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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Yankees “quietly interested” in Michael Bourn?

Ah, the language of the offseason rumor mill. What does it mean to be “quietly interested” in someone, and how does that differ than just being interested in them? I’m not sure, really, other than that I guess it’s different than making sure everyone knows that a certain player is someone you really want to acquire in the way that the Dodgers did with Greinke or that the Yankees did with C.C. Sabathia back in 2008.

Anyway, yesterday Nick Cafardo reported that “some believe” the Yankees are “quietly interested” in Michael Bourn, and could move in to sign him if the market for him continues to not really develop as a lot of people thought it would. That is, if they feel like they’re getting a bargain. I can understand that, but frankly I don’t really see where Bourn fits into the roster at the moment. He’s an okay average hitter with no power and good plate discipline who adds a lot of value with his superb defense and base running skills.…

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On Matters of the Outfield

This past weekend, two slightly odd things about the Yankees and their outfield situation were reported. After they inked Ichiro Suzuki to a two year deal (something I’m not entirely a fan of, but that’s really neither here nor there), we learned that the Yankees had talked to the Angels about a...

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Not learning from their mistakes

To any Yankee fan the perils of paying too much money on aging players are obvious. Alex Rodriguez is the ultimate example of the dead weight that can wind up on a team’s payroll from these large contracts, and Mark Teixeira isn’t far behind. Within the Yankees own clubhouse Read more

Lack Of Logic In The Ichiro Situation

Hank and Hal just looking to cash in... Courtesy of Getty Images

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

While most of the baseball world was buzzing about the Josh Hamilton signing yesterday...

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Trade Musing: Peter Bourjos, Mark Trumbo, And Hank Conger

I used to think the Angels had too many outfielders on their team, then they went ahead and gave Josh Hamilton a five-year $125 million dollar deal. It makes Hamilton the second highest paid position player (AAV) in the game, right behind Alex Rodriguez. It also gives the Angels five potential...

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Yankees give Ichiro two years

According to Jon Heyman, the Yankees have a deal finished with Ichiro Suzuki, a deal that will pay Ichiro $13 million over two years. On the one hand, it’s nice that the Yankees have a right fielder and now pretty much just have to focus on finding a DH and some bench players, but on the other hand I honestly can’t say that I like the contract or can really see the upside in guaranteeing Ichiro two years.

On it’s own terms, the deal is kind of a mixed bag. I’m certainly not a big fan of giving two guaranteed years to a 38 year old no-power corner outfielder who was pretty bad at the plate for most of the last two seasons, even if he did return to his career norm after August 1st. But on this market it would seem to be a fair price, and reports are that Philadelphia and San Francisco both had richer two year offers in front of Ichiro, so this isn’t some sort of aggressive overpayment by the Yankees.…

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