Why The Yankees Should Not Extend Robinson Cano

The Yankees seem to be quietly negotiating with Robinson Cano for a long term contract extension. This is a mistake. I’m not against a Cano extension per se, but I am against a Cano extension, which let’s say will cost something like 8 years / $200 million, before the end of the 2013 season.

I don’t doubt that Cano will hit very well this season, be an MVP candidate, and project to be a strong player for at least the medium term. However, the Yankees do not have sufficient information yet to determine whether or not they can afford to sign him to that kind of mega deal. They need two very key sets of information: First, how do Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, and Alex Rodriguez play in 2013? And second, how does the Yankee farm system collectively perform?

The former is important because it will reveal a lot about how the Yankees can expect their assets to perform over the next few years.… Click here to read the rest

The Run Prevention Puzzle

For the purposes of this article, we’ll need to agree on something. It’s not exactly controversial, but asking for agreement on anything baseball related is probably asking a bit too much. This something s the old truism that “a penny saved is a penny earned,” but with a baseball twist: a run prevented is a run scored. Indeed, half of the game is dedicated to preventing runs from crossing the plate. Despite our troubles with accurately quantifying the defensive skill and impact of individual players, we all know that those things are tremendously important on both the individual and team levels.

Run prevention is a task shared by a team’s pitching staff and its defensive player. An imbalance in one of these areas can lead to a lot of runs. But, of course, this is baseball; you can hardly have anything wholly complete or perfect. Having a roster that allows you to excel in just one of those areas can be a defensive blessing.… Click here to read the rest

Sickels ranks farm system 14th in MLB

Yesterday, John Sickels of Minor League Ball ranked the Yankees’ farm system 14th in Major League Baseball, up two spots from last year’s ranking of 16. Sickels comment on the Yankees was as follows:

14) New York Yankees (16): Strengths: quartet of young hitters at the top, with Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, and Slade Heathcott all potential impact prospects, though all have some questions. Good depth in C+ types behind them. Weaknesses: impact pitching. I don’t count Manny Banuelos as an automatic Tommy John recovery. Wildcard: Rafael DePaula, who could vault up lists quickly once he pitches against people his own age.

So they’re not blowing the world away, but they’re not falling behind, either. The construction of the farm system–at least the top thereof–shows us how quickly things can change in a farm system. Just a few years ago, we were excited about the “Killer B’s,” pitchers Manny Banuelos, Andrew Brackman, and Dellin Betances.… Click here to read the rest