Trade Musing: Rick Porcello And Drew Smyly

The Yankees may have six starting pitchers for five rotation spots, and potentially seven when Michael Pineda returns, but it hasn’t stopped them from looking for other options. In regards to pitching, the Yankees actually finished seventh in pitching fWAR in 2012, and the rotation will largely be the same come 2013, but...

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The luxury tax non-issue

If you haven’t listened to last night’s podcast yet, you should totally do that. In the meantime, I’d like to pull out a point that was made by Rob Abruzzese of Bronx Baseball Daily about the luxury tax that I think deserves a special level of recognition. In case you haven’t heard, the Yankees were just hit with an $18.9 million luxury tax bill this season, with a taxable payroll of $222.5 million. That means that the combined expenditure was a pretty daunting $241.4 million. So considering that, it’s no surprise that the Yankees want to avoid paying a punitive 50% luxury tax rate, right? Well there’s just one problem with that: the Yankees tax bill would actually be lower under the system they’re so desperately trying to avoid.

How is that possible? It’s simple: While the rate the Yankees will be taxed at will go up, the luxury tax threshold is also increasing from the $178 million mark it currently sits at.…

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Will R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball Succeed In A Domed Stadium?

The Blue Jays just got better. This is now a common weekly theme for the team. First it was Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and Jose Reyes, then it was Melky Cabrera, and now R.A. Dickey is headed to Canada. They’ve lost a number of prospects to get...

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On the Money 12/17/2012

Rob Abruzzese joined Stacey and I this evening, and we found quite a bit to talk about, covering everything from the R.A. Dickey trade to the unusual offseason the entire A.L. East is having, and finally covering quite a bit of what’s going on with the Yankees before the Hot Stove season takes its traditional lull during the Christmas holiday. Enjoy!

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Blue Jays get their ace, but pay a steep price

I guess I’ll have to reconsider my relatively bearish take on the Blue Jays now, huh? After putting the rest of the league on notice by acquiring pretty much ever good player on the Marlins’ roster other than Giancarlo Stanton, Toronto has continued their push for the crown in 2013 by acquiring R.A. Dickey, the 2012 National League Cy Youn winner, from the Mets for a package that will include their best two remaining prospects (according to Baseball America’s prospect rankings). Dickey figures to slot in with Josh Johnson atop Toronto’s suddenly revamped starting rotation, and will likely be enough to get the coveted label of preseason favorites in the East.

First of all, the Mets are basically taking an offer they can’t refuse. Dickey has been great for the past three seasons, but he is 38 years old, and even with the unique aging curve of knuckleballers extending him may not be in the best interests in the Mets, a franchise that’s probably still at least a year or two away from being serious contenders.…

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Derek Jeter: The Least Volatile

Baseball is always going to be a game of volatility. Players are going to go into streaks of making outs, and then all of the sudden start hitting again, before they stop for a little bit. Luck plays an underrated factor in the way the game is played. However, some players are able to moderate...

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More on Miller’s supposed deficiencies

A couple of weeks ago I responded to this piece on Marvin Miller’s legacy published at The Economist, and last Thursday the author, Dan Rosenheck, responded in the comment section of my post. I meant to get to this last Friday, but since I didn’t and since the response is somewhat lengthy, I figured I’d devote a new post to answering Mr. Rosenheck’s counterpoints. Those points are bulleted, so I’ll respond in turn:

You argue that a system of perpetual one-year deals would have reduced overall compensation. This is counterfactual, so there’s no way to prove it one way or the other. I know Miller thought this, but I’m not convinced that it’s true. On one hand, you wouldn’t have 7-year albatross deals. On the other, however, if teams didn’t have to worry about paying for decline years, peak Pujols or A-Rod might have been able to sign for $40 million or more a season.

I suppose it’s true enough that you can’t “prove” a counterfactual, but I would just note that for my assumption to be incorrect we have to completely suspend the law of supply and demand.…

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What can we expect from Brett Gardner in 2013?

Brett Gardner has the exact profile of a Yankee fan favorite. He’s home grown. He plays hard every day. He’s a bit of an underdog because his skill set is undervalued in today’s game. He had a breakout season in 2010 when he hit .277/.383/.379 and managed a 112 wRC+ while swiping 47...

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Oh dear, Vernon Wells?

Because things can always get worse, apparently the Yankees have seriously considered a trade to acquire The First National Bank of Vernon Wells from the Angels. That comes via Ken Rosenthal, who reports that the two teams discussed Wells at the Winter Meetings, though nothing is close. Both Rosenthal and Jon Heyman report, however, that any trade would be contingent upon the Angels eating the vast majority of the $42 million remaining on Wells’ albatross of a contract.

All things considered, I suppose there are worse ways to go about getting a right-handed hitter to play the outfield. For as terrible as Wells has been in his two season with the Angels, he’s been okay against left-handed pitchers, though there’s some huge variance to those numbers. He whacked opposite hand pitcher to the tune of a .280/.320/.531 line with a 134 wRC= back in 2011, but then hit just .227/.298/.373 (88 wRC+) last season, albeit in just 84 plate appearances.

I guess the theory here is that he could come super cheap and that a move out of Anaheim and into a hitter friendly stadium could improve his numbers a bit, but I wouldn’t really count on it, and I’d be pretty loathe to commit myself to having him on the bench for two seasons even if the Angels are paying most of the tab.…

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