Jan
04

Chipper understands the Yanks’ spending ways

By

The Sporting News, the once-relevant bastion of all things sports, recently chatted with Chipper Jones on a variety of topics. While he swung and missed with his comments on the ongoing trash talk between the Phillies and Mets, he had a few interesting things to say about the Yanks’ recent spending spree.

It’s never happened to me personally, but I think anybody who hits the free agent market is going to wait and see what the offer is from the Yankees. Because everybody knows that they’re going to inflate the price. Whether they get you or not, they’re going to hike the price up.

Scott Boras and some of these other high-profile agents, they’ll use New York as a measuring stick. If New York is going to offer 5 percent or 10 percent or 20 percent more than anybody else, why not? They feel they have to offer a New York-style signing bonus on top of what a player is actually worth to the rest of the league just to get them to come play in New York.

Ten or 15 years ago, we could lure people to Atlanta strictly on reputation. You knew we were going to win, and we had a bunch of good players. Players would shun money from New York and take less to come here. For the past three seasons, we’ve kind of been on the downslide and not making the playoffs, so you can’t do that anymore. We can’t compete monetarily, so the only way we’re going to get players in here to play and win is to force them–and that’s done by trading.

The downside to trading is that it weakens your minor league system. But the only way that we are going to win now is through trades. We just don’t have enough money to compete with the New York, Los Angeles and Chicago teams.

While a lot of baseball commentators have problems with the Yankee money machine and some owners like to clamor for a salary cap that will never get passed, the players all seem to get it. Of course, the players stand to gain the most from the Yankees. Even though just 25 players, give or take a few, end up on the Yankees each year, every player in baseball benefits from the team’s spending.

Whether these other players have contact with the Yankees or whether they use offers from the Yanks to jack up their prices, our team in the Bronx is always on the radar of free agents and their representatives. In the minds of other team GMs, the Yankees always lurk because the Yankees could always potentially outbid another team for the services of a player they want.

Others can complain, and owners can cry poverty while promoting the idea of a salary cap. But as long as the players know it — and Chipper Jones’ words makes me believe they are well aware — the Yankees will be free to spend, and everyone except, perhaps, the 29 other teams will benefit.

(Hat tip to iYankees and Baseball Musings for this one.)

Categories : Hot Stove League

59 Comments»

  1. A.D. says:

    The downside to trading is that it weakens your minor league system.

    What Chipper was actually thinking:

    If only we could have bought Tex instead of giving up some of the best prospects in baseball

    • Jamal G. says:

      Heh, seriously. What a shittastic trade that turned out to be.

      I know this isn’t exactly related to the article, but is Chipper Jones one of the most underrated players of our generation? Seriously, take a look at his numbers: in the past eleven seasons, he’s had just one season with a sub-.400 OBP and a sub-.920 OPS (2004: .362 OBP and .847 OPS), two seasons with a sub-.400 wOBA (2003 saw a .390 mark and 2004 saw a .361 posting), and two seasons with a BB/K ratio of under 1.00 (2004 with 0.88 and 2006 with 0.84). That’s just ridiculous.

  2. Reggie C. says:

    A decade ago, 100 million dollar contracts weren’t the norm so players who signed with the best teams did so without having to worry that they’d be leaving tens of millions of dollars and years of security on the table from other suitors.

    Atlanta came real close to signing AJ Burnett, so its not like their in that Milwaukee, KC, Twins tier of salary restriction. With a kind of institutional savvy in producing quality major leaguers and some spending money, the Braves are in a position that squads like the Mets and even the Yanks envy.

  3. Mike Pop says:

    Chipper. He seems like a good dude eh lol

  4. Manimal says:

    I really thought he was going to hit .400. Dude is a beast.

    • Ryan S. says:

      There’s only one thing you need to question about Chipper Jones at this stage of his career:

      He is a first ballot hall of famer, or does it take him a couple years to get in?

      I’m honestly glad the 1995 Braves won the World Series … quite a few really amazing players got their one and (and most likely onl)y WS ring on that team. It would’ve been a shame for guys like Mad Dog, Smoltz, or Chipper (in his breakout rookie season) ended up never getting a ring. Maddox didn’t need to be the Ted Williams of pitchers.

      Bonus question: Speaking about batting .400, is there any argument that Ted Williams is the the greatest hitter of all time to never win a championship?

      • Old Ranger says:

        Best I ever saw, as a pure hitter he was the best but, “Stan the Man” was pretty damn good too. But, NO one was in Teddys league.

      • Januz says:

        What about Ty Cobb, Barry Bonds, and Alex Rodriguez? They never won either.

      • He is a first ballot hall of famer, or does it take him a couple years to get in?

        God, I hate that “question”. One of the stupidest non-debates in baseball. If he’s good, you put him in. If he’s not good, you don’t put him in. Stop playing foolish games.

        I know that both Catfish Hunter and Walter Johnson were great pitchers. I don’t need some schmuck sportswriter intentionally rigging his ballot to make Catfish Hunter wait a few years for induction to tell me that while they were both great pitchers, one was a little better than another.

        I have a brain, I understand nuance.

        • 'The' Steve says:

          First ballot is a special designation. All HOFer’s aren’t created equally.

          There are guys who you could put in this picture comfortably

          http://www.nytimes.com/package.....02.02.html

          and others in the HOF who would make you bust out laughing if you saw them standing next to Walter Johnson.

        • 'The' Steve says:

          First ballot is a special designation. All HOFer’s aren’t created equally. There are guys who you could put in the 1939 inaugural class picture comfortably, and others in the HOF who would make you bust out laughing if you saw them standing next to Walter Johnson.

          • First ballot is a special designation.

            I know it is. And Paris Hilton is a celebrity. Doesn’t mean either things make any logical sense.

            This “first ballot” nonsense is another example of baseball sportswriters insulting their readers (and their own) intelligence. Nowhere in any writings or verbiage about the Hall does it instruct voters to discriminate between Hall of Famers by order of induction. All they’re charged to do is vote for players who they feel are deserving and not vote for players who they feel aren’t.

            The “first ballot” notion is a load of crap. We’re all adults, we’re al capable of making our own sub-hierarchies without the “first ballot” designation of the BBWAA. Stop legislating from the bench, as they say.

            • 'The' Steve says:

              Its not about us, its about the player who is more worthy than being a run of the mill HOFer. As I said, its the guys who belong in that inaugural class photo, which is a ridiculously high standard, yet some are worthy.

              Most players who are inducted are the subject of debate for many years until they make it. Even the ones who do make often have 25% of the voters still thinking they don’t belong. 1st ballot are the ones who are the unquestioned, overwhelming picks. The ones that only a handful of oddballs or guys with personal grievances would vote against.

              You’re being too absolutist about this. By your rationale, players should only be voted on once. Why should a player get 1/3 of the vote one time and 3/4 five years later?

              Answer-Because the player gets debated and over time some voters get educated and change their minds about him. Its not a bad system, actually its a pretty good one since its self correcting. Plus the Vets Comitte gets a crack at the ones that the writers have a bug up their ass about (Rice, Albert Belle, Jack Morris, etc)

              • No, I don’t have a problem with a player having multiple chances on the ballot. I have a problem with a sportswriter intentionally waiting until a guy’s second year before voting for him, because he doesn’t want to “insult” the legacy of some other player already in the Hall.

                That’s juvenile and unnecessary.

                The ones that only a handful of oddballs or guys with personal grievances would vote against.

                If you let a personal grievance with a player influence your HoF ballot, you should have your BBWAA membership stripped immediately. You are charged with an important duty. If Rickey Henderson was one of the greatest players of all time but you want him to not get into the Hall of Fame because he snubbed you on an interview request once, you’re a stupid assclown who doesn’t deserve to have the ability to decide on anything, including your own lunch order.

      • Sweet Dick Willie says:

        is there any argument that Ted Williams is the the greatest hitter of all time to never win a championship?

        fixed

  5. Manimal says:

    hahahahah no joke Jamal wrote a better article than him. In the comment section.

    http://yankees.lhblogs.com/200.....ent-631944

  6. Jamal G. says:

    Is anybody else seeing the Don Larsen game on MLB Network right now? This has happened before (where the Don Larsen game is on when the programming says a different game is supposed to be showing), is it something with my signal?

  7. daneptizl says:

    I dunno what to do…

  8. daneptizl says:

    I was gonna go to that guy’s site and let him know FAIL, but once I saw the site, I already knew he knew all about it.

  9. daneptizl says:

    Do the dirrtyyy birrdd.

  10. Ace says:

    Ben I am posting this here because I missed the Joba article yesterday.

    You are entitled to your opinion and you do indeed make a very strong case for Joba as a starter, but to say this is ridiculous:

    “The Red Sox tried to use Papelbon in the rotation, and that plan did not work out. In other words, he — much like Mariano Rivera — is a failed starter.”

    Papelbon had 3 starts in 2005 and and gave up 2 earned runs, 2 er, and 0 er and then never started a game again. He was supposed to join the rotation in 2006 but after an inconsistent spring and early regular season games from Keith Foulke, Francona was quick to go to Jonathan Papelbon as the closer.

    I don’t know how that makes him a failed starter.

    ps He throws a fastball, slider and a nasty splitter. The comparison to Joba is fair IMO.

    pss I didnt read through the comments of the article so if this was already covered I apologize.

    • AndrewYF says:

      Papelbon wasn’t healthy enough to start due to his shoulder. During Spring Training, his velocity dropped completely off the table in the fourth inning, a horrifying signal that he couldn’t be a starter. In comparison, Joba never lost his velocity, even with his typical case of shoulder tendinitis (which all pitchers get, but the Yankees were being extremely cautious).

      Papelbon has two very good pitches when he’s at his best (his splitter lost effectiveness this year, leading to him throwing his fastball a ridiculous 81% of the time. He has a great fastball, though, so he remained effective). His slider is average. Joba has three excellent pitches when he’s at his best. His changeup is a work in progress.

    • Papelbon had 3 starts in 2005 and and gave up 2 earned runs, 2 er, and 0 er and then never started a game again. He was supposed to join the rotation in 2006 but after an inconsistent spring and early regular season games from Keith Foulke, Francona was quick to go to Jonathan Papelbon as the closer.

      I don’t know how that makes him a failed starter.

      ps He throws a fastball, slider and a nasty splitter. The comparison to Joba is fair IMO.

      Ah, the delicious traps of logic!!! Let’s begin, Red Sox fans. The premises you have set up are:

      1) Papelbon, who was a relief pitcher for his entire college career, does have the arm strength and diversity of pitches to make a successful transition to starter
      2) When he was used as a starter professionally, both at the minor league and major league level, he enjoyed enough success to validate the idea that he could be a successful big league starter
      3) The reason he’s not a starter is that the Red Sox had an emergency in the bullpen (the Keith Foulke situation) and Tito Francona wanted to return Papelbon to the bullpen

      You are correct in stating that, if those three premises are true (and they might be), that does not lead to the conclusion that Papelbon is a failed starter who is only in the bullpen because he can’t start. What conclusion, then, does it lead to?

      The Red Sox organization and Tito Francona, then, are idiots for wasting Papelbon in the closer role when he could be more effective as a starter. If he is, in fact, similar to Joba and a capable of being a good ML starter, they should have him start and put some other pitcher in the far less important closer role, like, say, Wakefield (who would be a much more effective “closer” as he can pitch every day). Sox management are clearly stupid baseball idiots.

      Either they’re smart and tried to use him as a starter and it didn’t work (because he’s not good enough), or they’re dumb because he can start but they choose not to use him in his position of maximum utility. Can’t have it both ways.

  11. 'The' Steve says:

    “Jim Callis of ESPN and Baseball America had a chat on ESPN a few days ago. After mentioning that in the Baseball America 2009 Prospect Handbook the Red Sox farm system was ranked 13th overall, Doug from New York asked him, “Since you can’t give away the Sox ranking without their heated rivals, Yankees please. thanks!”

    Here was his answer:

    “OK, that seems fair enough. The Yankees ranked 15th.”

    Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Last year in Baseball America’s 2008 Prospect Handbook the Red Sox ranked 2nd in the farm system talent rankings and the Yanks ranked 5th. I’m very surprised to see how low the two rank after last year’s rankings.

    Was it the bad years from Phil Hughes and Clay Buchholz that set the team’s ranking back so far? I’m sure it had a lot to do with it, but for both teams to go from top of the heap to middle of the road is surprising.”

    http://slidingintohome.blogspot.com/

    Apparently the poor showings by Hughes and IPK have left the BA writers feeling they bought into the Yankee hype on their pitchers and overvalued them as a result. Also, some of the better Yankee prospects are below AA so that will cause their ranking to fall as well.

    • A.D. says:

      Well some of it is likely that guys have graduated, Joba and IPK are no longer rookies for the Yanks, therefore that hurts them. Additionally Marquez had a shit season & now isnt with the team, and Horne had a terrible injury season, that showed when teams didn’t want to take him in Rule V. On top of that they traded McCutchen, Ohlendorf, and Tabata, some damn good prospects mid season. Toss in the Yanks didn’t sign Cole, or big name foreign players, and the ranking will be hurt.

      Yankees have a good draft this year, if Brackman can pitch a very good full season, AJAX performs, Z-Mac continues, and some of those low A/A guys move up, and the ranking will rise.

  12. 'The' Steve says:

    “Jim Callis of ESPN and Baseball America had a chat on ESPN a few days ago. After mentioning that in the Baseball America 2009 Prospect Handbook the Red Sox farm system was ranked 13th overall, Doug from New York asked him, “Since you can’t give away the Sox ranking without their heated rivals, Yankees please. thanks!”

    Here was his answer:

    “OK, that seems fair enough. The Yankees ranked 15th.”

    Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Last year in Baseball America’s 2008 Prospect Handbook the Red Sox ranked 2nd in the farm system talent rankings and the Yanks ranked 5th. I’m very surprised to see how low the two rank after last year’s rankings.

    Was it the bad years from Phil Hughes and Clay Buchholz that set the team’s ranking back so far? I’m sure it had a lot to do with it, but for both teams to go from top of the heap to middle of the road is surprising.”

    • 'The' Steve says:

      Apparently the poor showings by Hughes and IPK have left the BA writers feeling they bought into the Yankee hype on their pitchers and overvalued them as a result. Also, some of the better Yankee prospects are below AA so that will cause their ranking to fall as well.

      • 'The' Steve says:

        OK, that’s 5 times that I tried to link this, and the lovely spam filter we have here wont let me. Its from today’s ‘Sliding Into Home’ blog if anyone wants to look it up.

      • AndrewYF says:

        If BA writers are feeling ‘jilted’ because they ‘bought into Yankee hype’, then they should not have jobs.

        The Yankees and Red Sox simply graduated a lot of talent this year. Most of their systems are now in the lower levels.

        • 'The' Steve says:

          I said that because I remember seeing a quote from one of them (Callis?) saying “We definitely overrated some of their previous guys.” So that makes this look like a reaction in the other direction. And I agree, it makes them look bad if EITHER is true, if they overrate or underrate. It makes them look reactionary and lacking an impartial approach.

          Lets be honest, a big part of this stuff is a beauty contest. Some scouts value some skills more than others, and then you have other players who most scouts don’t like, who do nothing but produce at every level. BA is a good site because they have an aggregate of scouts with different approaches, which should correct for this kind of stuff. But maybe the zeitgeist over there is overriding that nowadays. Again, if true it makes them look bad.

  13. 'The' Steve says:

    “Olney reports several teams are concerned about Ben Sheets’ medical reports; however, it’s his shoulder, not his elbow, that’s worrisome.”

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....est-p.html

    I’m so smart.

    Actually, elbows generally don’t show up on MRIs from what little I know. So this doesn’t surprise me one bit. Also, given how much Girardi loves Sheets, this goes a long way to explaining the Yanks lack of interest in him.

    Someone will give him a 1 year 10 mil “show me your healthy” deal with a club option or two if the deal pays off. But this should put the Sheets stuff to rest for the Yanks. We have enough injury prone pitchers (Burnett/Hughes) in the mix as it is. We don’t need a repeat of 2008.

  14. LeftyLarry says:

    If Yankees won every year, I could see the problem.We haven’t won a series in ages.
    Not like anything has changed.When I was a wee lad, YAnkees traded 3 mediocre players to get a rising young Roger Maris from K.C. and that was going to end Baseball as we knew it.
    Damn YANKEES.

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