About EJ Fagan

E.J. Fagan been blogging about Yankee baseball since 2006. He is a Ph.D. student at University of Texas at Austin.

New CBA May Effectively Contain Yankee Payroll

Hat tip River Ave Blues. From Joel Sherman: So maybe they will break again this time. But as an organization, they are saying they are driven to have a payroll of $189 million or less in 2014 when that becomes the luxury tax threshold. Because the incentives that come via the new CBA are just too great for them to ignore. For if they are at $189 million or less for the three seasons from 2014-16, they not only avoid paying one cent in luxury tax, which would rise to 50 percent for them as repeat offenders, but they also Continue reading New CBA May Effectively Contain Yankee Payroll

The "Break the CBA" IFA Option

Amid news that the money available to the near-hard capped draft will be a bit lower than expected, I wrote yesterday that the Yankees should pin their hopes, and their money, on a free agency strategy. I admit that a much more creative option did not come to mind until SEHumphrey made the following comment: I’ve been thinking about the CBA a bit, and it to me that it has limited negative effect on the Yankees. In particular, the international signings seem like a place where they can really just destroy the other teams with limited consequences. Honestly, this could Continue reading The "Break the CBA" IFA Option

Part 2: A New Yankee Strategy Post-CBA

Last week, I voiced my complaints about the new CBA. It’s a horrible document that will harm baseball, but it’s a document that is now baseball reality. The Yankees have to learn to live with it, and need to readjust their strategy to win in the new environment. The Yankees have a pretty difficult goal: perennial contention. They want to make the playoffs 90% of the time, and have a shot at the World Series. They do not go into rebuilding mode, and will almost never be sellers at the trade deadline. I think we have a pretty good handle on Brian Continue reading Part 2: A New Yankee Strategy Post-CBA

New CBA Prospect Rules Part 1: Why It's The Worst Possible System, and Why It Happened

By now, you’re probably a little bit familiar with the new CBA deal. Outside of the new rules for international signings and the draft, it’s a pretty good document. Some long-needed things like a defense for gay and lesbian players, HGH testing, 26-man Doubleheader rosters, luxury tax tweaks and changes to the free agent compensation system. That’s all great. I’d be very happy if that’s all they did. But the MLB and MLBPA decided to go ahead and do a horrible thing for baseball instead. They neutered the MLB player development process. Here’s what they did: De-Facto Hard Slotting. Each team Continue reading New CBA Prospect Rules Part 1: Why It's The Worst Possible System, and Why It Happened

Finally Caving: Seriously, Don't Overcommit to Yoenis Cespedes

I’ve been resisting writing about Yoenis Cespedes for some time now. His workout video was a truly epic undertaking, and his name started to receive a lot of buzz. The Yankees were rumored to be interested in him. And now, MLB teams appear to be ready to make offers to the soon-to-be free agent. From MLB Trade Rumors: MONDAY, 10:28am: The $35-50MM estimate for Cespedes may be light, a GM tells Gammons.  Cespedes’ people told one club they already have an offer with $10MM up front and eight years. FRIDAY, 3:46pm: Cespedes may be looking to obtain more than $60MM on Continue reading Finally Caving: Seriously, Don't Overcommit to Yoenis Cespedes

Hard Cap/Floor On International Signings is the Worst Possible System

Hat Tip River Ave Blues for the Twitter Link: @MelissaSeguraSI Source: New MLB CBA said to include a hard cap and a floor for international signings. Unclear when it would go into effect. Obviously, the details are a little light now. If the floor is low enough and the cap is high enough, this might be very little different from the status quo. But considering that some numbers in the $2.5 million range for the hard cap were floated around last week, I think we can all assume that a weak cap is unlikely. I can’t imagine a worse system – Continue reading Hard Cap/Floor On International Signings is the Worst Possible System

The All True Yankee Team

Chris over at Beyond the Box Score introduced the All-True Dodgers team, comprised of players who played their entire career with the Dodgers, determined by WAR. My first reaction looking at the team was, “Not bad, decent pitching staff, but the Yankees would hose them.” What would an all true Yankee team look like? C Billy Dickey 1b Lou Gehrig 2b Robinson Cano (Tony Lazzeri played a few games outside the organization) SS Derek Jeter 3b Gil McDougald LF Joe DiMaggio CF Mickey Mantle RF Bernie Williams DH Don Mattingly BN Phil Rizzuto BN Roy White BN Jorge Posada BN Continue reading The All True Yankee Team

The Yankees and Excess Capacity

The notion that the Yankees are playing by a different playbook than the other 29 teams when putting together their baseball team has been tossed around the blogopshere a lot recently. David Cameron at Fangraphs said it as well as I’ve ever read before on Friday: Not that this is any real surprise, but the Yankees don’t have a payroll limit, they have a “target area”. Ownership probably wouldn’t go for a $300 million payroll, but as long as Cashman can make a compelling case that there’s value to be had in spending a bit more money, he has the Continue reading The Yankees and Excess Capacity

Nationals Catcher Wilson Ramos Kidnapped

From MLB.com: WASHINGTON — Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was kidnapped in Venezuela on Wednesday night, according to multiple reports from the player’s home country. The Nats have not commented on or confirmed the reports. Ramos, who was playing for Tigres de Aragua in Venezuela’s Winter League, was taken from his home in Santa Ines by four armed gunmen on Wednesday evening, said Kathe Vilera, the Tigres’ spokeswoman, through the team’s Twitter account. These kidnappings are almost always economically motivated, and with luck that will help Ramos’ chances of eventually being released unharmed. Major League Baseball has seen some family members Continue reading Nationals Catcher Wilson Ramos Kidnapped