Sunday News And Notes: 12/13/15

Been a quiet weekend around here.  Obviously everybody needed to recover from the madness of the Winter Meetings. Here’s a few notes and links if you aren’t watching football today.

– On Friday the Yankees re-signed right-handers Domingo German and Diego Moreno to MiL deals for next season.  German was the latest prospect to get the release/re-sign treatment to avoid waivers, so good on the Yankees for continuing to exploit that advantage.  German is likely to start his TJS rehab season in High-A Tampa, while Moreno figures to be bullpen depth as needed at Double-A or Triple-A.

– Via Zach Braziller of The Post, Carlos Beltran is expected to be one of the veterans who will help guide Starlin Castro as he joins the Yankee clubhouse, and he hinted that the 2016 season could be his last.  The quote from Beltran:

“I don’t think there is any big decision I have to make — other than to play one more year or go home.  

Click here to read the rest

Trying to Decipher the Yankees’ Plan

The New York Yankees have behaved very differently in the past few offseasons than they have at any point in recent memory. Their transactions have been aimed at acquiring young players who have many years under team control and should theoretically have their best seasons ahead of them. They have not been in the conversation for any big money players despite there being some very good ones available this winter. They’re not even in on small money guys either.

Clearly, the Yankees aren’t a championship caliber team at the moment, with questions everywhere, and they’re not aggressively trying to fill those holes. The only conclusion that leads us to is that the Yankees are trying to rebuild and winning is not a priority right now. The Justin Wilson for Luis Cessa and Chad Green trade perfectly exemplifies exactly what the Yankees are doing right now. When Brian Cashman tells you the team is trading a quality reliever because he is going to make some money soon, that tells you all you need to know.… Click here to read the rest

Quick Hit: Yankees Lose 2, Select None In The Rule 5 Draft

The Rule 5 Draft just wrapped up a little while ago, and as expected the Yankees lost Double-A outfielder Jake Cave.  He was taken with the 2nd pick of the draft by the Reds.  What was extremely unexpected was the Braves taking right-hander Evan Rutckyj with the next pick, although maybe that should be expected given the number of former Yankee prospects and MiLers that the Braves have stockpiled over the last few years.

The Yankees did not select anybody in the 3 rounds of the Major League draft, but did add 3 players in the Triple-A portion.  They also lost 4 more players in that portion of the draft, so it certainly seems as though the Yankee farm system has improved as far as their competitors are concerned.

Cave was expendable thanks to the team’s upper-level OF depth and I don’t expect Rutckyj to stick on the Atlanta roster all year, so no big loss for the Yanks.  The full draft results can be found here.Click here to read the rest

We’re OK w/o Warren or a Meh Free Agent SP: A Quick Simulation

Without adding to Brad’s terrific Castro-Warren analysis, I’d already been mulling over a question about Adam Warren that also applies to several free-agent starters. Assume the Yankees aren’t landing a Johnny Cueto-level ace: how much are they hurt by pitching a 5ish-ERA fifth starter like CC Sabathia (or 2015-quality Ivan Nova), rather than an average-level starter, like Warren or a second-tier free agent like Yovani Gallardo or Wei-Yin Chen? Sabathia and Nova were an identical 1 WAR/yr in 2015, so a 2-3 WAR starter is worth 1-2 more wins over a whole season. I’m not sure it’s worth the roughly $20 million a year (when you include luxury tax), and the 4+ years, it would take to lock in Gallardo’s or Chen’s age 30-34 seasons.

But here’s another way to look at it: How much did it hurt the Yankees to have stuck with CC in the rotation, rather than replace him with the clearly superior Warren?… Click here to read the rest

Winter Meetings Day 3 Wrap-Up

The Yankees kept moving and shaking after the Castro deal on Tuesday, trading another piece of their Major League bullpen away yesterday to add some upper-level rotation depth.  Today is the final day of the meetings and the Rule 5 Draft is later, so maybe we’ll see another move.  Here’s a quick update on where we stand after yesterday.

– The aforementioned trade was the Justin Wilson one.  The Yankees got right-handed starters Luis Cessa and Chad Green in return, and both figure to start next season in the Triple-A rotation.  Cessa sounds like the better prospect from what I’ve read, but neither is a stud.  Wilson figures to be replaced internally by someone from the Lindgren-Pazos-Webb triumvirate.  Just kidding, it’s going to be Lindgren.

– Via Jon Heyman, Brett Gardner is “still out there” in trade talks, although nothing is close for now.  I think Gardner stays.

– Via Joel Sherman, the Yanks are still shopping Andrew Miller around to the D’backs and Astros.  … Click here to read the rest

Quick hit: Justin Wilson traded to the Tigers

Looks like the Yankees made another move early this evening, reportedly trading reliever Justin Wilson to the Detroit Tigers for two prospects.

Wilson, who came over to the Yankees from the Pirates in a swap involving Francisco Cervelli in November 2014, pitched well for the club in 2015. He had a 3.10 ERA (2.69 FIP) in 61 innings of work with a 5-0 record in 74 games. His HR/9 was 0.44, his K/9 was 9.74, his ground ball rate was 43.8% and he had a WAR of 1.5

We’ll update when we get more info about the return for Wilson.

UPDATE 6:36 P.M.:

Hmmmm…. What does that mean? Guess we’ll find out when Cash lets us know what’s actually going on.… Click here to read the rest

Graph: The Yankees Are Underspending on Payroll

We like to complain a bit here at It’s About the Money about how the Yankees are taking in huge mountains of our money and not putting enough of it on the field. Obviously, baseball is a business (if a weird one that isn’t 100% about maximization of profits; many owners care more about winning than the bottom line), and the owners of baseball teams deserve to make money. That’s why teams that make less revenue spend less on payroll for the most part. Yankee fans don’t expect the Steinbrenners to go broke for the Yankees. I do think they expect to spend in proportion to the revenue the bring in.

Below is a scatter plot of post-luxury tax, post-revenue sharing 2015 MLB revenue (via Forbes) and 2015 MLB payrolls.


Assuming a simple linear relationship between revenue and payroll (which is generous to the Yankees, who have similar fixed costs to the other teams, but I won’t get all economicsy right now), teams that are above the trend line are spending less money on payroll than the predicted value given their revenue.… Click here to read the rest

Thoughts On The Starlin Castro Trade

Castro vs STL

Courtesy of Getty Images

Guess they proved me wrong.  After spending the first day and a half of the Winter Meetings doing a lot of nothing, the Yankees decided to take their sandals off and jump in the pool yesterday, sending Adam Warren and Brendan Ryan to the Chicago Cubs for second baseman Starlin Castro.  Castro has been on and off the trade block for a while in Chicago and the Yankees were trying to trade for him at the deadline this past season.  When the Cubs landed Ben Zobrist last night, things sped up quickly on the Castro trade front and the Yankees were able to make a deal.  For the fifth time in the last calendar year plus the Yankees have acquired a young MLB player with upside to fuel their non-rebuild rebuild.

It’s hard to really say what the Yankees are getting in Castro.  His .281/.321/.404 career slash line makes him look like a pretty good player, but his low walk rate (4.9%), wildly inconsistent year-to-year results, and reported previous attitude and discipline problems are all causes for concern and surely contributed to the Cubs deciding he was the odd man out in their crowded middle infield.  … Click here to read the rest

Yankees Acquire Starlin Castro From The Cubs For Adam Warren And Brendan Ryan

Joel Sherman has it:

No word yet on who else is involved, but that sounds like it’s coming shortly.  This rumor has really picked up steam over the last hour or so, and with the Cubs just signing Ben Zobrist this was the next domino to fall.  More on this story as it’s reported.

** UPDATE 7:04 PM**Via Jack Curry, the Yankees have agreed to trade Adam Warren and a player to be named for Castro.  That’s a bummer.  Was really hoping it would be Nova.

** UPDATE 7:13 PM**Via Jon Heyman, the other player in the deal is Brendan Ryan.  BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

** UPDATE 7:40 PM** – Alright, I think that’s all the news related to this move.  Time for some quick analysis.

Similar to the JRM-Hicks trade, this is a move that works for both sides.  … Click here to read the rest