Scouting The Free Agent Market For An Andruw Jones Replacement

Yesterday, we covered the possible left handed DH options for the Yankees in 2013, and today we’ll look at the right handed options.

Unlike the possible re-signing situation we have with Raul Ibanez, there is really no chance that Andruw Jones gets an offer to remain in pinstripes. As I pointed out yesterday, both Ibanez and Jones faced a lot of extra playing time in the outfield due to Brett Gardner‘s injury. Both players started the season out on strong notes, but by the time July and August hit, they looked ready for retirement. Up until the All Star break, Jones put together a strong season with a .244/.326/.535 triple slash. From July 13th to the end of season, Jones hit much like Ibanez, earning a .142/.256/.255 slash. Unlike Ibanez, Jones couldn’t recover in the month of September, and he was ultimately left off the playoff roster.

After a year and a half of incredible production with the Yankees, Jones ended the season so poorly that this is likely the end of his days playing in the Bronx.… Click here to read the rest

The outfield, left and right

Perhaps the title of this piece is misleading. I want to talk about something left and something right relating to the Yankee outfield, but it has to do with batting, not fielding. First, let’s talk about the “left” side of this equation: Raul Ibanez.

The Yankees have had preliminary discussions about bringing Voldemort back for another go ’round in pinstripes. As Mike pointed out in the River Ave. blurb, Ibanez hit to a 102 wRC+ this season, including a 115 mark against right handers, which is whom he’d primarily be used against. Due to Brett Gardner‘s injury, Ibanez had to play an inordinate amount of games in the field and that could have negatively affected his (still decent) production in 2012. My gut reaction with him (as it would be with most of his ilk) is that it’s better to let him go a year early, rather than a year late. However, if his deployment is limited, like Mike pointed out, to only DHing against right handed pitchers, Ibanez and the Yankees could be set up for mutual success.… Click here to read the rest

A look at some of the players the Yankees let go of or passed on last winter, and who they might pursue in the 2010-2011 offseason

While waiting for the Yankee-Twin game to resume last night (which obviously didn’t end up happening) I caught some highlights from the Cardinals game on MLB Network and it reminded me that the Yankees may or may not have been pursuing Matt Holliday this past offseason. This (a) Made me want to find out how Holliday was doing; (b) Check in on how the other free agents/potential trades the Yankees didn’t end up pursuing/guys the Yankees let go of were performing; and (c) See what some of the Yankees’ potential targets this coming offseason are up to (I expect they’ll be targeting starting pitching, left field and designated hitter, given that Nick Johnson is only signed for one year with a mutual option).

Here are the 2010 season statistics for the major names that the Yankees either didn’t re-sign, traded or passed on last offseason. Stats in all of the tables in this blog post are as of today, Wednesday, May 26, and are in descending order by wOBA for hitters and FIP for pitchers.… Click here to read the rest

Mets closing in on Jason Bay

Its now being reported that the Mets and Jason Bay have come to terms on a four year $66 million contract, pending a physical. The move makes sense for the Mets, so long as Jason Bay has enough power to lift the ball out of cavernous Federal Bailout Park … I mean Citi Field. Bay will add power to an improved Mets lineup, provided injured stars Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran return from injury at full strength.

Attention will shift back to the Red Sox and the Yankees, now that Bay is off the market. The perception is that the Yankees need a left fielder, but to many analysts the team is currently strong enough to compete. More than anything, this will intensify the microscope on the Red Sox. So far this off season they’ve let Bay go, and tried to trade Mike Lowell to Texas. They replaced Bay with Mike Cameron, which may have saved money but is also an offensive downgrade.
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Options in left field

The Yankees traded Melky Cabrera for Javier Vazquez, and in so doing addressed their one glaring weakness: a 4th starting pitcher. The move meant the team was parting ways with a home-grown, fan-favorite, but the trade has been described as a slam dunk. Vazquez doesn’t need to be a rotation leader for the Yankees, only a back of the rotation guy who can give them the league average in performance and eat some innings. He’s better than that.

The only problem is that the team traded away its main option in left field. I’ve hypothesized that this trade was a gift to Johnny Damon, but its being reported he still wants more than the team (or any team) is willing to pay. Has the Brett Gardner era begun?

Many Yankee fans just screamed “god no!” at the computer screen. Are they right? Gardner was a blank slate, even last year. He appeared in 108 games, but only had 284 plate appearances.
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Tuesday Yankees Hot Stove, interest in Sheets

After a ridiculously busy Monday that saw the signing of the top pitcher on the market, a blockbuster 3-team deal, and the news that the Cardinals may offer Matt Holliday an 8-year deal, the hot stove is still burning.  While Boston made some big acquisitions yesterday in the form of John Lackey and Mike Cameron (and might add another bat via free agency or trade), Brian Cashman is not sitting pat.

Ken Rosenthal, via twitter, is reporting that the Yankees are “very interested” in signing RHP Ben Sheets.  Sheets, who missed the entire 2009 season after having surgery, is reportedly seeking as much as 12 million per year, a lot for a player who is coming off surgery, and has not pitched over 200 innings since 2004.  The Yankees would likely hope to offer Sheets a similar contract to that of Rich Harden, another oft-injured righty who can pitch like a front of the rotation starter when healthy.  Harden got a 6.5 million dollar deal with a mutual option for 11.5, for a total of 7.5 million guaranteed over 2 years. … Click here to read the rest

Predicting free agent contracts, pt. 1

Jon Heyman, along with an unnamed agent and general manager, offered a few contract predictions regarding the top 24 free agents for 2010. In the following mini-series, I’ve highlighted some of the more interesting names, including players that the Yankees will likely be interested in, and Yankees that will be granted free agency at the season’s end. The series begins with the top free agents available for 2010: 1) Matt Holiday, 2) Jason Bay, and 3) John Lackey.

Here are the contract predictions, via Jon Heyman, scout, and GM, juxtaposed with my own analysis.

1. Matt Holliday, Cardinals OF. St. Louis is going to try to keep Holliday, one of four big summer pickups who helped the Cardinals run away with the NL Central. The Cardinals are going to hope that he loves being in their baseball-crazed city to the point where he would forego bigger dollars elsewhere (Boston and both New York teams are likely interested). With franchise man Albert Pujols‘s contract up in two years and Cy Young candidate Chris Carpenter in a year, the Cardinals don’t figure to be the high bidder.

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Red Sox and Bay Table Contract Talks = Good News For Yanks

According to the Boston Globe, contract extension talks between OF Jason Bay and the Red Sox have been tabled until after the season. Theo Epstein had the following to say:

“The market has changed so much from two years ago to this winter, from a year ago to now,” Epstein said. “Who knows where it’s going to be a year from now? So that unpredictability, I think, has created a landscape that’s been difficult for us to navigate in terms of getting an extension done a year early. Both sides wanted it, so we tried. But both sides recognized that it’s just too difficult to get done right now.

“We had some talks [earlier in the offseason], but they weren’t really substantive. Recently, we’ve had more substantive talks. It’s become clear that because of the unusual marketplace, we’re not going to get anything done during spring training. We’re going to sort of halt talks for now, just table them. But both sides have committed to maintaining good dialouge throughout the course of the season.”

As the regular readers of the blog know, I am hoping that Bay is available this offseason to fill one of the holes in the outfield created by the pending free agency of Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, and Xavier Nady.… Click here to read the rest