Monday, November 01, 2010

San Fran Closes 2010 Out

So, after blowing the Yanks in 6 games, the Rangers woke up and remembered they were . . . the Rangers.

Good for San Fran - they were overdue. I like the manager, who had been to Fall Classic before but game up short, Bochy earned this title.



old professor said...

The Giants figured out how to beat Cliff Lee and maybe the rest of baseball will study what they did. The were agressive against Lee and tried to put the first ball in play. They did not give him the chance to get ahead in the count. Even though they scored only three runs on they put good wood on a lot of his pitches.

What was odd for both of Lee's starts in the World Series is that he tended to miss his spots.

Free agency is now upon us. 147 players are now free agents. Their teams have exclusive rights for the next five days.

While the Yankees have their sights set on Cliff Lee, I am not sure he wants to go to NY. He seemed to be relaxed and at ease in Texas. There was good chemistry and the number one factor could be the proximity to home. He lives in Arkansas and the team allowed him to go home on off days to spend with his family. He won't have that luxury in NY.

I also don't believe the Yankees will give a 32 year old pitcher a seven year deal. (There are three contracts to compare this to: Sabbathia, Santana, and Zito).

Another lesson to be learned - Giants starting rotation is young and home grown. They were drafted and came up through the system. The team showed patience and faith in the system - something the Yankees can learn from.

Crash said...

Cliff Lee was dominant for the first 6 innings. It was after he sat on the bench during a long half inning that he all of a sudden lost his command. And the home run to Renteria, while he missed his spot, it wasn't a "bad" pitch. It was a back door cutter that just came in a little too much on the outer half of the plate. Lincecum was awesome. He signed a 2 year extension during last off season to avoid arbitration. I think he's still arbitration eligible in 2012. We're talking about possibly a 7 year deal for Cliff Lee in the area of $20-$23MM per...what would you give Lincecum who is only 26...10 years $200MM doesn't seem out of the realm. The Giants cannot let this kid even think about free agency and going through the arb process may tick him off. Lock him up NOW!!!

Cliff Lee will be a Yankee next year. And Pettitte will be back. That gives another year for Brackman to get his seasoning down on the farm and maybe a call up if there is an injury. He and Nova are the closest things they have to a ready pitching prospect. At this point I would rather go with Nova over Burnett. This is Burnett's make or break year. If he flames out again, the Yankees will have to look to trade him. And I'm not entirely convinced the Yankees won't try to trade him this offseason.

old professor said...

Crash, regarding Nova - the Yankees have to figure a way to get him beyond four innings. He apparently loses concentration. Odd comparison - If you think back to when Mo got the call up he was a starting pitcher who was lights out for three to four innings and the roof caved in. They moved him to the bullpen in the hopes of transitioning him to big league hitting. Stange thing happened - he never left the pen. Nova has the same kind of lights out stuff going through the order once - then there are problems.

As for Lincecum, is delivery an motion are one pitch away from a serious arm injury. He is young and a great talent, but I can't see him lasting ten years with that delivery.

As for Cliff Lee - the Yankees will outbid everyone in money and years to bring him in. Do you want to lock up that kind of cash for that amount of time??

Crash said...

I wouldn't want to give Lee 7 years. But that being said, if he was about to go to the Angels, Twins, or Red Sox at that point I would do whatever it would take to sign him and not have him go to one of those teams.

Nova is young, only 23. He will most certainly start the season at SWB. He made 23 starts at SWB last season and went 12-3, so I'm sure he figured out how to get through 4 innings down there. MLB hitters are just better. They make more adjustments. He has to learn to do the same thing.

I would love to have a dominant rotation of Hughes, Nova, Brackman, Sabathia, and Lee. Just don't know if "dominant" is expected from Brackman or Nova. Hughes always had that expectation.

I've always been a supporter of Jeter on here...but I'm really worried his contract will be detrimental to the success of the team and limit there ability to sign key free agents for years to come.

old professor said...

Regarding Jeter, I could not agree with you more. The team was even reluctant to move him down in the order because of who he is. He hit into 22 double plays, had the lowest batting average in his career, hit only 10 homeruns - how could they justify keeping him at the top of the order??????

Now they are beginning to see the light and want to talk to him about hitting lower in the order and being open to making a position switch (after 2011).

The Yankees hampered themselves by giving Posada a four year deal that kept him behind the plate this year at for some amount of time next year they don't need to run the same path for a shortstop on the downside of a career. Jeter is a solid individual who always has played the game to win, but sometimes athletes refuse to admit their time has passed.

Crash said...

I think a lot of this falls on Jeter too. Everyone says he always does the right thing, the classy thing, and that he puts the team and winning first. Let's see it now, when it comes to this negotiation.

Crash said...

Why is it that the Boston Herald leads their baseball coverage with "Yankees Set to Pursue Lee"??? Why can't they focus on what the Red Sox are doing? This to me is one of the biggest differences between Red Sox fans and Yankee fans. The Red Sox and their fans are always concerned with what the Yankees are doing. You should only be concerned with what your team is doing. Why don't they focus on Crawford or Werth? Those 2 guys seem to fit more into their immediate plans and indications are those are their top targets.

The Mets are the same way. Maybe if you focused more on your team you could make the postseason. Hopefully that kind of stops now with Alderson running the operation.

Liked Hal's interview yesterday saying that the Jeter negotiations could get messy and the deal needs to benefit both the team and the player. It's a tough stance and maybe even harder to stick to it. We'll see.

old professor said...

Boston and its fans are always fixed on what the Yankees are doing. The reason being the Red Sox are always trailing the Yankees and are trying to out do them. As for their pitching - don't be surprised to see them move Dice-K (if there is an actual market) and Okijima as well. In addition it is easy to say that Lackey did not perform as the savior to the rotation they thought he would be. He gave them innings and was a bulldog, but in the end he didn't win more that 13 games and at times struggled. They may be willing to get into a bidding war for Lee (in an attempt to have the Yankees overpay and over extend which allows the Red Sox to go after the real target - Crawford).

Crash said...

Just read that the D'backs will not be bringing Brandon Webb back. I was thinking this would be a great sleeper pick up for the Yankees...until I read that he's topping out in the low 80's with his fastball. That's the problem with blowing out your shoulder vs the elbow. You may not come back from shoulder surgery.

old professor said...

Regarding reasonable free agents, Wang is (I believe) back on the market and has been throwing what some scouts say is the sinker and fastball of old. He could be a reasonable alternative to paying big money to replace Vasquez.

Hal has come out with the comment the budget to run the team will be approximately the same as last year. I believe the payroll was $213 million. With Vasquez gone that opens up about $11 million. The team is locked in with A-Rod, Cano, Tex, and Posada. By getting rid of some of the junk in the roster - Mitre, Gaudin, Marte. That will clear about another $3. So now we have a window of $14 million. Jeter takes $15m (I don't think he is open for that big of a cut). Now you have about $19million to sign Lee. That will not get it done. They will have to offer Lee seven years at an average of $20m. (Which by the way the Rangers should be able to match - It is when the contract starts to get to $23-$25 million per year that most teams fall by the way side).

They could go to a sliding scale with incentives. Which would by the team time to eventually allow Posada to retire.

Crash said...

Your math...not so good. The Yankees are committed to $137MM right now for their big money players (A-Rod, CC, Tex, AJ, Posada, Cano, Swisher, Granderson, & Marte). Then they have a bunch of their 1 year players like Gardner, Joba, Hughes, Brackman, Logan, etc. Not sure how many are arbitration eligible this season. I'm hearing the Yankees are on the hook for $141MM Add Mo, Pettitte, and Jeter, let's assume $45MM (~$15MM each) that may be a little low but probably in the neighborhood. That puts the team at $186MM, leaving about $31MM for free agent signings.

Hal also said they are open to trades. I personally would go after King Felix. I would give anyone they wanted for Felix Hernandez. But the deal would need to include AJ. I would include any and all of the following: Joba, Montero, Nunez, and Nova. I would even offer Granderson or Swisher in the deal.

Rotation of CC, Lee, Hernandez, Pettitte, and Hughes...SICK!!!

Daily news saying Werth and Crawford are not in play for Yankees. To me that's a money issue and they're happy with their OF production down the stretch. But if they trade Granderson, Gardner, or Swisher, then things open up a bit.

old professor said...

Crash, your $31 million puts the Yankee budget at approximately $217 or maybe a little over depending on how much they use to sign Jeter, Mo and Pettitte. That amount is over the budget that Steinbrenner set. Let's say he gives the go ahead - sign Lee for 20-21 million this doesn't give a cushion to pursue much more.

As for King Felix - there is no way the Mariners trade that commodity. The names you list as no trade - Joba, Nunez,Montero, etc are the only viable trade parts they have to land someone of proven ability.

The word has leaked out that Jeter is looking for a contract of about six years which would end at the same time A-Rod's contract does. Is he or his agent on something?

old professor said...

Here is a name to keep in mind during the free agent period - Scott Downs. Yankees have indicated they are in the market for another left handed pitcher. This guy fits the bill.

Cubs apparently have interest in Kerry Wood and are you ready for this Nick Johnson.

Crash said...

not for nothing but the MRiners have said the would listen to offers. And I said I WOULD trade any and all of this players for a player like Hernandez.

That being agency begins at 12:01 tonight. Several sources say the Yankees will have their first offer to Cliff Lee in the next 72 hours. That's pretty quick. Do they start the bidding kind of low or try to set the offer high enough so no one will even come close?

And totally agree with the Scott Downs prediction. Yankees were interested in him at the deadline last year. It seems logical that they would make a run at him now.

Crash said...

So the Yankees and a half a dozen other teams have already contact Cliff Lee's agent. No word if any offers have been exchanged yet.

Also Yankee brass have stated Montero will be the starting catcher next year. Though no one has told Jorge yet and he will prepare as if he's the starting catcher. Had a tweet from John Flaherty a couple days ago saying: "Would love to be a fly on the wall when Joe Girardi tells Jorge Posada he won't be the #1 catcher. That would be priceless!!!!!"

Doesn't sound like Flash is a big fan of Jorge's.

old professor said...

The Yankees have contacted Lee's agent and indicated an offer will be forthcoming soon.

As for Posada, he should be able to see the handwriting on the wall. He and his backup had the lowest percentage of throwing runners attempting to steal. Sometimes the mind refuses to recognize what is happening to the body.

The next few weeks will be interesting. It would be nice to see the Lee thing wrapped up quickly (6 years 22 million per year should get it done).

What will be interesting is if Lee signs with Texas and Pettitte decides to really retire this time. That would leave the Yankees with CC, AJ and Hughes - not an awe inspiring rotation. (We could actually be looking at Javy 3).

Jeter's contract should be limited to three years at $15 million per year with incentives (e.g. additional million for making the playoffs, additional $$$ for world series appearance and $$$ for winning the world series and then $$$$$ for getting 3,000 hits or becoming the hits leader of all time.).

Crash said...

Old Prof. saw that Scott Downs was listed as Type A free agent. Don't know if that will impact the Yankees willingness to go after him or not. They would already be losing picks if they sign Lee.

Berkman, Wood, and Vazquez are all Type B free agents. I can't see the Yankees offering arbitration to any of those guys so they are likely to get nothing in return when they sign somewhere else. Kearns, Mitre, Thames, Johnson don't qualify.

Not that it means much but Jeter, Mo, and Pettitte are Type A. If negotiations break down with any of those guys I could see the Yankees offering arbitration to get them back in on at least a 1 year deal.

Crash said...

Lee's agent saying it will be a long process.

No other teams have contacted Jeter's agent.

On the Jorge situation...I was a little surprised to learn Jorge was already a part-time catcher. He only caught 83 games last year. Most of that would be due to injuries. And when he was in there is defense was terrible and he would have trouble throwing out someone's grandmother. He was recently quoted as saying h e"takes pride" in catching, after watching last season I don't know how he can say that. If he does then in an honest moment with himself he has to know he can't do the job at an acceptable level anymore. I would guess he is way towards the bottom (if not the bottom) if using SABR catching stats to rate defensive skills.I'm calling it now, Montero wins AL ROY in 2011. He may not defend/receive like Buster Posey, but I think he may do a little better offensively. He may not hit .300, but he could hit 20+ HRs and drive in 100.

old professor said...

Posada does take pride in his catching and takes pride in the fact that he has been the regular catcher for more than ten years. However, as I have said before, sometimes the mind and heart do not accept what the body is telling an athlete. He has become very vocal on the subject and has indicated he wants the Yankees to be up front and honest and let him know whether he is going to catch or be the DH. His numbers are clear and he should understand what they are saying - he is a part time catcher and will play a good deal of time as DH. The only other assumption that could be made is he is attempting to play himself out of NY.

Don't jump on the Montero bandwagon just yet. Remember this kid had a hard time adjusting to Triple A pitching in the beginning and only at about the midway point did he start to hit. The Yankees will not be as patient with him if he does not show some offense early. Somewhere there has to be recognition this kid is not even 21 yet and is looking to be the replacement for a long time Yankee catcher that carried on the tradition of Dickey, Berra, Howard and Munson.

Support the Troops