The other day, I ran through some pitcher projections. Yesterday, I stumbled across this simple WAR calculator from Wahoo’s on First. Using that, let’s project the WARs (not doing any trades, so we can’t add ‘em up, you guys) and get nuts. For the appropriate projected numbers, I’ll use the 2012 ZiPS Projections. I’ll do [...]
Recent speculation about Japanese pitching prospect Yu Darvish has focused on whether he might not be posted at all, and then everyone seemed to agree he’d be posted in January. But last night his agent posted to Twitter that Darvish will be posted “tomorrow,” though I’m not clear if tomorrow means today or Friday. Darvish is the last big name to hit the market, as it were, a hard throwing righty with more upside than anyone available this year. I would expect a lot of interest in him around Major League Baseball, though it’s extremely difficult to predict what everyone is going to bid. The official bidding period is open four days, but it usually takes a week to find out who won a bid, so expect an announcement at the end of next week.
Personally, I was a little lukewarm on Darvish earlier in the offseason, not necessarily enthusiastic about the prospect of a big outlay for a pitcher with no MLB experience. But thanks to the details of the new CBA, and the Yankees’ desire to get their payroll down to $189 before 2014, I think Darvish has become a near necessity for the team if they’re truly trying to add a top of the rotation starter to the roster. Remember that the posting fee they pay for the rights to negotiate with Darvish won’t count against their luxury tax bill at all, so as far as MLB is concerned, that portion of the outlay is tax free. The only portion of the deal the Yankees will be taxed on is the average annual value of Darvish’s contract, a number that shouldn’t be much more than $10 million at the highest.
(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog). Considered along side the other big headlines being made at the Winter Meetings, the Yankees winning bid for the rights to Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima doesn’t seem like a big deal. However, it could signal the beginning of a new strategy designed to circumvent some of the onerous restrictions triggered by [...]
Well, ’tis the season for miracles and all that:
The Yankees have inserted A.J. Burnett into the trade market at the Winter Meetings, The Post has learned.
According to multiple teams, the Yankees have let it be known they will listen to offers for Burnett and are willing to pay $8 million of the $33 million Burnett is owed over the next two seasons.
I applaud the effort, and I suppose there’s no harm in dreaming of starting our post-A.J. experience early, but this probably isn’t going to happen. As a first order of business, the Yankees are going to have to pick up a heckuva lot more than $8 million of Burnett’s remaining salary if they want another general manager to even listen to a proposal to move Burnett. Picking up $20 million might make it an attractive offer for someone else, but are the Yankees really going to want to pay Burnett that much to play for someone else?
I think there’s a reasonably good chance Burnett gets traded. Next offseason. This year there’s just too much money left on Burnett’s contract and he’s pitched too poorly for two years running now, to make a match for a trade possible, which means we’re probably stuck with him for at least one more season.
But look on the bright side; maybe Santa will bring A.J. his missing fastball for Christmas.
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees have won the bidding for Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima. I know nothing about Nakajima, other than that he’s a career .300 hitter in Japan, and won’t pretend to, but this presumably means that the Yankees are taking trade offers involving Eduardo Nunez seriously, and/or really like Nakajima as a caddy for Alex Rodriguez at third base. Either way, not something I expected to happen today, but hooray for something to talk about!
Gio Gonzalez has been one of the hotter commodities on the trade market at the Winter Meetings, and it’s easy to see why. The young left-hander has eclipsed 200 innings in each of the past two seasons, has very nice stuff, and though he’s qualified for arbitration as a Super Two, he’s still got four years of team control remaining. Yesterday, we got an idea of what Oakland is looking for in exchange for Gonzalez. Joel Sherman reports that the A’s are looking for “high-end young outfielders,” while Bob Klapisch passes along that the A’s asked the Yankees for Jesus Montero and either Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances for Gonzalez.
The big takeaway here is that teams are asking a lot for their marketable talent, even when they have glaring weaknesses. As attractive as he might be, Gonzalez has walked 4.1 batter per nine innings over the past two seasons, which is not good, and will be even less good moving to the American League East, where the ballparks are more accommodating to the long ball than in the West. Suffice it to say, the Yankees probably won’t be trading Montero or Banuelos for Gonzalez, and they don’t have high level outfielders in the system.
Still, while it’s a long shot, there might be the faint outline of a deal here. In a lot of ways, Gonzalez and Betances share a similar profile. Both flashed great strikeout ability in the minors, but both consistently walked a lot of guys. Betances has the more appealing body type of the two, but on the other hand, you already know Gonzalez is capable of turning in 200 big league innings. Personally I’d be happy to trade Betances for Gonzalez, but that isn’t going to get a trade done, and there’s no other obvious piece to include behind Betances. A three-team deal could help that, but if the Yankees are only getting Gonzalez in return, I can’t see them trading away many high-level prospects.
And that seems to be the story of 2011; plenty of potential options, but no good matches unless the Yankees are willing to give up at least one of their top two prospects.
The title says it all, folks. I’m going to list a few trade target pitchers and in the comments, I want you to tell us what your best offer would be. John Danks Pros: Lefty; decent strikeout/control numbers; affordable; short term commitment. Cons: So-so ground ball numbers; free agent after 2011. Gio Gonzalez Pros: Lefty; [...]
On second thought, maybe Major League Baseball does need a salary cap to level the field between the Miami Marlins and everyone else.
Previously, when the possibility of acquiring former Dodgers’ pitcher Hiroki Kuroda has presented itself, his desire to remain out West (or in Japan) has proved to be a big hurdle towards making a deal possible. But now, with Kuroda a free agent and the Dodgers seemingly uninterested in keeping him around, David Waldstein is reporting that Kuroda is willing to move east, and that the Yankees have an advantage in Russell Martin, who was Kuroda’s catcher for his first three seasons.
On the other hand, Joel Sherman reports that the financials of the matter are a “tough fit” because the Yankees don’t see him as an obvious “top-of-the rotation” pitcher. In other news, “top-of-the-rotation” pitcher is quickly becoming my least favorite meme of the offseason. Kuroda reportedly wants $12-13 million annually, but on a short term deal, and true frontline pitcher or not, if Kuroda were on the roster right now he’d likely be the Yankees’ second best starter. Unless someone else is willing to guarantee Kuroda a second year, or the Yankees have something better on the line, I don’t see any reason to pass on Kuroda.
Unless, that is, you happen to think the Yankees already have their starting rotation set.