Scouting The Free Agent Market For An Ibanez Replacement

I might have watched every game this year, but it’s still hard for me to remember exactly what kind of season Raul Ibanez had in 2012. Our most recent recollection was his three ridiculously well-timed homeruns in the playoffs. For the rest season, the left handed hitter had his good moments, but also some pretty lousy ones. As expected, he was rather awful against left handed pitchers, but a .248/.319/.492 triple slash (115 wRC+) against righties more than made up for it.

Unfortunately, once the Yankees lost Brett Gardner for nearly the entire season, Ibanez saw much more defensive playing time than expected. The 40 year old actually manned 90 games in the outfield, and started nearly half of the regular season games. It’s not a fact, but the extra work apparently caught up to him after the allstar break, where he hit just .190/.287/.341 for the two months of the Yankees most important stretch of the year. From August 16th to September 19th, Ibanez recorded a total of 3 hits over 60 plate appearances.… Click here to read the rest

Waiver wire wishing?

Yesterday, word came down that a bunch of players were put on waivers with some likely to clear soon. The list includes Jim Thome, Wandy Rodriguez, Heath Bell, Carlos Pena, and Jason Kubel. Each one of those players could help the Yankees in some tangible capacity.

Heath Bell would add to an already lethal late-game/high-leverage bullpen combination of David Robertson, Rafael Soriano, and Mariano Rivera (and, let’s be honest, Boone Logan who’s pitched well of late). However, Bell indicated before that he would consider accepting arbitration. That wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world because he’s making just $7.5M this year, though a raise to double figures is more than possible. That would mean three relievers making double-digit million dollar salaries and that’s not an efficient use of funds. There are some notable relievers set to be available, including Jonathan Papelbon and Francisco Rodriguez, but Bell would definitely be head of the class.… Click here to read the rest

What about Vlad, and other Yankee DH possibilities

With yet another long-coveted (by me) hitter hitting the free agent market, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least broach the idea of the Yankees signing Vladimir Guerrero — who recently had his $9M 2011 option rightly declined by the Rangers — to be their DH, assuming the Yankees pass on my boy Adam Dunn. I know Mike Axisa threw cold water all over this idea the other day, but I think it merits further exploration. Vlad may have gone ice cold in the second half and postseason after a lightning-hot start, but there may still be some life left in that bat.

While I imagine the Rangers will try to re-sign him at a discount, it remains to be seen whether Vlad will have Johnny Damon/Hideki Matsui-itis and not be able to swallow his pride and return to his team at a lesser pay grade. At the very least it seems like it’d be worth seeing what it might take to get Vlad on a one-year deal.… Click here to read the rest

A look at who’s gotten it done for the Minnesota Twins

Larry will be providing a comprehensive ALDS preview tomorrow, which I look forward to with bated breath. However, if you’re like me, when playoff time comes around you want your analysis, and you wanted it yesterday! With immediate gratification in mind, I wanted to take a look at some overlooked (and possibly overhyped) members of the Minnesota Twins’ team.

Francisco Liriano Fangraphs has some explaining to do. It says that Francisco Liriano was worth 6.0 WAR over 191.2 innings of 3.62 ERA, 2.66 FIP baseball. It says that CC Sabathia, on the other hand, was worth 5.1 WAR over 237.2 innings of 3.18 ERA, 3.54 FIP baseball. The difference in FIP is due to Liriano’s strikeout and homer rates, both of which are better than CC’s, but FIP isn’t THAT important. In the future, Fangraphs has to readjust its pitcher WAR estimates because any stat that says that Liriano was better than CC in 2010 is broken. If you assume that Liriano didn’t pitch to his ERA, which is considerably worse than CC’s, but actually pitched to his inflated FIP, of 2.66, CC would still be the better pitcher because he pitched 46 more innings than Francisco, more than five full baseball games.… Click here to read the rest

Holy crap I'd forgotten how long the offseason truly is

Another day, another non-story about Johnny Damon.

While I’ve been very pleased with Yankeeist’s output (big ups to Mike and Jason), it’s been a bit of a challenge to come up with content given that the Yankees haven’t done anything for over a month since trading for Vazquez, and this late-January lull is starting to really rear its ugly head.

A few newsworthy items:

Interesting move by the A’s picking up Ben Sheets. Despite the Yankees having no room for him, I’ve been coveting Sheets forever, and am definitely jealous to see him on another American League team. Feels like a bit of an overpay for a team like the A’s, but hey, Billy Beane probably knows what he’s doing.

The Cubs added Xavier Nady as a fourth outfielder on a contract that could be worth as much as $5.3 million in incentives. If that’s the kind of deal a guy who played all of eight games last season is getting, you have to figure Damon is worth at least that much.… Click here to read the rest

Yanks acquire Guzman; interested in Garland

Via Marc Carig, we learn that the Yankees have acquired Freddy Guzman (not Christian Guzman) from the Orioles for a PTBNL. Guzman’s wheels appear to be his best asset, as his offense is extremely limited (I use that phrase kindly). Carig notes that Guzman will head to Scranton.

Also, from Jon Heyman, we learn that the Yankees have inquired about Arizona’s Jon Garland (along with the Rockies). Garland has a 3.86 ERA since the All-Star break, but, in the end, he’s still Jon Garland. He’s a rubber arm without much use beyond that and, when one considers his less than impressive performance in the NL West, it seems doubtful that he could serve as an actual upgrade over Gaudin or Mitre (or Aceves, or anyone). If a trade is to occur, however, it’ll have to be tonight in order for him to be available for the postseason.

UPDATE – The Dodgers have acquired Garland (as well as Jim Thome).… Click here to read the rest