suzuki, Boesch, and Francisco could combine for the 24 HR and 93 RBI Swisher posted last year.

    Youkilis is capable of posting his 2012 HR and RBI with say 20-25 points more on his 2012 BA.

    Hafner is capable of posting Ibanez's 2012 HR and RBI with a better slashline and someone else could be a postseason hero. How 'bout Cano for his 2012 postseason flopjob?

    If Teixiera is out for the year, I am fine with say 17 HR and 64 RBI from the first baseman considering the price of Rivera ($2M) and I guess Youkilis ($12M) compared to Teixiera's $22.5M.

  11. mcmastro

    Can we please stop this last place talk. I don't get how the Yankees rotation is not being considered AT ALL, along with a bullpen that will consist of Mo and Robertson. I understand, the lineup isn't optimal RIGHT NOW, but Gardner, Ichiro, Jeter, Cano, and Youk are really good hitters. Also, at the very least, Mustelier, Rivera, and (albeit just recently) Nunez are all having good springs and should be able to contribute to the offensive production.

    I side with Yogi when he said Nunez should get 500 AB's this year. He can hit and run, and having him, Gardner, and Ichiro in the lineup should wreck some havoc for the opposing teams.

    But Granderson will come back for certain, and most likely Tex will come back in a month. Even if Tex is out for the year, if the Rays compete every year with their huge lack of offense, i don't see why the Yankees couldn't do it with guys like Jeter, Cano, Ichiro, Granderson, Gardner, and Youk.

  12. jay_robertson

    Guys, Girls, everyone – the only reason that there are Last Place predictions is that you can't go any lower than that.

    DJ is now predicted to be out until May. Or later. Yeah – our pitchers (that bunch of youngsters) should have no problem keeping things within 1 run for every game until June. Of 2015.

    I like someone's reminder that 34-yr old Wells is younger than EIGHT other Yankees players.

    No WAY is this team too old. Or too injury prone.

    I'm reckoning 104 wins (based upon the 2003 performance of our roster) and best record in baseball.

    Should anyone actually be buying that, I'll throw in a bridge and a shortstop cheap.

    • mcmastro

      Pettitte had a fluke injury last year and Kuroda stayed healthy all year. Sabathia is a workhorse. Nova, Hughes, and Phelps battling it out means the Yankees will have at least 1 reserve starter,and when Pineda comes back with his stuff, look out.

      I have not heard at all that Jeter will be out till May. source please?

      Wells is not the teams outfielder all season, just for a month.

      • jay_robertson

        ESPN – base upon the fact that he had more undisclosed treatment today – actually, I WAS being a pessimist. The actual prediction (prediction – nothing is set in stone except death and taxes) was LATE April or into May.

  13. Dropped Third

    People need to back off the ledge. Wells is not costing us prospects, money towards the 189m budget, or playing time for superior players (All our options suck). The 13 million they are spending towards his contract will be close to a wash because the WBC will be paying Tex's salary as long as he is injured. For every month he is injured the Yankees will avoid paying 3.5 million.

    Now the rotation looks pretty solid and the team is deep with starters and relievers for that matter. The offense is just going to not have to kill us until players start getting healthy. If the Yankees can play 500. ball till june and keep players off the DL, this team has a very good shot at playing october baseball.

  14. uyf1950

    Not sure this is a reliable source but according to Wally Matthews over at ESPN.com the Wells deal is done and Wells is in camp, has a locker and a number #56. I wish him and the Yankees much success in 2013 and 2014.

  15. uyf1950

    According to MLBTR here are the prospects the Angles received in exchange for Wells:

    Angels Receive Cayones, Sneed In Vernon Wells Deal
    By Tim Dierkes [March 26 at 1:46pm CST]
    The Angels received a pair of prospects in the Vernon Wells deal, tweets Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio and ESPN: outfielder Exicardo Cayones, and lefty reliever Kramer Sneed.

  16. uyf1950

    According to what's Cot's is now showing I get where the Yankees are paying:
    $12MM of the salary in 2013 and just $1MM of it in 2014

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