Nov
10

Valuing Chien-Ming Wang and Sergio Mitre

By

The Yankees have the resources to take on a greater amount of risk than most teams. A misplaced $5 million might seriously hamper a smaller market team, but the Yankees — and the Red Sox, as evidenced by Brad Penny and John Smoltz — can take on a reclamation project and hope for the best. They did this in 2003, signing Jon Lieber after he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2002. They rehabbed him on their dime, and it paid off when he came back strong in 2004. So when it comes to Chien-Ming Wang‘s contract situation, there are no givens. The Yankees can afford to do what they think will most benefit the team.

As Mike wrote this morning, Wang is no stranger to shoulder injuries. “The bottom line is that for the third time in eight years, the righthander missed a significant portion of the season with a shoulder issue.” This has to make the team wary. Wang will be arbitration eligible for the third time this winter, having made $4.5 million in 2009. If the Yankees tender him a contract, he’ll make at least that, and because of his service time he could get a bump to $5 million. Let’s go with that latter number, just to make things easy.

The question facing the Yankees is whether that $5 million is worth it to keep Wang around. It’s not just his salary for the 2010 season, when he’ll pitch half a season at the most, but also the price for keeping him under team control for his final arbitration-eligible season in 2011. There are alternatives; the Yankees could decline to tender Wang a contract and then sign him at a lower price. They would then be able to offer him arbitration after the 2010 season for the final time. For the sake of this argument, let’s assume that if the Yankees non-tender Wang, he’ll take his services elsewhere. Tendering him means paying $5 million for 2010.

This is the Yankees, so $5 million might not seem like a lot. There’s risk involved, yes, and chances are that the Yankees would have to pay more than $5 million for one of the other risky starters out there. Those would include Ben Sheets, Erik Bedard, and Rich Harden, and they would presumably be able to pitch the whole season, whereas Wang won’t be ready until July. Still, all three of those pitchers present a large risk. Wang will be cheaper, and the Yankees know him better than the other three. It seems that if they’re going the risky starter route, Wang’s their man.

Here’s a question I’ve been pondering regarding Wang’s status. Commenter Taz got it brewing in my mind when he asked, “Does anyone else think it’s ridiculous for the Yankees to exercise $1.25 mil on Mitre of the 6.59 ERA when pretty much any scrub from the minors would offer the same ability?” He says he’d rather put that money towards keeping Wang and replace Mitre with said scrub. Mitre’s $1.25 million is just a quarter of Wang’s projected salary, but every little bit helps, right?

First, to the issue of Mitre being a scrub. No one could be impressed with what they saw from Mitre during his tenure in pinstripes. He had one stellar start against the White Sox, but other than that he was shaky at best and downright terrible at worst. His defense failed him at times, but he could never pick up for them. It seemed like he was always making a bad situation worse. That infuriates fans, so it’s no wonder why Mitre has few supporters. Still, there is hope that he can provide value for the Yankees in 2010.

Mitre underwent Tommy John surgery in July of 2008. A year and six days after the surgery, he made his return. That’s a short span for a Tommy John patient. The normal recovery time is 12 to 18 months, and there are many stories of players who didn’t come back quite as strong at first, but who later recovered. Yet even if he does recover, I’ve heard the argument go, Mitre is just a scrub anyway. That I do not believe is totally accurate. In 2007, Mitre’s last season before the surgery, he had a 3.98 FIP, 4.34 tRA, and posted a 2.6 WAR. That’s pretty damn quality for a guy slotted to be the fifth starter at absolute best.

Like Mitre, no one was impressed with Wang this season. He started off pitching about as poorly as one could imagine, then hit the DL, then came back and was mediocre at best before succumbing to a shoulder injury. This led to a 5.38 FIP and a 6.01 tRA. Those numbers are both slightly worse than what Mitre posted in 2009. Both clearly had bad years, but because of what we’ve seen in the past, there’s a chance they’ll recover.

We know that Wang is a better pitcher than Mitre when they’re both right. We also know that Mitre can pitch the entire 2010 season, while Wang will pitch half at most. So, to begin answering Taz’s question, you might not want to cut loose Mitre and save his $1.25 million, because that investment can work for you all year, while the $5 million allotted to Wang will work only in the second half, if even that. But let’s take this a little further, into the completely theoretical.

Past performance does not guarantee future gains, but sometimes all we have to go on is past performance. For the sake of this argument, let’s assume that both Mitre and Wang return to their 2007 forms in 2010. Mitre would, under those circumstances, provide a 2.6 WAR for $1.25 million. Wang had a 4.4 WAR in 2007, almost two full wins better than Mitre. But because Wang would only pitch half the season, he’d only provided 2.2 WAR in 2010 under what I’m calling the best case scenario. The Yankees would pay him $5 million for that 2.2 WAR.

Even if both players recover fully to their 2007 forms, Mitre would provide a little more value than Wang. He’s the inferior pitcher, but because he can pitch the entire season he has that added value. Wang would be a greater force in the second half, but again he’d only be doing it for half a season, and he’d make four times as much as Mitre in the process. So there is an argument, albeit a weak one, that the Yankees are better off with Mitre in 2010.

Do I think that Mitre will provide 2.6 WAR in 2010? Not a chance. Not only will he not get the innings, but he also likely won’t return to the 0.54 HR/9 rate that led to his 3.98 FIP (a component of WAR). While WAR does adjust for park, I’m just not sure the adjustment will do Mitre’s transition justice. In 2007 he pitched in a spacious National League park. In 2010 he’ll pitch in a homer-heavy (but otherwise run-neutral) AL East park. He also probably won’t be higher than seventh on the starting pitching depth chart, so I would assume most of his innings will come out of the bullpen. I’d be surprised if he cleared a 1.5 WAR next year.

Do I think that Wang will provide 2.2 WAR in 2010? Probably not. I think he has a better chance of doing that than Mitre does of posting the same number, but that’s asking a lot from a guy who has missed a good portion of the past two seasons, and who is recovering from his third major shoulder injury. If he can provide 1.5 WAR in the second half, I’m sure the Yankees would be thrilled. That would not only help the rotation later in the season, but it would also give them hope of a fuller recovery for 2011.

Unless the Yankees are hard-up for 40-man roster spots (and as Mike will show, they’re not), they should exercise Mitre’s 2010 option. It will represent a little over one half of one percent of their overall payroll. The tougher question is of Wang. If tendered he’ll eat up a 40-man slot until they can place him on the 60-day DL in March, and he’ll constitute about 2.5 percent of the overall payroll. Is that worth the risk? I’m still not decided, though I’m leaning towards yes. I fear that non-tendering him means he goes elsewhere, and I do not want to see him make a full recovery with another team. Wang was the anchor of the staff for two seasons when the Yanks lacked an ace. WIth the current staff, he only has to be a No. 3. I think he can fit into the Yankees plans for 2010 and beyond.

Categories : Analysis
  • Free Mike Vick

    if i was running the team…Sergio Mitre would have been left for dead in some ditch months ago.

    • JMK aka The Overshare

      Why? Sure, he’s a frustrating guy, but HE’S WORKING HIS WAY BACK FROM TJ SURGERY! He shouldn’t have had high expectations from the get-go, but if he hits his ceiling (unlikely, but still, it’s possible), you just got a solid groundball pitcher with decent stuff, in a hitter’s ballpark, for practically nothing. If not, well, the dude is org. filler for small money. Whatever.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      if i was running the team…Sergio Mitre would have been left for dead in some ditch months ago.

      Probably a good thing you’re not running the team, then.

      Patience and perspective >>>>>>>>>>>>> emotion and initial reactions

      • http://www.facebook.com/dougchu Doug

        If you were running the team, you would probably want to find a safe place out of town, lie low for a while… because you’d be wanted… for murder.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          I’m proud of you, Doug. You kept your head on a swivel, and that’s what you’ve gotta do when you’re in the middle of a vicious cockfight.

    • Free Mike Vick

      We’re not talking about a Cy Young award winner here.

      Sergio Mitre is not a good pitcher….he never has been…he never will be. Not now…not ever. Being a minor league filler is fine. But when he is your first optino from AAA..we have serious problems.

      explain to me what part of this is good. http://www.baseball-reference......se01.shtml

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Here’s the part that’s good:

        He’s under team control and is cheap.

        • Free Mike Vick

          cheap players that are under team control and have not a shred of talent. YAY.

          Where is Matt DeSalvo when we need him??

          Is Chase Wright still under control in Milwaukee? maybe we can get him back.

          Is Darrell Rasner still on loan in Japan?…whats his contract status? he worked out well for a cheap..team controled guy with no talent what so ever.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            It’s funny that you name DeSalvo, Wright, and Rasner… because Mitre actually has more talent and ability than all three of those guys put together.

            Incremental increases, my friend. Dispassionate reason >>>>>>>>> visceral emotion

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

        I did. Read the damn article.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        But when he is your first optino from AAA..we have serious problems.

        A) Mitre was not our first option from AAA, he was our 5th.
        B) Mitre will not be our first option from AAA next year, he’ll be our 3rd, tops. If we add someone like J-Douche, he’ll go further back down the line.
        C) The fact that nobody wants Mitre to be our first option from AAA does not mean you are correct in your desire to DFA him the moment he starts struggling. Even after he proved that he was pretty crappy, we still should have kept him because he was cheap and under team control, and that makes him useful.

        If you don’t want Mitre to be your first option from AAA, you don’t cut him, you go add better options to be in front of him.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          Didn’t I even say in the article that he’d be the 7th or 8th man? I don’t feel like re-reading it again.

          • jsbrendog

            yes you most certainly did. I hope that everyone keeps giving him the DFA MATSUI!1!!1! treatment so when he fills in for a few starts next year thanks to injuries or double headers and does above average you can write a post about dumb dumbs wants to dfa him and say wow good thing they didn’t or kei igawa would be starting, jagon

          • Free Mike Vick

            you said

            “He also probably won’t be higher than seventh on the starting pitching depth chart, ”

            so he would be the 2nd option from AAA…my bad.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

              2nd, or 3rd, or 4th.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              If we don’t add any free agent SP between now and spring training, our master depth chart would be:

              1. CC
              2. AJ
              3. Andy
              4. Joba
              5. Hughes
              ——–
              6. Gaudin
              7. Kennedy
              8. Mitre
              9. McAllister
              10. Nova
              ——–
              11. Josh Towers
              12. Jason Hirsh
              13. Romulo Sanchez
              14. Igawa
              15. Humberto Sanchez

              And that’s giving Mitre the biggest possible benefit of the doubt. If Nova or Z-Mac has a solid camp, they could leapfrog him. If one of the Fat Sanchezez looks solid, they could leapfrog bunches of people. If Hirsh looks solid, he’s in the mix.

              And, we probably don’t stand pat this offseason. We’ll shop the bargain bin and try to add J-Douche, or Noah Lowry, Eric Milton, Mark Prior, etc.

              Mitre should be brought back for the same reason as Wang: He’s not old yet, he’s still cheap, and he may improve. We can let him simmer in Scranton and see what he becomes as he puts TJS further in the rearview.

              • JMK aka The Overshare

                I thought Humberto was now a reliever?

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Meh, both of the Fat Sanchezes are probably relievers, but the team keeps giving them occasional starts. But yeah, maybe you can replace that #15 with… WDLR? Chris Garcia, if he’s back? Ryan Pope?

                • JMK aka The Overshare

                  Yeah. I think WDLR also projects as a reliever, along with the Fat Sanchezes. Chris Garcia, one would expect, would be converted as well, if only to preserve a tiny bit of health.

                  To blow your mind: ANDREW BRACKMAN.

                  Seriously though, slot 15 really doesn’t matter. So fuck it, Ryan Pope it is.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  I thought about that as well.

              • Free Mike Vick

                what you just gave me right there…just screams 2008 all over again though. and thats what i’m trying to avoid.

                god forbid we have the youngins go down again. throw in AJ getting hurt.

                and you are right back where you were in 2008. when Rasner was “at best” going to be 7th on the depth chart.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  god forbid we have the youngins go down again.

                  They’re two years older.

                  In any event, what you’re complaining about has nothing to do with not giving 2010 contracts to Wang and Mitre. You should be in favor of giving them 2010 contracts, and ALSO in favor of giving 2010 contracts to guys like J-Douche and Noah Lowry.

                  The solution to the 2008 problem is not less depth, it’s more depth. If 2008 scared you, you should be in favor of retaining Mitre, not dumping him.

                • Free Mike Vick

                  Quantity is the solution to 2008..you are right about that….but quality has to be taken into account a little bit.

                  i’m not just going to go get any guy. i need to have some sense of standards.

                  if all the guys i sign are crap…whats the point?

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  if all the guys i sign are crap…whats the point?

                  Here’s the point: Some guys you sign who are crap now become not-crap later. Mitre is one of those possible examples.

                • jsbrendog

                  this x1000

                • Free Mike Vick

                  thats fine. Some might turn out to be nice pick ups.

                  but i do not think Mitre will be one of those. and thats where we disagree i guess.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  To be frank, I don’t think Mitre will amount to shit either.

                  I still want to bring him back for 2010, though, because I might be wrong and it doesn’t really cost that much to find out if I am wrong. Low risk, decent reward.

                • jsbrendog

                  thanks frank. i’ll be ted.

                • Free Mike Vick

                  thats fair. No doubt.

                  but personally…i wouldn’t even want to bother with it. the reward to me isn’t high enough for me to want to go down the road.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  the reward to me isn’t high enough for me to want to go down the road.

                  Yes, but you’re practically being chauffeured down the road in a stretch limo stocked with booze and biologically clean hookers.

                  It’s the easiest trip down the road ever. Mitre costs next to nothing. It’s only a one year deal. The investment required to go down the road is basically “walking around money” for the Steins.

                  Low hanging fruit.

                • Free Mike Vick

                  yeah i really don’t give a rat’s ass about the money. its all the same to me…

                  my opinion doesn’t really change because of the money.

                • Free Mike Vick

                  sometimes it does….but most of the time it doesn’t.

  • Dela G

    they should resign wang to an incentive laden deal if at all possible

  • http://www.facebook.com/dougchu Doug

    I wonder how strong the interest from NL teams would be in Wang. Would he get a more sizable, guaranteed money deal from a pitching-depleted team… say, the Dodgers?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      That’s why I think that if the Yankees don’t tender him a contract, he’s gone.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Agreed. Joe Torre Don Mattingly would be all over CMW like flies on shit.

        [Ed. Note: Joe Torre may, in fact, be legally dead, so his name was replaced with the de facto manager of the Dodgers.]

      • http://www.facebook.com/dougchu Doug

        I’ve had that sinking feeling (no pun intended) as well. I really want Wang to stick around, as I’m a Chinese dude with family roots in Taiwan. It’s always really neat to have a “national hero” on your roster – if you think Matsui is adored in Japan, Wang’s status in Taiwan is double that. CMW single-handedly created a nation of Yankees fans.

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona

          You look African in your picture. :)

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Yeah, and what kind of a name is Doug for a Chinese guy, anyway? Your name should be “Ching-chong-bing”.

            Sincerely,
            Rose

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
              • Thomas

                Wow. Just wow.

                All I can say is after reading that my facial expression was the exact same as the Brad Lidge pwned picture.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
                • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

                  It was a reference to Miyagi’s hand warming healing sensation he used on Danielsan’s leg in the first Karate Kid.

                  And Miyagi is Japanese…not Chinese NOR Taiwanese. I’m actually a huge fan of the movie and was a big fan of Miyagi both in all 3 movies as well as Collision Course with none other than Jay Leno.

                  You guys need to take off the “what can we get on Rose/Axl today” glasses and just relax.

                  I have 2 very close cousins who are adopted from Korea…regardless of how you’d like to twist everything. It wasn’t meant out of malice. Keep up the good work though.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  You guys need to take off the “what can we get on Rose/Axl today” glasses and just relax.

                  We’d be more than happy to, once you stop saying dumb stuff like “What’s with the Asian’s and them getting one injury and then all of the sudden becoming a glass man?” and following it up with a Mr. Miyagi joke.

                  It’s not even that it’s offensive, it’s just kinda dumb and tone deaf (If you notice, I wasn’t getting on your case for that initial comment for being offensive, just for committing a logic fail… which you were).

                  And there’s nothing wrong with saying dumb stuff; we all say dumb stuff. When you get called on saying dumb stuff, though, instead of rolling with the “Why don’t you guys stop picking on me, I’m so persecuted!” or “That’s not what I meant, you’re twisting my words!”, just be humble and roll with the “Yeah, that one was kinda dumb, sorry, forget I said it.”

                  Try that. See how it goes over. Just my two cents.

                • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

                  TSJC,

                  I agree. But when everybody starts rallying and saying “here he goes again” or “what does it take for a permaban??” because of it…

                  I can’t see how you don’t understand my point of view sometimes. That’s all.

              • pat

                Rose = Axl. That’s all you need to know.

                • jsbrendog

                  axl’s back again? jesus what does a guy have to do around here to get the permban? mug mike/ben/joe?

                • Nady Nation

                  The real question is: what are the next few handles Axl reinvents himself as? Currently “Slash” – “Bucket” – “Head” is running at 2:1.

                • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

                  jsbrendog says:
                  November 10th, 2009 at 2:30 pm

                  axl’s back again? jesus what does a guy have to do around here to get the permban? mug mike/ben/joe?

                  What does a guy need to do around here to get you to have your own opinions about things. You see what other people write and then jump in on it without even knowing what’s going on.

                  I bet you’re the guy who used to enter the fight once the other guy was on the ground to get your few kicks in…

                  Oh well.

                • pat

                  Don’t say dumb shit and people won’t be so apt to gang up on you, simple as that.

                • jsbrendog

                  hey, axl’s back and nothing’s changed! what a surprise! heyyyy everyone come look!! i give it a week tops before you go get banned again.

                • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

                  What dumb shit was said? I noticed something that actually happened…I wrote it…and in a reference to a handwarming healing technique in a movie…I added that. If the guy doing the technique were American…you wouldn’t be pretending this bothers you.

                • jsbrendog

                  yes and my comment was in response to pat outing you for being none other than axl. someone who has had multiple chances and comes back every time only to get banned again.

                  therefore, it is only a matter of time before it happens again.

                  What does a guy need to do around here to get you to have your own opinions about things. You see what other people write and then jump in on it without even knowing what’s going on.

                  I bet you’re the guy who used to enter the fight once the other guy was on the ground to get your few kicks in…

                  Oh well.

                  so this is complete and utter gibberish because that is my opinion. and i am betting that it is the same for many others. my comment had nothing to do with your referenced comment (in fact when ir ead it i didn’t think it was meant with malice so i didnt reference it. your jump to conclusions mat apparently had you land on HE IS ATTACKING MY COMMENt and not he is basing his prediction on all of my previous actions)

                  anyway, i will not hijcak the thread. write whatever you want. i still believe you will be gone in a week anyway. you know what would be good? don’t, prove me wrong and be a solid commentor. that’d show me.

                • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

                  jsbrendog,

                  notice how you were quite cordial and entirely normal before you knew who I was. Then once you found out I was me…you immediately went berserk

                • jsbrendog

                  sigh. the mroe things change the mroe they stay the same

                • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

                  jsbrens,

                  So what were you referencing when you were asking about a “permban” then? Just the fact that I was commenting normally like everybody else??

                • jsbrendog

                  no the fact that I cannot believe they reinstated you again after being banned 2 or 3 times already. just shows some people can be too forgiving.

                • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

                  I was banned the first time for an inappropriate thing I said and I’ve apologized wholeheartedly for it ever since. They reinstated me and I appreciated it.

                  The second time I was banned it was for writing “first” on a brand new thread which I now know is basically the next worst thing you can do on this site. Although personally I don’t think it belongs under “what does it take to be permabanned” because I wrote something stupid like that.

                  You’re just ridiculous and are trying to rally the troops or something yet are unfortunately being unsuccessful at it. Just go back to agreeing with everybody. You’re much better at that.

                • jsbrendog

                  the reason you ge tbanned for stuff like that is because you can’;t have civil discourse. you attack people. and everytime you come back you continue to do it and then get banned for the final straw that breaks the camel’s back, whether minutae or not.

                  you just odn’t get it man. as usual it is the axl against the world, “you’re ganging up on me” or “you want everyone to hate me” so fucking annoying. I’ll go back to agreeing with solid ideas that are rationally thought out and make sense. cheerio.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  I think I speak for everyone here when I say, to both of you, please just stop. No more last words, no more explanations, no more accusations, no more anything. JUST. STOP.

                • JMK aka The Overshare

                  Eh, I think it’s pretty amusing.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  F*cking JMK. Typical.

                • JMK aka The Overshare

                  Hey, if I’m going to re-live middle school on a message board, I will.

                  My tomagatchi died, covered in its own feces. DON’T TAKE THIS AWAY FROM ME!!!!

                • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

                  Must have been some middle school…

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  You are endlessly fascinating.

              • JMK aka The Overshare

                It’s areary a RAB Crassic.

                /Axl’d

    • larryf

      and CMW runs the bases SO well….

    • Bo

      he should be running to the NL.

  • JMK aka The Overshare

    I think Wang is worth the risk. Say he works his way back in July and pitches really well. You’ve just given Girardi a lot more roster flexibility. He can give the guys a bit more rest, see what he has in Wang and be more confident in the playoffs. He flops, well, that sucks, but you’ve tried a low risk/high reward player and it didn’t work out. The money is still pretty low and you can cut ties knowing you still got good production on the length of his total stay on the Yanks for pennies on the dollar.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Works for me, I’m on board.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        +1

        I’d rather take a bigger risk on Wang than a smaller one on Mitre.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          +1

          I’d rather take smaller risks on both Wang and Mitre than a bigger risk on John Lackey.

          • JMK aka The Overshare
            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Heh.

              What the hell is that from?

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                And is that Chris Farley’s brother?

              • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                If memory serves, it’s some joke thing MTV threw together back when boy-bands ruled the world.

                • jsbrendog

                  i can’t watch youtube at work but is that n2gether? haha that’s what it sounds like form this description

                  remember, u + me equal sign us

                • JMK aka The Overshare

                  Ding, ding, ding! As you can probably tell, my popularity has waned since middle school.

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            But he’s a bulldog, Tommie. How do you not do it?!

            • Andy in Sunny Daytona

              People call John Lackey a bulldog because they’re making fun of his underbite, right?

              • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                I would hope so.

          • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

            I’d rather take smaller risks on both Wang and Mitre than a bigger risk on John Lackey.

            Tell that to the Red Sox (Smoltz/Penny)…

            That being said, I agree, I don’t want Lackey. But last year tells a different tale than the one we’re hoping for…

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

              What do you mean? The Sox and their decision are more or less irrelevant to this conversation. Boston was counting on Smoltz and Penny to be their 4th and 5th starters for the season. The Yankees expect nothing out of Wang and probably very little out of Mitre. The two situations are not analogous. New York has its rotation in mind right now: CC/AJ/Andy/Joba/Phil. Wang and Mitre, right now, shouldn’t be, and most likely aren’t, in the Yankees’ plans for the 2010 rotation.

              • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

                Actually, the Red Sox counted on Smoltz and Penny to be absolutely nothing more than depth as well.

                Beckett, Lester, Dice K, Buchholz, Wakefield, Smoltz, Penny.

                They had plenty (on paper) when the season started.

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  Buchholz didn’t pitch in a Major League game until July. He was the depth. Penny pitched in the season’s first week. Their rotation going in was Beckett/Lester/Dice-K/Penny/Wake. They were relying on one of their “depth” signings to give them meaningful innings in the rotation. The Yankees for 2010 are not shooting for that.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Compaq didn’t make a start until July… I don’t remember him being injured this year, am I missing something? If I’m right, then no, he certainly wasn’t 4th on Boston’s depth chart.

                  I think sometimes we get a little carried away with pooping on the Smoltz/Penny deals since they turned out to be so awful for Boston and we find it funny, but I think you’re still underselling how much Boston relied on those guys in 2009. They were higher on the depth chart than you’re allowing for, they weren’t comparable to the Mitres and Wangs of the world.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Forget it… Matty said the same thing before I got my comment in, I didn’t see that.

                • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

                  They planned on bringing Bunchholz up sooner but he wasn’t doing all that well at the beginning…once he started dominating again then they began to make room for him.

                  At least that’s how I looked at it at first.

                  But whatever.

                  I wasn’t saying it was a bad idea…I was just bringing up a certain situation where “gambling on risky pitchers” didn’t work out. But yes, the situations would be different, etc.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  I feel confident in saying that our 2010 top 8 of CC-AJ-Andy-Joba-Hughes-Gaudin-Kennedy-Mitre will outpitch the Red Sox 2009 top 8 of Beckett-Lester-Matsuzaka-Wakefield-Penny-Smoltz-Buchholz-Paul Byrd.

                  Removing the unforeseen Dice-K injury from the equation momentarily, they needed to add Penny and Smoltz to be their depth pitchers because their prospective #4 and #5 pitchers (Wake and Buchholz) were bigger question marks, all things considered, than Joba and Hughes are for 2010. And they needed them because outside of their top 5 of Beckett-Lester-Matsuzaka-Wakfield-Buchholz, they had nothing (which necessitated them going outside to add Byrd).

                  They needed to add Penny and Smoltz just to have 7 legit options. Byrd was only an additional add-on after Matsuzaka failed.

                  We already have 7 legit options. Mitre makes it 8. And we now have the luxury to add someone like J-Douche to make it 9.

                  Our situation is way better than theirs was.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  You’re still being too kind to the Sox. Brad Penny started in their 5th game, on April 11. He wasn’t signed to be their 6th starter, he was signed to be their 4th or 5th starter. That situation is not comparable to Wang/Mitre, at all.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  No, what I was saying was, had they not signed Penny, they would have opened the season with Buchholz as their 5th starter. They didn’t want to do that, so they signed Penny.

                  I got you.

                  Think of it this way: The Sox last year were deciding that they should spend 10-15M between Brad Penny and John Smoltz to be 5th and 6th starters. We’re deciding that we should spend about 6-7M between Sergio Mitre and Justin Duchscherer to be our 8th and 9th starters.

                  That’s the difference in a nutshell.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Gotcha, gotcha.

                  Btw… Both of us were pushing for The Duke a few months ago, but I have to say, I’ve soured a bit. If they can get him for, like, next to nothing, I have no problem with that, but the guy’s just got so many problems… I mean… He’s depressed, he poops his pants, he’s injured… It just never ends with him. Add in a little sprinkling of him turning 32 and not pitching at all in 2008, and I’ve lowered my level of Duke-envy. Is the guy even worth a major league contract at this point?

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  I thought the consensus was that his depression and IBS were both not baseball related and were totally treatable.

                  I think his red flags are smaller than we’re making them out to be. JMHO.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  If that’s the case I take it back to a certain extent, obviously. I’m wary, though.

  • r.w.g.

    If it worked out like Lieber did, that would be pretty sweet.

  • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

    How does arbitration work when the arbiter knows that the pitcher (in this case, Wang) won’t be around until July (at best). This must come into a factor, no? He earned $5M last year for holding us back from doing even better than we did. While that is irrelevant come arbitration time…the injury and available time next year has to do something…no? Or is that also irrelevant and players just get more money regardless of any rational argument against…

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      The Yankees submit a number, his agent submits a number. They both argue for their side. The abritrator then decides which side is more right. There is no splitting the difference with the abritrator.

      • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

        I know the overall process. I didn’t know if the fact that somebody wasn’t goign to be able to play til AT LEAST July would be a factor in it…

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Yes, it might factor into which submission the arbitrator chooses.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Therefore, it would behoove Wang to not overprice himself, knowing that if the Yankees offer, say 4M (the lowest they can) and the arbiter decides that Wang’s 2010 salary should be massively discounted due to his injury concerns, then if he prices himself like a healthy pitcher worth 7M, his number will be much, much further away from what the arbiter thinks is fair than the Yankees number will, and he’ll pick the Yankees bid.

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona

          True, true.

  • toad

    It seems to me that the option to keep Wang for 2011 is what is crucial here. That’s what a big chunk of the $5 million is for.

    And the way to value that is to look primarily at the upside. If there’s any reasonable chance he can return to form then he’s going to be a bargain. I think you have to make the bet.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      That too.

      Giving Wang arb not only lets us keep him under team control for this year, but for next year too. And, it’s at a minimal cost with a free opt-out.

  • Aj

    looking ahead if CC opts out do you guys think theres a chance he resigns like arod and we get CC and felix? do you think felix has the personality to play in ny?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      By the time CC opts out, we may not have room for both him and Felix in the rotation. We may already have AJ, Joba, Hughes, and (wait for it…) ANDREW BRACKMAN.

      Your mind… it is blown.

      • Bo

        Personality?

        Isnt pitching ability and talent a little more important?

  • king of fruitless hypotheticals

    do it. DO IT!

    get these two complete so we can sign JD and Godzilla so we can move on to even more important things:

    like steak.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
    • jsbrendog

      aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand……..

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        And then and then and then and then and then and then and then and then and then and then and then and then and then and then and then and then and then and then and then and then.

        Annnnnnnnnnnnnd thennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            I didn’t realize everyone doesn’t get that tonight just because it’s Tuesday. Poor souls.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Yeah.

              I don’t really like steaks that much, though, so I usually just take two BJ’s.

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mAJU_ZKhEM (NSFW… not at all)

  • Bo

    If the choice is between Mitre and Wang I HOPE its not a choice at all.

    Mitre is awful.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Good thing for you it’s not a choice between them.

      We can have both.

  • Joe D.

    Mitre at $1.25 mil is a slam-dunk.

    He pitched in considerable bad luck with the Yanks, posting a higher-than-career BABIP, a fluky-low LOB%, and a weird fluky-high rate of HR/FB.

    In his last full season (2007), he managed an FIP under 4.00, he’s under 30, and even in his shoddy work for the Yankees this season, he struck out 2.5 times as many guys as he walked.

    Mitre is precisely the kind of medium-upside play who works beautifully at a notch over $1 million.

    • SF Yanks

      I like this.

  • Taz

    Hi Joseph, you quoted some good numbers for Mitre in 2007 (3.98 FIP, 4.34 tRA, 2.6 WAR). I’ll give the bad, .300 BAA, 1.48 WHIP, 180 hits in 149 innings! I believe BA and WHIP actually indicated his ERA should have been higher that year. He did induce 18 DPs that year which was nice. I just wanted to hammer home the fact that he sucks and I still believe pretty much any minor leaguer can do as well or better, and for the league minimum.

    I definitely see your point about his value over a full season compared to Wang for half a season (although I read Wang may be able to pitch by April).

    If the Yanks were hard up for cash and Wang needed a buck and a quarter more to come back though, I’d put Serge in that ditch someone mentioned!