23 Feb 2017
This is only a test, the management of YankeesRedSox.com is conducting a test.
19 Feb 2017
Randy Levine has never been very smart about keeping his mouth shut. His most recent performance was out of the old book of Steinbrenner.
Not content with just winning the arbitration case against Delia Betances, Levine blasted his agents, and Betances in a pointless attack that will only poison relations with him down the road.
I understand why the Yankees chose to go to arbitration with a Betances. While the gap between them was only $2-million this year, if Betances had made $5-million, like he asked for, he would have been eligible to significantly increase that in arbitration next year. And, after 2018, the Yankees may have found themselves on the hook for a second closer salary-wise.
That doesn’t excuse the stupidity of Levine or the absurdity of the system. Betances may be the most valuable reliever in the game over the past three years. Throw out saves and he is right there with them all. But arbitrators rely on saves and Betances didn’t have enough of them to earn his bigger payday. Levine should ha e pocketed the win and moved on. This was an unforced error.
14 Feb 2017
The bags are unpacked and the gear is ready to go. Pitchers and catchers reported today in Tampa and in a few weeks we will have box scores once again. How great is that?
Camp for the Yankees should be interesting, even though you can almost predict the final roster right now. On offense, it seems almost certain that the 13 guys headed north will be Sanchez, Romine, Bird, Carter, Castro, Didi, Headley, Torreyes, Gardner, Ellsbury, Judge, Hicks, and Holliday. The pitching is murkier because 2 spots in the rotation are open, but I would expect to see the following 11 guys make the team: Tanaka, Pineda, Sabathia, Severino, Green, Warren, Chapman, Betances, Clippard, Mitchell, and Cessa, with the final spot going to a left-handed reliever.
So, why is camp interesting with almost all of the final roster set? Because it is all about the future. We will get a look at almost every top-10 prospect in the system and should start to get an idea of when these guys are realistically going to make the Bronx. The two closest right now would be Frazier and Kaprielian. The Yankees hope Frazier is their left fielder of the future and Kapreilian is a part of the 2018 rotation. Both could force their way to the Bronx early in 2017 if they play well. While Torres will also certainly get plenty of attention, keep your eye on Miguel Andujar. The Yankees need to see if he can continue to hit and handle third as they eye him as a possible replacement for Headley. I’m also excited to see Chance Adams and Dietrich Enns. Adams went 13-1 between A ball and AA with over a strikeout an inning. Enns went 14-4 between AA and AAA with 124 K’s in 140 innings. When you consider that Tanaka has an opt-out after this year while Sabathia and Pineda are free agents, the Yankees will need some of their younger arms to step forward.
7 Feb 2017
The other day I posted this: Think about the Yankees. Matt Holiday was a pretty solid signing at $13-million for one year, but what would you say if they had signed Chris Carter for much less than that?
Well I guess I need to say something now because the Yankees just signed him for the bargain basement price of $3-million.
The price is great, but I don’t think this is a good fit with the way the team is presently constructed. Holliday and Carter are too similar. They are both righties and they are both best suited for a DH role.
But, if you had to, you could put Carter at first. The problem is that is where Greg Bird should be. So maybe you put Holliday in left, but then where does Brett Gardner go? The Yankees could simply be adding Carter as righty power on the bench. But if you carry 13 pitchers, you only have four bench spots. A guy who can really only play first doesn’t make a lot of sense in that scenario.
Perhaps the Yankees are just taking a flier for spring and will see if they can flip Carter for something towards the end of camp? Or they have another trade in the works? Because absent that, I don’t get this. Yes, the price is great, but the fit is poor.
3 Feb 2017
According to this story by Buster Olney (subscription required) on Wednesday 65 free agents remained out of an original pool of 139. Considering that we are ten days away from pitchers and catchers reporting, I find that amazing. And there are some big names out there. Chris Carter, who hit 41 homers last year. Mike Napoli, who hit 34. Matt Wieters and Jason Hammel are available. At what point do these guys take an incentive-laden one-year deal and try to reestablish their value for next season?
And this will have big implications for next offseason as Olney points out. Not only will there be a bevy of players coming off of one-year deals, teams will be patient based on this year. Think about the Yankees. Matt Holiday was a pretty solid signing at $13-million for one year, but what would you say if they had signed Chris Carter for much less than that?
It seems like we have entered a new world in baseball and the players are not catching onto it. Old and expensive is out, young and cheap is in. If you are a superstar, you will get superstar dollars. But if you are not, you had better be very careful how you negotiate because you might be fighting for scraps at the start of spring training. We may start to see rosters comprised of a handful of guys earning $20-million or more and then the rest earning less than $5-million. In short, we are might be witnessing the destruction of the “middle class” in baseball. (I know, I don’t feel sorry for any of them either.)
And all of this drives up the value of prospects. It will be interesting to see how the Yankees, a team loaded with prospects right now, manoeuvres in this new environment.
25 Jan 2017
Comments Off on This Is Better?
I think the Yankees are smart to try to get more fans into the ballpark, but the changes they are making, detailed here, really don’t impress me.
I mean I love going to the playground with my 3-year old, but it’s not something I want to do at the ballgame. And while I understand these changes are directed at a younger generation than mine, I think they completely miss the reason why people aren’t going to the games.
Start with the most obvious problem with the new stadium, its lack of history. Yes, it is much more comfortable and convenient to get around, but the Yankees lost the magic of the old place. You could once look out at a field that had been the home to some of the greatest players and moments in baseball, that’s been lost. So the Stadium no longer has that draw and if you don’t have that draw, and you don’t have a great team, things get tougher.
Now that would probably matter less if the new place was remotely affordable. I don’t drive to the games, but I understand parking is ridiculous, like $40 or more. Add on a decent ticket in the upper deck is $30 and by the time you eat, a single fan has spent close to $100. For a family of four, a trip to the park could easily total $300 or more. And for $300 you can get a pretty nice HDTV these days which lets you watch all the games.
The other problem, and this is not a Yankee-centric problem, is the game of baseball is not a good fit for the modern attention span. Try having a conversation with someone under 30 and see if they can keep eye contact for the duration. I bet they can’t. And while I pick on younger people, I know plenty of people my age and older who can no longer pay attention to things the way we used to have to. I’m not sure what the solution is, but umpires who enforced the real strike zone and kept batters from leaving the box after every pitch and catcher from meeting on the mound three times an inning would help.
I keep wondering if the era of live sports is drawing to a close. The owners of all the major sports have surrendered control to the TV networks while the stadiums they build are really geared to the ultra-wealthy. To me, this is a short-sighted strategy because the big spenders of tomorrow need to get hooked today, but we will have to see what the future holds. Maybe the jungle gyms will be enough.
18 Jan 2017
Congrats to Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan Rodriguez on making the Hall of Fame.
I still don’t get these voters.
Bagwell gets in, but Edgar Martinez and Vlad Guerrero don’t?
Manny gets 25% and Bonds gets 53% while Sosa gets 8%? Remove PEDS from this equation and I would say you have three clear HOFers so why the vote differences?
Schilling loses a bunch of votes for what reason? I get it, the guy is a jackass, but plenty of those are already in the HOF and it just makes the writers look small.
Perhaps transparency will improve this process next year For now, I am still scratching my head.
13 Jan 2017
The Yankees have settled three arbitration cases today so far- Didi ($5.1M), Warren($2.29M)
Long ago, the site MLB Trade Reference pegged those three to almost exactly those numbers. In fact, they missed by a sum of $120,000. In total, they estimated the Yankees to have just about $22M in arbitration awards. With the payroll at about $166M, that puts them right around $188M if they continue to be right.
But, luxury tax thresholds are calculated by the average annual value of contracts, not the actual dollars earned. For example, A-Rod will earn $21M from the Yankees this year to stay home (or $20.5M if he signs with another team for the ML minimum) but his AAV figure is $27.5M. You also need to figure in the guys who are on the 40-man earning either the major/minor league minimum. And, player benefits count. Add it all, up and the Yankees are probably around $210M, or $15M over the luxury tax for 2017.
2018 looks a lot better. Right now, the Yankees are probably about $70M under the threshold assuming Tanaka doesn’t opt-out. If he does, that’s another $22M you can add to their space. They will have many of the same guys in arbitration, so they probably will spend at least $30M of that space there. They will also have to retain/replace the following free agents besides Tanaka- Pineda, Sabathia, Holliday, and Clippard. Together those guys are about $53M in AAV. But, it looks very likely that the Yankees will be able to duck under the threshold in 2018 and therefore reset their potential penalties to the minimum if they go on a free agent binge before the 2019 season.
18 Dec 2016
Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be right-handed. That’s how that song goes right? The latest proof of that “adage” is the contract Mike Dunn signed with Colorado for at least three years and $19-million.
Yankee fans, do you remember Dunn? Big lefty, limited control and a guy traded to the Braves for Javier Vazquez.
Ironically, the other guy the Yankees got in that trade was Boone Logan, another lefty like Dunn, who got almost the same contract three years ago when he left the Yankees, and is currently a free agent reportedly seeking at least $8-million a year.
Perhaps it is time to sign Betances to an extension?
9 Dec 2016
Brian Cashman said that “the heavy lifting was done” after signing Chapman. He held out the possibility of a minor free agent move, or a trade of Brett Gardner, but he said Chase Headley will be at third when the season starts.
That means a couple of things. First and foremost, there are two open spots in the rotation and a bunch of young arms with an opportunity to grab them. I expect the Yankees want Severino to take one of them, but I think it will really be based on how he and everyone else does in camp.
Second, it means the offense is a bit of a mystery. The Yankees were weighed down last year by Teixeira and A-Rod, who are both gone, but plenty of questions remain. Can Bird and Sanchez replicate their debut seasons? Can Judge adjust to the majors? Is Hicks a useful player? Will Didi and Castro continue to progress. When you think about the possibilities for the season, the questions on offense are probably the greatest variables.
Finally, we can see the outlines of the bullpen. Put Clippard, Betances, and Chapman at the end of it. Add Warren, if he isn’t a starter. Throw in a long guy from the young group of rotation candidates. That leaves 2 spots. I would expect one to go to a lefty and the other to be the one to be a transitory spot that the Yankees use to keep a fresh arm around.
One last note. In bad news that you can also take as good news, the Yankees lost four players in the Rule five draft. It’s a lot of talent leaving the organization, but another indication of how deep the farm system is as only one other club even had two players selected