D-Rob Is Absolutely Worth Papelbon Money

D-Rob vs CIN

Courtesy of Getty Images

The silence remains deafening on the David Robertson front.  Since he rejected the Yankees’ qualifying offer there has been little to no reported activity on the 2 sides working on a new deal, and there hasn’t been much chatter on him on the rest of the hot stove rumor mill.  It appears as though the attachment of draft pick compensation has slowed the pace of pursuit for this offseason’s top free agent reliever.

The one bit of worthwhile (depending on how you look at it) information to come out on D-Rob was the recent report that he is seeking “Papelbon money” on the open market.  You’ll remember the record 4-year/$50 million deal Jonathan Papelbon signed with the Phillies during the 2011-2012 offseason, a deal that could vest into a 5-year/$63 mil one when all is said and done.

The general reaction I saw online to this report was that D-Rob was crazy for wanting that much and he would never get it.  …

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Group Chat: Would You Sell Half the Farm for Tulo?

Scott: Matt’s Yankees Shortstop Options post was depressing, and rumors are flying about possible trades for Elvis Andrus or Troy Tulowitzki, with one rumor suggesting that the Yankees could have Tulo for something like Luis Severino, Greg Bird, and Manny Banuelos. Would you take that deal, or something like it? I absolutely would. (1) Severino is great, with no red flags to date, but has only 25 IP at AA; it’s a long road yet to being a real MLB starter, much less the sort of #1-#2 starter you might regret giving up for a Tulo. (2) Bird has real holes in his game – rough at 1B (1 error every 10 games) and striking in 23% of PA in the low minors (bad but more a yellow than red flag); his 7 HR in 95 AB at AA, and great AFL showing, may signal exciting improvement, but to regret trading him for Tulo, he’d have to show continued progress.…

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Wilson-Cervelli: Quick Takes + a Worry about Lost Depth

Wow, is my timing awesome: on Tuesday, I write a hosanna to Francisco Cervelli’s bright 2015 future of increased Yankee playing time, but apparently Brian Cashman disagrees or (gasp) doesn’t read me, because he traded Cervelli the next day for LHP Justin Wilson. I feel like Karl Rove on election night 2012 screaming about how Romney is still winning right as his fellow Fox Newsers gave up the ghost. So, a few quick takes on the trade:

(1) Don’t Cry for Me, Venezuela. I praised Cervelli as an above-par catcher who could free up Brian McCann both to rest and to spell Teixeria — but I can’t fault Cashman for trading him. In retrospect, I may have lowballed Cervelli’s injury history, especially his 2014 migraines, which don’t seem major, except that migraines are a known problem for folks who have had concussions. I still think the Yankees were a better team with than without him, but he’s not exactly indispensable or reliable.…

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Cervelli > McCann?

Many are calling for the Yankees to trade a catcher, with Chad Jennings going as far as saying, “if there’s a team out there that values Cervelli as a potential starter, … that seems like the obvious way to go.” Last off-season, I strongly agreed: they’d just booked Brian McCann for five years; Francisco Cervelli was an able backup; J.R. Murphy and Austin Romine looked like MLB-ready depth; and a top prospect (Gary Sanchez) was hitting AA. Other than at SP, stockpiling redundant depth is a waste, especially at a position of scarcity like C: a player less valuable to his own team than to others is an undervalued asset who should move somewhere more needed; a more catcher-needy team could offer good value, like a 2B last offseason or a SS this one.

What a difference a year makes – and not in a good way. I still think trying to trade Murphy or Romine makes sense, but after OPS’ing in the 600s at AAA, they won’t fetch much.…

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Long term Max Scherzer is a big risk

(Syndicated from The Flagrant Fan)

Signing any player to a long term contract is a risk. Things rarely work out for the life of the deal. Sometimes the player is so good in the first few years of the deal that the back end evens out the worth of the investment. The risk seems even larger for Max Scherzer because, first, he is a pitcher and secondly, all you have to do is look at his teammate from Detroit as a cautionary tale.

Scherzer famously turned down a large offer from the Tigers to test the free agent waters. And it seems he has set himself up nicely with another ace-like season. The financial rewards of his roll of the dice will pay off handsomely. Someone will give him the money. But will they be happy with the investment?

Scherzer’s own teammate, Justin Verlander and American League rival, CC Sabathia seem to show the risks involved with signing up a talented power arm up beyond their peak seasons.…

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The Prospects Most Likely To Help At The Major League Level In 2015

No matter what you think the Yankees should do this offseason, which players you think they should sign and which players you think they shouldn’t sign, one thing we can all agree on is the need for them to get something from their farm system next season.  There’s been a lot of talk from the highest levels of the front office about how they need to get younger and need to get more from their prospects, but very little action in the way of roster building and playing time decisions to back up that talk.

Next season is the time for the actions to match the talk.  The Yankees have an aging, broken down group of veterans, a rotation full of injury risks, and a greater number of legitimate fill-in options at the upper levels of their system than they’ve had in recent years.  When guys start getting hurt, or before guys even start getting hurt, the focus for next year’s roster should be on supplementing or replacing them with some of the upper-tier prospect talent in place of cheap, washed up veteran bums.  …

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Was It Worth It?: Mark Teixeira

Teix Face

Seen way too much of this face the last few seasons. Courtesy of Getty Images

The biggest of the big anchor contracts in Yankeeland, the 10-year one for Alex Rodriguez, is cloudy in terms of the juice being worth the squeeze depending on how you factor in extra revenue and championships against all the negative headlines and declining production.  The next biggest deal, CC Sabathia‘s, was a little more clear in its worth.  Signing CC to lead a rotation desperately in need of an ace was the right decision.  It worked out splendidly for the first half of the contract before the decision to extend him was made and the move went sour thanks to injuries.

How about the “smallest” of the 3 contracts, Mark Teixeira‘s 8-year deal?  He signed it in the same offseason as CC, teaming up with him and the pitcher I’ve sworn never to name again to form the biggest Yankee free agent haul prior to last offseason.  …

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Was It Worth It?: CC Sabathia

CC vs BAL 2012

The big fella in more dominating times. Courtesy of William Perlman/The Star-Ledger

The top prizes of this year’s free agent crop are 2 upper-echelon starting pitchers in their early 30s.  They’re going to command a lot of money and they could command a lot of years from whatever team eventually lands them.  The Yankees are not expected to be seriously in the running for those 2 pitchers, in part because they’re feeling the effects of their own-long term contract they gave out to an upper-echelon starter in his early 30s.  CC Sabathia has been the ace of the staff in name since signing before the 2009 season, and the ace in production from 2009-2012.  He’s on the books for the next few years and may not be able to pitch a full season or pitch at all again.  So was it worth it?

The Deal- 8 years/$186 million, with a $25 million vesting option or a $5 million buyout for 2017.  …

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Was It Worth It?: Alex Rodriguez

A-Rod WS Parade

Insert joke about A-Rod being the devil here. Courtesy of Getty Images

Long-term contracts.  They’re the worst nightmare of owners, general managers, and fans alike, and no team in MLB is feeling the negative effects of them right now more than the New York Yankees.  It’s why they let Robbie Cano walk, it’s why they want to get under the luxury tax threshold to avoid paying so many extra tax dollars, and it’s why they’ve floundered at, around, or slightly above the mediocrity line for the last 2 seasons while still boasting annual payrolls north of $200 million.

When the offseason began and we threw the line out for post ideas, one of the reader suggestions was an analysis of the team’s long-term contracts and whether the players’ production in the early part of the deal was enough to make it worth it when they fell apart at the end of the deal.  This week I’m going to attempt to perform that analysis on the 3 big deals currently weighing the Yankee roster and payroll down like old, expensive anchors: Mark Teixeira‘s, CC Sabathia‘s, and A-Rod’s.…

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