Is Ellsbury Worth It?

Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

After negotiations with Robinson Cano turned bleak following the Mariners’ hefty offer, the Yankees hastily targeted Jacoby Ellsbury before his price skyrocket. Not only was Ellsbury stepping in at a position where the Yankees already had an great player, but the decision to sign Ellsbury over Cano neglected the middle infield in a shallow free agent market. Like-wise, Ellsbury’s bat had little chance to replace Cano’s offense.

In the end, the Yankees saved a guaranteed $87 million by choosing Ellsbury over Cano, and that extra money helped them sign Carlos Beltran and may have impacted their ability to outbid other teams on Masahiro Tanaka. Through the first quarter of 2014, Ellsbury and Cano have similarly disappointed offensively. Ellsbury currently owns a .756 OPS, while Cano’s OPS has fallen to .772. Of course, Cano is playing in a much more difficult environment in Seattle, one that’s now held him to just one home run.

There had to be some hope in the minds of the Yankee front office that Ellsbury would find the power stroke he displayed in 2011.…

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State of the Budget: BUSTED!

Since our update last week, the Yankees have settled on contracts for their arbitration eligible players. They also signed the biggest remaining free agent, Masahiro Tanaka. Unfortunately for you budget lovers, (if any of you still exist) this brings the Yankees budget to some deep and dark places.

25-Man Roster

1- C: Brian McCann (5/$85MM) $17.000MM
2- 1B: Mark Teixeira (8/$180MM) $22.500MM
3- 2B: Brian Roberts (1/$2MM) $2.000MM + $2.600MM Bonuses
4- 3B: Kelly Johnson (1/$3MM) $3MM
5- SS: Derek Jeter (1/$12.81MM) $12.810MM + $7.000MM Bonuses
6- LF: Jacoby Ellsbury (8/$169MM) $21.125MM
7- CF: Brett Gardner (Arb 3) $5.600MM
8- RF: Alfonso Soriano (8/$136MM) $17.000MM*
9- DH: Carlos Beltran (3/$45MM) $15.000MM
10- BN: Brendan Ryan (3/$5MM) $1.667MM
11- BN: Eduardo Nunez (Min) $0.511MM
12- BN: Ichiro Suzuki (2/$13MM) $6.500MM
13- BN: Francisco Cervelli (Arb 1) $0.700MM
14- SP1: CC Sabathia (5/$122MM) $24.400MM
15- SP2: Hiroki Kuroda (1/$16MM) $16.00MM + $0.500MM Bonuses
16- SP3: Masahiro Tanaka (7/$155MM) $22.143MM
17- SP4: Ivan Nova (Arb 1) $3.300MM
18- SP5: Michael Pineda (Min) $0.511MM
19- CL: David Robertson (Arb 3) $5.215MM
20- RP: Shawn Kelley (Arb 2) $1.765MM
21- RP: Preston Claiborne (Min) $0.511MM
22- RP: David Phelps (Min) $0.511MM
23- RP: Adam Warren (Min) $0.511MM
24- RP: Matt Thornton (2/$7MM) $3.500MM
25- RP: Cesar Cabral (Min) $0.511MM

Guaranteed: $204.291MM
Bonuses: $10.100MM

40-Man Roster

26- SP: Manny Banuelos (Min) $0.041MM
27- SP: Nik Turley (Min) $0.041MM
28- SP: Vidal Nuno (Min+) $0.082MM
29- SP: Jose Ramirez (Min) $0.041MM
30- SP: Shane Greene (Min) $0.041MM
31- SP Jose Campos (Min) $0.041MM
32- RP: Dellin Betances (Min+) $0.082MM
33- RP: Bryan Mitchell (Min) $0.041MM
34- C: Austin Romine (Min+) $0.082MM
35- C: Gary Sanchez (Min) $0.041MM
36- C: J.R.

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Getting Below 189

In my latest update to the budget situation on Wednesday, I had the Yankees’ payroll sitting at $185.718 million before $10.1 million in bonuses. The team has since agreed to a $700,000 deal with Francisco Cervelli, which was $300,000 less than was projected, a $5.6 million deal with Brett Gardner, $1.6 million more than projected, a $1.765 million deal with Shawn Kelley which includes a potential $25,000 bonus, $265,000 more than projected, and finally a $5.215 million agreement with David Robertson, which is $285,000 less than projected. So at $186.998 million guaranteed, and with a large sum of incentives sitting in limbo, the team’s roster is dangerously close to exceeding the luxury tax in 2014. In fact, when you add in a cushion for some potential mid-season acquisitions, the Yankees really have no shot at $189 million with this lineup.

I obviously don’t have any outside knowledge, but I find myself bracing for disappointment this offseason. As a Yankee fan, I would love to see the team go back up to $230 million, which was the starting payroll in 2013.…

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State of the Budget: 1/15/14

Since our last budget update, Alex Rodriguez was officially suspended for the 2014 season, the Yankees added Ellsbury and Beltran to their roster, while they also landed Roberts and Thornton. The majority of the 40 man roster was set, Wells was designated for assignment, and a handful of players filed for arbitration. And yet, the last month has felt fairly quiet up until the last week of Rodriguez news. Now that we know that most of his money is off the books, we can take a more definitive look at the state of the Yankees budget and just how doable that $189 million goal really is.

25-Man Roster

1- C: Brian McCann (5/$85MM) $17.000MM
2- 1B: Mark Teixeira (8/$180MM) $22.500MM
3- 2B: Brian Roberts (1/$2MM) $2.000MM + $2.600MM Bonuses
4- 3B: Kelly Johnson (1/$3MM) $3MM
5- SS: Derek Jeter (1/$12.81MM) $12.810MM + $7.000MM Bonuses
6- LF: Jacoby Ellsbury (8/$169MM) $21.175MM
7- CF: Brett Gardner (Arb 3) $4.000MM
8- RF: Alfonso Soriano (8/$136MM) $17.000MM*
9- DH: Carlos Beltran (3/$45MM) $15.000MM
10- BN: Brendan Ryan (1/$2MM) $2.000MM
11- BN: Eduardo Nunez (Min) $0.511MM
12- BN: Ichiro Suzuki (2/$13MM) $6.500MM
13- BN: Francisco Cervelli (Arb 1) $1.000MM
14- SP1: CC Sabathia (5/$122MM) $24.400MM
15- SP2: Hiroki Kuroda (1/$16MM) $16.00MM + $0.500MM Bonuses
16- SP3: Ivan Nova (Arb 1) $2.800MM
17- SP4: David Phelps (Min) $0.511MM
18- SP5: Michael Pineda (Min) $0.511MM
19- CL: David Robertson (Arb 3) $5.500MM
20- RP: Shawn Kelley (Arb 2) $1.500MM
21- RP: Preston Claiborne (Min) $0.511MM
22- RP: Dellin Betances (Min) $0.511MM
23- RP: Adam Warren (Min) $0.511MM
24- RP: Matt Thornton (2/$7MM) $3.500MM
25- RP: Cesar Cabral (Min) $0.511MM

Guaranteed: $181.262MM
Bonuses: $10.100MM

40-Man Roster

26- SP: Manny Banuelos (Min) $0.040MM
27- SP: Nik Turley (Min) $0.040MM
28- SP: Vidal Nuno (Min+) $0.080MM
29- SP: Jose Ramirez (Min) $0.040MM
30- SP: Shane Greene (Min) $0.040MM
31- SP Jose Campos (Min) $0.040MM
32- RP: David Huff (Min+) $0.080MM
33- RP: Bryan Mitchell (Min) $0.040MM
34- C: Austin Romine (Min+) $0.080MM
35- C: Gary Sanchez (Min) $0.040MM
36- C: J.R.

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Project 189: Wrapping It Up

Over the last couple of weeks, a number of writers here at IIATMS/TYA have each completed a project where we act as General Manager and attempt to build our best teams under $189 million. The goal was not to predict the offseason, and it wasn’t to tell Cashman what he should or shouldn’t do, but to explore the possibilities with the $189 million budget. The point was to stir discussion about free agents or trade targets, and how they could fit into the Yankees’ future plans. With 6 rosters accounted for, let’s reexamine each one.

Run Prevention And Bat Flips (Michael Eder)

Signed: C Brian McCann (5/$80MM), 2B Robinson Cano (8/$180MM), 3B Juan Uribe (2/$12MM), RF Shin-Soo Choo (6/$100MM), SP Masahiro Tanaka (6/$56MM)

The goal of my team was to focus on acquiring bats and gloves. There’s currently little depth in terms of young major league-ready position players, but the team has quite a few middle tier relievers and starters. By creating a roster with impeccable infield defense (Brendan Ryan and Uribe on the left side), an extremely solid outfield, and one of the best pitch framing and plate blocking catchers in the game, I’m hoping that the team finds a couple of solid ground ball inducing pitchers out of guys like David Phelps, Adam Warren, Vidal Nuno, Manny Banuelos, Michael Pineda, and so on.…

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Project 189: Dingers, Dingers….and more Dingers

1- CBrian McCann (5/$85MM) $17.000MM
2- 1B: Mark Teixeira (8/$180MM) $22.500MM
3- 2BRobinson Cano (8/$180MM) $22.500MM
4- 3BJuan Uribe (2/$12MM) $6.000MM
5- SS: Brendan Ryan (1/$2MM) $2.000MM
6- LF: Alfonso Soriano (8/$136MM) $17.000MM
7- CF: Brett Gardner (Arb 3) $4.000MM
8- RF: Nelson Cruz (3/$39MM) $13.000MM
9- DH: Derek Jeter (1/$12.81MM) $12.810MM + $7.000MM Bonuses
10- BN: Vernon Wells (7/$126MM) $18.000MM
11- BN: Eduardo Nunez (Min) $0.511MM
12- BN: Ichiro Suzuki (2/$13MM) $6.500MM
13- BN: Francisco Cervelli (Arb 1) $1.000MM
14- SP1: CC Sabathia (5/$122MM) $24.400MM
15- SP2: Ivan Nova (Arb 1) $2.800MM
16- SP3Masahiro Tanaka (6/$56MM) $9.334MM
17- SP4: David Phelps (Min) $0.511MM
18- SP5: Michael Pineda (Min) $0.511MM
19- CL: David Robertson (Arb 3) $5.500MM
20- RP: Shawn Kelley (Arb 2) $1.500MM
21- RP: Preston Claiborne (Min) $0.511MM
22- RP: Dellin Betances (Min) $0.511MM
23- RP: Adam Warren (Min) $0.511MM
24- RP: Vidal Nuno (Min) $0.511MM
25- RP: Jesse Crain (3/$3.5MM) $3.500MM

Total: $199.921MM

40-Man Roster

26- SP: Manny Banuelos (Min) $0.040MM
27- SP: Nik Turley (Min) $0.040MM
28- SP: Brett Marshall (Min+) $0.080MM
29- SP: Jose Ramirez (Min) $0.040MM
30- SP: Shane Greene (Min) $0.040MM
31- SP Jose Campos (Min) $0.040MM
32- RP:  Cesar Cabral (Min+) $0.080MM
33- RP: Matt Daley (Min+) $0.080MM
34- RP: David Huff (Min+) $0.080MM
35- C: Austin Romine (Min+) $0.080MM
36- C: Gary Sanchez (Min) $0.040MM
37- C: J.R.

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Project 189: Spreading The Wealth

The latest chapter in the A-Rod/MLB saga stole the show yesterday and with good reason.  When something this big reaches the level of absurdity that it did and when Mike Francesa gets added to the mix, that’s a situation that deserves everyone’s full attention.

But if in the wave of A-Rod reports you happened to miss the start of the IIATMS/TYA “Project 189″ series yesterday, please stop reading this immediately, scroll down the page a bit, and catch up on that because you’re missing out if you don’t.  The series is the brainchild of Michael Eder, who wanted to know what kind of team that Yankees could go out and build while still trying to stay under the luxury tax threshold if they didn’t have A-Rod’s salary on the books next year.  That looks like an even greater possibility than it already did after yesterday’s events, and Mike kicked off Project 189 yesterday by setting the bar pretty high.

MIke’s version of the 2014 roster had power, lineup balance, and probably the best team defense that the Yankees have had in a long, long time.  …

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Project 189: Run Prevention And Bat Flips

As we approach the heart of the offseason, team strategies start to come into focus as free agents start coming off the board. A big market team like the Yankees is usually a threat to land anyone, but this winter, the team has a limited amount of money to spend with a large number of needs to take care of.

To better understand the $189 million budget that the team plans to enact this winter, I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about what the current 40-man roster obligations look like, and where upgrades could be made. In the end, the Yankees are relying on an Alex Rodriguez suspension if they want to remain below $189 million and make any significant acquisitions this offseason.

In Project 189, the writers here at IIATMS/TYA will give their own offseason strategies in a series of daily posts over the next week and a half. It’ll be a practice of creativity, and not predictions.…

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