To Re-Sign Or Not To Re-Sign: Stephen Drew

Drew vs TOR

Hey look! It’s Stephen Drew actually getting a hit! Courtesy of Getty Images

For all the good moves Cash made at the deadline this year, the one that didn’t pan out was the swap of Kelly Johnson for Stephen Drew.  Drew, who was strongly-pursued by the Yankees last offseason, held out and didn’t sign with a team after declining his qualifying offer from the Red Sox.  When the season started and he remained jobless, he came crawling back to Boston and began what ended up being the worst season of his career.  He finished that season playing second base in New York and moonlighting as Derek Jeter‘s potential replacement at shortstop.  Now he’s looking at entering free agency again with his value at an all-time low and an obvious match with the Yankees as that replacement.  Should they give it another go with Drew?

Case For:

  • Position of Need- The Yankees had the same starting shortstop for the last 19 years and for the last couple of them they didn’t have a very good starting shortstop.  
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Sizing Up the Market: Right Field & DH

Over the last several years, the Yankees have garnered a reputation for not using a true designated hitter. Joe Girardi, Brian Cashman, and others have stated on more than one occasion that they view the position as a means to give a player a half-day, so as to rest his legs without removing his bat from the lineup. And, as is the nature of the beast, the team has taken flack for not going out and signing a traditional thumper to be the full-time (or a full-time-ish) DH. However … that is not necessarily true. Or, it is not true over the last couple of seasons.

Prior to the 2013 season, the Yankees signed Travis Hafner and Ben Francisco to platoon at designated hitter, and supplemented that platoon by acquiring Vernon Wells. It was ineffectiveness and injury that doomed the platoon, as the trifecta of Hafner, Francisco, and Wells started 89 of the team’s first 95 games at DH – and 67 of those were started by Hafner.…

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IIATMS Episode 31: World Series, Yankee Coaching and Front Office, 2015 Infield

Guess who’s back? (After some technical difficulties)

That’s right, Domenic, EJ, and yours truly actually recorded a podcast last night! We discussed the improbable World Series matchup and revealed who we were rooting for to win said matchup. (And we’ll never be… you know the rest) We also talked about the changes that have happened this past week or so within the Yankees organization, whether those changes were warranted or not and EJ and Domenic talked about what the Yankees infield could look like in 2015 and beyond while I listened intently.

Here’s a direct download link to the entire podcast.

And here is a diagram we mention during the World Series discussion. Don’t click on it until we get to it in the podcast. We want your mind to be blown like ours were while we were recording. Think of it as listener participation.

As usual, you can tweet all three of us (@domeniclanza, @ejfagan, @stacegots) with questions and/or suggestions or leave them in the comments below.…

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To Re-Sign Or Not To Re-Sign: Brandon McCarthy

McCarthy vs DET

Courtesy of Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another free agent case to consider.  Yesterday it was Chase Headley, the crown jewel of Cash’s position player haul from the 2014 trade deadline.  Today it’s Brandon McCarthy, the equally shiny jewel of the pitching acquisitions.  McCarthy was outstanding in 14 starts for the Yankees this season, at times pitching like an ace.  That performance was surely enough to earn him a new deal somewhere next year.  Was it enough to convince the Yankees that they should be the ones to give him that new deal?

Case For:

  • Sneaky Goodness- Pitched to a 2.89/3.22/2.85 slash line in 90.1 IP as a Yankee in 2014; has 4 straight seasons of 3.76 FIP values or lower; has averaged 2.775 fWAR per season since the start of 2011; career 5.9% BB rate.  He ain’t Lester or Scherzer, but he ain’t some bum either.
  • Mid-Rotation Uncertainty- Nova won’t be ready for the start of 2015, Sabathia might not be.  
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Just a quick note about last night’s podcast

We recorded a podcast last night and it was just over an hour long but for some reason, our podcast provider’s links only play two minutes and 15 seconds of the recording.

So, until we figure out what the heck happened, we’ll be removing the podcast post from the blog and will reschedule it when everything is straightened out.

Sorry for the inconvenience!

Stacey

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Quick Hit: MLBTR’s Arbitration Projections Are Out

MLB Trade Rumors posted their “Offseason Outlook” post for the Yankees yesterday.  If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it.  It’s basically everything that every Yankee blog is going to talk about for the entirety of the offseason condensed into 1 long post.  As part of the outlook, they included the list of arbitration-eligible players and their projected salaries.  Let’s take a look.

- Shawn Kelley- $2.5 million
Francisco Cervelli- $1.1 million
Esmil Rogers- $1.9 million
Ivan Nova- $3.3 million
Michael Pineda- $2.1 million
David Huff- $700k
David Phelps- $1.3 million

Kelley is slated for a nice pay boost in his final year of eligibility.  Once again he pitched better than his ERA indicates in 2014, and as a high strikeout guy with late-inning experience he’s a good deal at $2.5 mil.  Nova and Pineda’s injuries are almost blessings in disguise for the Yankees when it comes to money.  …

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Report: Yanks Will Name Gary Denbo New VP Of Baseball Ops

While we wait patiently for the new hitting coach to be named, the Yankees are reportedly set to fill an important front office hole with this move.  Denbo was considered a front runner for this position based on his longstanding history as a scout and MiL hitting coordinator.  He’s been around the organization for a long time, so take that as a good or bad thing depending on how much you wanted to see an outside voice take over for Newman.

Also via Feinsand, the Yankees have let Pat Roessler go as VP of player development.  Expect to see a replacement announced for that job soon.

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Quick hit: Yankees release their Spring Training schedule

The World Series still hasn’t started – and won’t until tomorrow night – and already, the Yankees have released their first post-Derek Jeter Spring Training schedule.

Pitcher and catchers will report to camp on February 20, position players will report on Feb. 25 and the first full-squad workout will be held on Feb. 26. They play their first game in Clearwater against the Phillies on March 3 and their home opener will be the next day, also against the Phillies. The Yankees are also going to Port St. Lucie to play the Mets on March 22 and playing them in Tampa on the March 25.

Some matchups of note (AL East edition):
Orioles – March 28 at 1:05 p.m.
Rays – March 9 at 1:05 p.m. and April 1 at 1:05 p.m.
Red Sox – March 11 at 1:05 p.m.
Blue Jays – March 17 at 7:05 p.m.

They Yankees will also be hosting four other night games (Blue Jays 3/17) at Steinbrenner Field:
March 6 vs.…

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To Re-Sign Or Not To Re-Sign: Chase Headley

Headley vs TEX

Courtesy of Getty Images

In addition to their 2 qualifying offer candidates, the Yankees have a handful of free agents to be who are either not eligible for or not worthy of QO consideration.  Some of these players could be and probably should be high priorities for the Yankees this coming offseason, and they’ll warrant serious consideration for being re-signed, especially since they don’t come with draft pick compensation attached.

Since the format for the QO case posts stimulated a lot of good debate, I think we’ll stick with that to break down the rest of these free agent cases.  First up from this list of non-QO guys is Chase Headley.  He shined in 58 games after being acquired before the trade deadline and was the first consistent above-average producer at the position for the Yanks since 2011-2012.

Case For:

  • Major Defensive Upgrade- Headley was an elite-level defensive player in 2014.  His 13 defensive runs saved was 3rd best among qualified third basemen and his 28.0 UZR/150 was tops.  
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