Saturday, January 02, 2010

Reviewing the Offseason so far

So it's now 2010 and Cashman and the Yankees have made a splash again with their off-season transactions so far, but not nearly the splash they made last year. Even so, I think the team is in better shape now than at seasons end.

They first added a legit CF in the prime of his career. Some are going to bark about his strikeouts and his weak average against lefties. But from I what I've seen, he is already committed to bettering those things. He has already solicited the advice of CC Sabathia (one of the best pitchers in the game, who happens to be a lefty) about how they go about getting him out. He has already discussed thoe things with Kevin Long as well. Let's not overlook that the Yankees had one of the worse OF defensively over the past couple of years. This goes a long way in rectifying that as well. Granderson is borderline Gold Glove quality.

The Vazquez acquisition gives the Yankees a great starter in the #4 spot who will pitch well and eat innings. Exactly what you want at the back of your rotation. People will complain how he struggled previously in NY. I see the opposite. He made his only All-Star appearance as a member of the Yankees in 2004, then was hurt the second half of that season. I wouldn't be surprised if he leads the team in strikeouts giving the Yankees 3 guys in the top 5 for the league leaders in K's (CC, AJ, & Javier). I would also expect that Vazquez will have more wins and a better ERA than Pettitte this year.

Then there's Nick Johnson...good OBP guy, maybe not your prototypical #2 hitter, or your prototypical DH for that matter, but I think he will have a very good season. If he sticks to mostly DH'ing I would think that greatly reduces his injury chances. If he gets 500ABs this season, he could go .310 20HR...we'll be saying Johnny who...

This offseason isn't without some disappointment. We have the loss of a true Yankee in Matsui. This was especially difficult since he has signed with the West coast rivals...on the cheap ($6.5MM). I guess it's good that the Yankees let him go because they were worried about his knees and not a money issue. It was however a money issue for Damon. That's a little sad...on one hand I'm upset with Damon, he's coming off a $52MM contract, and he's arguing over a couple million. Then I'm upset with the Yankees because they've never been about not spending money, and all of sudden they're worried about a budget with a key part of their lineup no less. Then I get over it because I realize Damon may be the second worst OF in the game today (Jermain Dye is arguably the worst in the league). Other disappointments: I think Cashman could have been more aggressive to acquire Roy Halladay. The loss of prospects and young players has to be a little disappointing. After holding on to prospects the last couple of seasons, Cashman finally traded some for the above mentioned players. Gone are Austin Jackson, Michael Dunn, Brian Bruney, Ian Kennedy, and Melky Cabrera. The only one that I really question here is Jackson. The organization seemed really high on him the last couple of years, but felt he was still a year away. Funny how the Yankees feel he is a year away, but he will most likely get a shot at starting CF for the Tigers this year. Ian Kennedy while I like his stuff on the mound I don't think he was cut out for NY. He could thrive in Arizona I wouldn't be surprised to see him in double digits win next year with an ERA in the 3's, he wouldn't get anywhere near that with the Yankees. Melky came up big last year, but I think he has a problem with being complacent...almost bordering on laziness. I don't think he should unpack in Atlanta because he will probably be dealt again. Wonder if Melky being traded will have an impact on Cano. It will either serve as a wake up call and we could see Cano's best season or he could go in a season long funk.

The obvious hole the Yankees have is in left-field. With options drying up fast (Byrd signing with Chicago, DeRosa to the Giants, Cameron to Boston, etc) I can see the Yankees going to camp with Gardner as their starting LF. There are some rumors out there the Yankees are interested in Josh Willingham from the Nationals, but I'm afraid the Yankees would have to give up too much for him. Give Gardner the shot he deserves it.


Middle Relief said...

Wow - holy crap I don't think I"ve ever seen a defense lie down and die as quickly as I saw the Giants D do this year.

Reese and Coughlin's character are on the line here. If Coughlin doesn't hold the coordinators accountable (by firing both of them) then Reese has to hold Coughlin accountable and fire him.

Then hire Bill Cowher.

As bad as it is seeing the Giants start 5-0 and not making the playoffs - I guess it is worse if you're a Broncos fan who started 6-0.

If the Jets can advance in the playoffs Sanchez will not have to buy a dinner in the NY/NY area ever again.

Middle Relief said...

Couple of points in regards to this excellent post put forth by Crash:

Getting rid of the prospects are a mistake - Austin Jackson, Ian Kennedy, and Phil Coke - bad moves in my opinion.

Gardner does deserve a shot.

The starting Rotation will be: CC, AJ, Pettitte,Javier, and Hughes

Joba will go back to being the lights out machine he once was.

Any progress on Wang?

old professor said...

Have to agree with the analysis of the Giants performance. The team laid down and quit. Coughlin was a simmering volcano. Odd - the defense was superb during the first five games as was the offensive line. Then the schedule go a little tougher and those guys let their true nature come through. Jacobson was not the dominent runner he was even from a year ago (apparently when you don't have to play for a big contract, you can sit and collect money). Osi was a bust coming back as was some of the free agent signings for the D-line. Canty was MIA as was Rocky Bernard.

The offensive line will face some rebuilding over the off season. the needs of the team: defensive backs that can cover, someone to become a leader on the defense, a consistent running back and oh yes a kicker who can kick-off farther than the twenty yard line.

Now about Crash's post - The off season signings will come back to haunt the Yankees. Nick Johnson is not Matsui; Granderson can talk about fixing the issues, but the bottom line is he cannot hit left handed pitching. (You don't think the battiing coach at Detroit tried to address the issue?). Too many good prospects given up - Jackson (was the top prospect) Visciano (was number 3) and Kennedy was a former #1 pick.

Crash said...

This is a cool site that iYankees had a link to...

Type in the first name then last name and get a complete review/summary of the players medical history. For laughs type in Nick Johnson.

Crash said...

Thankfully I was working for 10 hours on Sunday so I got to miss the debacle that was the Giants game. If the Defensive Coordinator isn't fired this week, then Caughlin needs to go. I would think Bill Cower or Mike Shanahan would jump all over an open HC job for the Giants.

old professor said...

Cashman named Baseball Executive of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of Boston (wow was that a slap at Theo??).

Crash, word on the street is the defensive coordinator for the giants has been fired (expect the offensive coordinator to go next). This year's team gave up more points than anyother giants team since 1966. I believe that may have been YA Tittle's last season. This year's team showed no heart and no one on defense stepped up to give leadership.

Mid said...

NY Post is reporting Giants D-Coordinator gone (get rid of Gilbride to while they're at it)

Entire Bills Coaching staff gassed.

old professor said...

It would appear the market and market value for Johnny Damon continues to shrink. It would not be a bad idea for the Yankees and Damon to split the difference between the 14 million being offered and the 20 million being requested (that would average to be 17 million over two years or approximately 8.5 million per year for two years).

It is also surprising to see that Ben Sheets and Joel Pinero are still on the market. Sheets could be had for an incentive loaded contract. Wang has also been given permission to start throwing in another six weeks. That kind of schedule would put him on track to be ready to pitch in between mid may and early June.

Crash said...

The firing (both the Giants DC and the entire Bills staff) was completely justified.

Early reports were Wang back in early May, now it's been pushed back to June at the earliest...I still hope he ends up in Pinstripes and could really add depth for the team in the second half.

I heard whispers that Sheets is heading to the Cubs and Pineiro to the Mets. The Mets were just waiting for the Bay announcement.

I agree with splitting the difference with Damon. Cashman would have to get permission to expand the budget though by a couple of million. If Nady is out of their price range at $6MM, so is Damon at $8.5.

Wow I just looked at contracts that are expiring soon. The make up of these team could potentially change drastically. At the end of this season: Jeter, Rivera, & Pettitte. That's $47.75MM. I would guess that Jeter is the only lock to return. I would guess Pettitte and Mo would be closer to hanging them up. You also have Vazquez and Johnson coming off for another ($17MM). Juan Miranda's contract will expire in 2010. This guy can hit not sure why he hasn't been given the opportunity at the next level.

In 2011, you have Posada, Swisher, potentially Cano (team options for 2012-2013), & Marte (2012 option).

Cashman's contract is up in 2011. He makes $2MM a season...not bad for a front office guy. As comparison Billy Beane is a little over $1MM and Theo is $1.5MM.

For sentimental reasons I would like to see "The Core Four" go out together. Don't think that will happen, I think Jeter will play longer than any of them as he seems to have a realistic shot at 4,000 hits.

Crash said...

Today is Hall of Fame day...from a Yankee perspective I don't think Mattingly increases his vote total just because of the other names on the ballot. Roberto Alomar gets in today maybe Andre Dawson. I think Barry Larkin, Tim Raines, Jack Morris, Edgar Martinez, and of Mattingly deserve it. I'm not a fan of Bert Blyleven getting in. I think announcement is made at 2pm.

Randy Johnson calls it a career after 22 seasons. He will be in Cooperstown in 5 years, no doubt about it.

old professor said...

Of the Yankees whose contracts expire this year, Jeter will come back and Mo indicated he would like to pitch for another 4-5 years (the way he can still function indicates he could probably do it). Pettitte will probably walk away.

Posada will retire after his contract expires - he will be 40 years old and his best catching days will be behind him. I do not envision him as a full-time DH.

It is a serious question as to why Miranda has not been given a shot. He can hit and he can field. At one point, Cashman was going to make him the DH. He may still be added to the roster for the upcoming year but that would create a log jam at DH/1b. Miranda may have also played a little and stress little right field at SWB. He may be caught in the same circumstances that Shelly Duncan found himself.

Don't count on Cano being around for the end of his contract. If his attitude goes sour, he will be gone. The Yankees have a younger and highly thought of second baseman at SWB. He may actually be brought up to replace Hairston.

The player I am referring to his Kevin Russo - he hit .326, had an OBS of .628 a slugging percentage of .431 and an OBP of .397. The only downside is he led the team in errors with 12.

As for the Yankee budget. There seems to be a slight discrepancy between what Cashman is saying and what Steinbrenner is saying. Cashman insists the budget is cast in stone while Steinbrenner indicated he is open to budget flexability.

old professor said...

Randy Johnson went out on his own terms and will be a first ballot hall of fame inductee in five years.

St. Louis will announce signing Matt Halladay to a seven year $120 million contract. Talk about overpaying. Halladay is not a 100 million player. St. Louis was bidding against themselves in this whole process.

As a mid market team how can they affort $120 for Holladay and what will be a contract exceeding that for Pujols. They will have those two and a roster of AAA players making the minimum. This contract does not make sense.

Crash said...

Cashman has publicly stated that Brett Gardner is the LF. Is this Bubba Crosby part 2, or does cashman really mean it this time. I hope he means it. If Gardner can hit >.275 and steal 40+ bases from the 9 spot you take that in a second.

Given that, here is my projected line-up for the Yankees this season:


There's a lot of flexibility there because of the switch hitters. I'm thinking Granderson bats ahead of Posada because having Granderson and Cano together is 2 lefties back-to-back.



Right now the bench has Cervelli on it. I wouldn't mind seeing Harriston come back but he may want a starting role somewhere. Not sure if the Rule 5 pick Hoffman has to be on the 25 man roster or the 40 man roster.

old professor said...

Crash, Hoffman has to be on the 25 man roster for the entire year or he is given back to LA along with $25,000.

Crash said...

So Andre Dawson gets in to the Hall of Fame. Congratulations to the Hawk!!!

How the hell is Roberto Alomar not voted in?!?!? Baseball Writers are too full of themselves when it comes to the HOF balloting. They are such a joke.

Middle Relief said...

Dawson should get in for his career on Nintendo - he killed me.


Cards way over paid for hallday

old professor said...

i was unaware that the Braves signed Eric Hinske for backup duty at first and third. He was a very good bat off the bench for the Yankees, but it seemed that he fell out of favor with Joe Girardi about half way through his time with the team.

Crash said...

I have seen a couple blogs out there examine the possibility of moving Cano to LF?!?!?! Sounds like Soriano all over again. The thought is his defense at 2B is below average (supported by sabermetrics, despite the gold glove clamoring from ESPN broadcaster and HOF member Joe Morgan). Some say it's a bad move because Cano's offense is more valuable from 2B than LF. It's easier to find someone with Cano's offensive production to play LF than 2B. So Unless the Yankees have someone that is better defensively and can produce comparably to Cano he isn't moving anytime soon.

I think these bloggers are putting too much analysis in this. Let's just look att he obvious, it's a bad idea because Cano is lazy and would just give up on very makeable plays. He has a hard time running after balls in the short outfield behind first and second, I can't see him covering the gap in left-center.

Crash said...

Vlad G. to the Rangers. Great signing for the Rangers. Thank Vlad will have a monster season in Texas next year. He could hit 30 HR there.

Also seeing the Yankees are strongly pursuing Jerry Harriston Jr. He would be a great player to add. He may technically be a bench player for the Yankees, but he could still probably approach 350-400 ABs because of his versatility. Hope they sign him.

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