The Case For Raul

With the news breaking today that the Yankees have signed Raul Ibanez to a one-year, $1.1 million contract (up to $4 million if all the incentives kick in), I figured I’d lay out the case (as I see it) for signing the veteran outfielder. To be completely honest, I originally intended this piece to be a comparison between Ibanez and Johnny Damon, but that was before the news broke that the Yankees weren’t really pursuing Damon, and that they had signed Ibanez. But hey, what am I supposed to do, just scrap all this (now useless) research and pixel space? And hey, I’m in the death throes of a brutal flu that has kept me sidelined during Carnaval weekend here in southern Spain…so (please) cut me some slack? Oh, and because the argument itself isn’t that long, I’m going to throw in a bonus list of five Yankee Spring Training stories I’m already tired of talking about.

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PECOTA run scoring projections

We’re finally days away from Spring Training. Soon enough, the waiting will be over and we’ll be able to watch REAL LIVE BASEBALL (shameless plug time: if you’re in the NYC metro area, you should totally come to this). But, before we get to that, let’s take another look at some run scoring projections via the Lineup Analysis tool from Baseball Musings. This time, we’ll be using Baseball Prospectus’s PECOTA Projections. Remember, these are NOT split adjusted. I’ll run it a few times, using a few different scenarios for the designated hitter. And with the first run of each one, Continue reading PECOTA run scoring projections

Selecting the best fit

In baseball, like everything, some sense of balance is needed for success. Just as you need the right balance of motivation and intelligence to succeed in school, or the balance of acumen and people skills to succeed in business, you need the right balance of, well, just about everything in baseball. No where does this strike more true (well, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit) than it does in lineup construction. A team cannot sway too heavily right handed or too left handed for myriad reasons. Though, to be fair, it may behoove a team to use a heavily right handed Continue reading Selecting the best fit

Polishing a Turd with Raul, Johnny, and Hideki

There has been much ado about the Yankees designated hitter situation yesterday, with Buster Olney tweeting that the team was “in position to add” one of Raul Ibanez, Johnny Damon, or Hideki Matsui within a week. Ken Rosenthal stoked the coals a bit (or, perhaps, took a book of matches from 7-Eleven), adding that the team was in “serious discussions” with Ibanez. Rosenthal further added that Ibanez was willing to take a discount to play in the Bronx, though I am unsure that he is in a position to be terribly picky regardless. Many would argue that far too much Continue reading Polishing a Turd with Raul, Johnny, and Hideki

Jays jettison Yankee Killer Vernon Wells while Tampa Bay goes all 2004 Red Sox and signs both Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon

I step away from the Internet for two hours only to come back and find that two of the Yankees’ AL East rivals have made a handful of notable moves. First up, the Toronto Blue Jays apparently traded Vernon Wells to the Angels for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera. I’m having a hard time figuring this deal out from the Angels’ perspective — the Jays are undoubtedly thrilled to be free of Wells’ contract, and they’re getting not one but two pretty serviceable players in return. Wells started last season out on fire before cooling off some and finishing with Continue reading Jays jettison Yankee Killer Vernon Wells while Tampa Bay goes all 2004 Red Sox and signs both Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon

News and notes on a Wednesday: Soriano, Pettitte, Jones, Damon, Pavano and Joba

Though nothing official has happened outside of the Rafael Soriano signing, there has been a flurry of Yankee-related information and rumors in the aftermath of the Soriano presser, so here’s a quick rundown: – This seems to have flown relatively under the radar, but Andy Pettitte has apparently started working out again. This has to be considered good news — while we’d obviously all much prefer Pettitte start the season from the beginning, even if Andy ends up deciding he doesn’t want to pitch the full year, if the Yankees can get him on a pro-rated deal that starts sometime Continue reading News and notes on a Wednesday: Soriano, Pettitte, Jones, Damon, Pavano and Joba

Outfield Notes: Damon and Ramirez

Just a few notes and some commentary for Christmas Eve Day Morning: –The Yankees are “internally discussing Manny Ramirez. As far as discussions go, I can imagine this one went something like this: Yankee Front Office Guy 1: “Hey wouldn’t it be funny if we signed Manny?” YFOG 2: “LOL TOTALLY!” There’s no way in hell that Manny Ramirez will be a Yankee, unless Jorge Posada is rendered incapable of playing baseball between now and the start of the regular season. Manny is only a DH now, so he wouldn’t be much use to any team as a fourth outfielder. Continue reading Outfield Notes: Damon and Ramirez

Damon Do Over?

I had a post similarly titled to this one back in October but it appears that a simple Internet musing has gained some traction. I said in my prior post that it wouldn’t be a bad idea, but with the Yankees now using Jorge Posada as the full time DH, there seems to be even less room for Damon to get playing time. His non-crippling platoon split is definitely helpful, as he could spell Brett Gardner or Curtis Granderson (as the MLBTR article says), but the fact that he’s a left-handed bat doesn’t help his case. His poor defense of Continue reading Damon Do Over?

A busy news day: Lee, Jeter, Rivera, Joba, Montero, Pettitte, Crawford, Werth, Greinke, Dunn and more

Apologies for not being further out in front of all of the news that broke today, but our friends at RAB have already done yeomen’s work in covering everything that came out of the end-of-season press conference held by Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi at the Stadium today, so be sure to check that out (as if you haven’t already). You’ve likely already heard about Dave Eiland getting the boot and Andy Pettitte pitching through injury in the playoffs, but Cashman also talks about the Yankees’ not having an answer for the Rangers despite steamrolling the Twins; Girardi asserts that Continue reading A busy news day: Lee, Jeter, Rivera, Joba, Montero, Pettitte, Crawford, Werth, Greinke, Dunn and more