Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 12/4/15

Big night last night.  Got my beer shipment from back home to start consuming, Scott Weiland died, and the Packers pulled off one of the more improbable comeback, walk-off NFL wins in recent history.  I’m emotionally exhausted today and I still have to dial up the charm for a Christmas party later tonight.  Can I do it?  Probably not.  Now onto the links.

– On Tuesday, Chad Jennings of LoHud listed 10 players who will have greater expectations heading into next season.

– On Wednesday, Mike Axisa of RAB profiled young starter Joe Ross as a potential trade target.  He certainly fits what the team is looking for.

– Jason Cohen of Pinstripe Alley mused on what Boston’s signing of David Price means for the Yankees.

– Wally Matthews of ESPN NY previewed next week’s Winter Meetings by ranking Cash’s priorities heading in.

– On Thursday, Kenny Ducey of BP Bronx investigated how the Yankees could beef up the middle of their bullpen this offseason to prevent the late September collapse that hurt them this year.

– El duque of It Is High… had 10 Yankee-centric hot stove topics to follow in place of the lack of actual trades or signings.

– On Friday, Daniel Burch of The Greedy Pinstripes looked at a few players who could become Rule 5 Draft casualties. Continue reading Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 12/4/15

Quick Hit: Yankees Get Their 2015 Luxury Tax Bill

Short but important story that I didn’t get to yesterday.  The final team salary information for the 2015 season was released recently, which means it’s time to figure out the big spenders’ luxury tax bills.  Yay, competitive balance!!

Via Bob Nightengale, the Yankees’ bill will be $26 million.  While that represents the highest total the team has paid since 2009, it still doesn’t touch the team record of $34.1 million set back in 2005 and it wasn’t the highest total for this year.  That honor goes to the Dodgers, who will have to pay a new MLB record $43.7 million on a final team payroll of just under $300 million.  The Red Sox and Giants will also pay small taxes.

It’s funny that ’05 remains the team record for luxury tax payment, as that represents a point in time when the Yankees were at their big spending best.  Those times have changed to the inconsistent, penny pinching ways of today, and more than ever it seems like the Steinbrenners are operating with getting under the LT threshold in mind.  The current CBA expires after next season and that threshold is sure to get bumped up to at least $200 million with the way revenues and league-wide payrolls have grown.  The Yankees will have a ton of money coming off the books then, and if things continue to go the way they are this offseason they’ll have a crop of top prospects breaking into MLB full time to provide uber-cheap replacements for those departed big money players.

So the LT price tag for this year may look deceiving, and I’m sure it’ll be enough for the beat guys to continue to ignore the lack of spending and payroll expansion in conjunction with booming revenue numbers, but please don’t allow yourselves to be fooled by this.  Don’t start thinking that this is a sign Hal is willing to open the checkbook this offseason because he’s not.  It’s all about getting under that threshold and he’s just biding his time until he can. Continue reading Quick Hit: Yankees Get Their 2015 Luxury Tax Bill

Yankees non-tender Domingo German

The Yankees announced earlier this morning that they’ve non-tendered RHP Domingo Germen. This move leaves the Yankees’ 40-man roster at 39 and makes Germen a minor league free agent.

Germen came over to the Yankees in the Nathan Eovaldi deal, along with Garrett Jones last winter. The right hander missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but still collected some major league service when he was called up in September and placed on the 60-day DL so the Yankees could use his spot in the roster.

The 23 year old was 9-3 with a 2.48 ERA during the 2014 season with the Marlins’ Class A Greensboro Grasshoppers. He also made the MLB Futures Game as a member of the World team that summer and struck out two batters in a scoreless inning.

According to Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media, German’s agent has said that seven teams have already contacted him about a potential deal and that German is still open to returning to the Yankees. Continue reading Yankees non-tender Domingo German

Some thoughts after a website meltdown and free agent signing by a team not named the Yankees

Good afternoon, IIATMS readers!

I hope you are having a nice week so far. I’m not, but that’s only because my vertigo has been acting up for nearly six days and getting dizzy is getting really old. Oh, and I woke up yesterday morning to this news that this website was possibly lost forever. Years of work gone. Poof! Thank goodness that was a bit hyperbolic and everything turned out okay. Anyway, other than the room spinning out of control any time I turn my head to the right and the website temporarily blowing up, this week has perked up a bit thanks to some baseball news. The offseason was getting really boring. I realize the winter meetings don’t start until the 7th, but it’s still been a snooze worthy offseason so far.

Then Dave Price to the Red Sox happened.

I was not shocked and I hope you weren’t either. He went where the money was and who could blame him? And as we say on this site, it’s about the money. Seven years/$217M with an opt-out after three years? Sign me up! Although I do think it’s amusing considering some of the blow ups he had with the Red Sox and their fans as a member of Rays, but forgive and forget, right?

If Price pitches like the ace Boston expects him to be, no one will remember his tiff with David Ortiz in 2014. If he doesn’t, well, that’s good for the rest of the AL East.

Speaking of the rest of the AL East, the news of Price signing with Boston was met with mixed reaction up in Toronto where he spent the second half helping lead the Blue Jays to their first division title since I was in college. Some fans were resigned to the fact that Price wasn’t going to stick around as soon as he was traded to their team. Others were not so happy with the Blue Jays for not even attempting to snag Price.

Some Yankees fans were angry that our team wasn’t in the running for Price either which I find amusing. We all knew the Yankees weren’t going to be in on him at all. I mean, I’m all for Ninja Brian Cashman swooping in and signing people, but I wasn’t expecting it at all. And you shouldn’t have either.

They’re also not in on Johnny Cueto. More like Johnny Cuetno, am I right?

So sorry.

Or Zack Greinke. (I can’t come up with a witty pun. Perhaps one of you can in the comments.)

The Orioles made a trade with the Mariners. The O’s got Mark Trumbo and Seattle got catcher Steve Clevenger, whose name I confused with cleavage because I wasn’t wearing my glasses when I first saw the news. Trumbo’s okay. I guess, but it’s not like the O’s are going to make any other waves during the offseason, right? And this wasn’t even much of a wave. More like a ripple.

Getting back to the website meltdown. I was actually woken up by the news. I usually check my phone before I even sit up in bed and the news of the website disappearing made me sit up so fast that I nearly bashed my head into my wall thanks to my vertigo. After I stopped the room from spinning, I typed in “WHAAAAAAT?” as a response to Jason and Brad’s emails and my heart started racing. The thought of all of our work vanishing made me ill and I’ve only been here three years. Others have been writing for IIATMS for much longer so I felt even worse for them. And poor Jason. All of the hard work he put into the site for the past (almost) nine years and it was gone? Like I said above, we were able to recover most of the site – big thanks to Wordpress not being awful – but for those few hours when we thought everything was gone, it was a bit harrowing.

The good news is, this gives us a chance to revamp the site. Again, what you’re seeing now is not the finished product. It will more than likely not be finished for a little while, because it’s the end of the year, and the people who contribute to this site and work in the real world, are busy. But, we will be back and fully operational soon, and better than ever.

Happy Wednesday! Continue reading Some thoughts after a website meltdown and free agent signing by a team not named the Yankees

Report: Nothing Close On The Gardner, Miller, Or Nova Trade Fronts

Yesterday George King posted a short article on the Jordan Zimmerman contract and what it meant for the Yankees’ search for starting pitching on the free agent market.  If he would have waited a little longer, he could have included David Price in the piece and expanded on his idea, but that’s neither here nor there.  While King’s argument that the high price for Zimmerman (and now Price) could push the second and third-tier pitching markets out of the Yankees’ desired price range is completely spot on, it wasn’t the most important part of the article.  The most important part was the end, when King provided an update on the Brett Gardner, Andrew Miller, and Ivan Nova trade situations.

That update is that there is nothing going on worth updating.  According to King, the Yankees haven’t been impressed by any of the trade offers that have been made for Gardner or Miller and are not close to trading either of them.  King added that there has been little interest on the market for Nova, who is reportedly being shopped around.  For the time being, unless they’ve really kept something under wraps, it doesn’t appear as though there is another major trade in the works for the Yanks.

And none of that is surprising.  Gardner and Miller are very good to great players at their positions who are still in their primes and on pretty reasonable contracts.  Teams would need to put a really good package of players/prospects together to get the Yankees interested and the Yankees have every right to ask for top names in return.  In the same way that they are unlikely to give up Luis Severino to get Shelby Miller, other teams have probably been unwilling to include their blue chippers in their proposals.  No big deal, just both sides doing what’s best for their own interests.

Nova’s case as a young-ish, cheap, future free agent to be with a 4.33/4.29 career ERA/FIP split, 50.1% career GB rate, and something to prove would be more appealing on the trade market if he wasn’t coming off a major injury and 2 pretty bad partial seasons around that.  I said it the other day, Nova isn’t going to bring anything of value back on his own.  He’s a throw-in piece to a bigger trade at best, and at that market value the Yankees might be better off keeping him.

We’ll see what develops heading into next week’s Winter Meetings, but right now the stove ain’t that hot in the Yankee kitchen.  It’s probably safe to touch. Continue reading Report: Nothing Close On The Gardner, Miller, Or Nova Trade Fronts

Red Sox sign David Price

I love late breaking news on a Tuesday!

Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe broke the news first that the Red Sox have agreed to a 7-year, $217 million contract with left-hander David Price and according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, there’s an opt-out clause after year three (2018).

Price, who turned 30 in August, was 9-1 in 11 starts with a 2.30 ERA for the Toronto Blue Jays in the second half of the season. Before he was traded and helped lead the Jays to an AL East division title, Price was with the Detroit Tigers where he started in 21 games and was 9-4 with a 2.53 ERA.

Price’s contract is the seventh-largest in MLB history and his deal is the most-ever for a pitcher beating out Clayton Kershaw‘s $215M contract.

Price is now on his third Al East team after being with the Rays from 2008-2014 and the Jays in 2015. Who knows? Maybe after he opts out in 2018, because that will probably happen, he can try and sign with the Orioles! Continue reading Red Sox sign David Price

Tuesday Afternoon News And Notes: 12/1/15

Good news!  We’re back up and running, albeit in a bit of a diminished fashion.  Like Stacey said before, it’s going to take some time to get back up to full capacity so bear with us while we work on things.  In the meantime, here are a few news nuggets to ease you into the current site condition:

– Postseason shares were released yesterday.  The Royals had a pool of $25.2 million to divvy up for winning the World Series.  Even divided up 58 ways that’s a nice chunk of change for a month’s work.  The Yankees got $1.048 mil and change for playing in and losing the AL Wild Card game and they handed out 59 full shares and 15.98 partial shares.  That works out to $13,979.99 per full share.  Also a nice chunk of change for one night’s work.

– Via Jon Heyman, the Yankees are among the teams who have called Atlanta about Shelby Miller and the Braves reportedly asked for Luis Severino in return.  Heyman did say there is “no evidence the Yanks are considering that” and I have to think they’ll pass if that’s what it’s going to take to get Miller.  Still worth asking, though.  You never know if there’s a deal to be reached if you don’t ask.

– Via Ken Rosenthal, the Red Sox signed Chris Young to a 2-year deal yesterday, giving them some added depth at the MLB level.  The deal was confirmed to be for $13 million earlier today.

That seems like buying high on a really good year to me, but that could just be me.  I don’t think Young is going to hit that well next season or beyond, I do think Aaron Hicks is going to be a better player than Young next season and beyond, and I definitely didn’t want to bring Young back on a multi-year deal.  If that’s what it took to get him, I’m glad the Yankees passed and upgraded with Hicks.

– Via Joel Sherman, the Yankees “never played seriously” for Young.  Had a quote from Cash saying they were out on Young the minute they made the Hicks trade.  Good.  That’s smart roster management.

– Also in the news today, the Marlins may hire Barry Bonds as their new hitting coach.  A-Rod thinks it’s a good idea, and he would know from his offseason work with Bonds leading up to the 2015 season. Continue reading Tuesday Afternoon News And Notes: 12/1/15

Site update: 12/1/15

Good afternoon, everyone.

We had a bit of a server issue late last night which, at first, seemed to wipe out the site entirely. But then, hope emerged, and now, it looks like our posts are back and that we only lost a majority of the images we had stored on the server. So all is not lost, thank goodness.

We are working on getting the site fully operational again and we ask for your patience while we do this.

We hope to be up and running again soon.

Thanks!
Continue reading Site update: 12/1/15

Jason Heyward is Perfect for the Yankees. Here’s How He Breaks the ‘Zombie Roster’ Problem.

Typically for Brian Cashman’s front office, we have not heard much about the Yankees plans for this offseason, other than that they are trying to shop Brett Gardner. As far as I can tell, the Yankees have not been directly connected to Heyward, although some have noted how well hit fits on the team.

Let’s review the case for Jason Heyward, quickly:

Heyward has produced 6.5, 3.4 (5.3 over 150 games), 5.2 and 6.0 fWAR over the past four seasons. He has been a remarkably consistent offensive player, with wRC+s of 121, 120, 110, and 121 over that time period. He was the 7th best hitter in baseball by fWAR over that time period, just ahead of Robinson Cano and Paul Goldschmidt. Among outfielders, only Mike Trout and Andrew McCutcheon were better.

Heyward’s performance is somewhat controversial given that a great deal of his production relies on defense. He has averaged 18.3 UZR/150 over his career. In terms of defensive fWAR, Heyward is 5th in baseball over the last four years behind Lorenzo Cain, JJ Hardy Yadier Molina, and Andrelton Simmons with 58.9 runs saved.

How Heyward Breaks the ‘Zombie Team’ Problem

Heyward is the youngest elite free agent to actually hit the market in a long time. He won’t turn 27 until August of next season. A ten-year contract will take him only through his age-35 season. I tried searching for the last MLB free agent to be this good and this young, and I couldn’t find anyone in recent memory.

Here’s what an aging curve for a player like Heyward looks like, via BTBS:

phenom_aging_curves.0

Most elite free agents hit the market around the age 29-31 marks. At that point, the average elite player’s decline has already started, and is about to get very steep. We’ve seen that with players like Robinson Cano (free agent at 31) and Jacoby Ellsbury (free agent at 30), who hit the steep part of their declines almost instantly after signing the big contract. Continue reading Jason Heyward is Perfect for the Yankees. Here’s How He Breaks the ‘Zombie Roster’ Problem.