The RAB Radio Show: December 1, 2009

"MLB needs a strong Yankee franchise"
For the second year, the Yankees offer arbitration to no one

The off-season gets rolling tonight, as teams have to decide whether to offer arbitration to their free agents. Mike and I talk through the process and what it means for the three qualifying Yankees: Johnny Damon, Andy Pettitte, and Xavier Nady. Case in point for the Elias system being a joke: Nady is eligible for compensation, but Matsui is not.

The arbitration process is a complicated one, and in the Yankees case there are two sides to each story. There are certain scenarios under which offering arbitration to Pettitte and Damon makes sense. There are others where it does not. What the Yankees ultimately decide, which we’ll find out later today, will give us an idea of what they’re thinking. Last winter they declined to offer anyone arbitration because they wanted to have the greatest amount of available payroll. We’ll see how they proceed this year.

There are questions, of course, and we answer all of them. Among them are some non-Yankees questions. These we encourage. There are always Yankee-centric topics to discuss, but Mike and I are two guys who like to talk baseball, whatever the team. So if you have a question about someone like Zack Greinke, send it in. We’ll have fun discussing it.

Podcast run time: 1:09:45

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"MLB needs a strong Yankee franchise"
For the second year, the Yankees offer arbitration to no one
  • Ed

    Case in point for the Elias system being a joke: Nady is eligible for compensation, but Matsui is not.

    Both guys missed a lot of time over the two seasons the rankings cover.

    Matsui is ranked against DH’s, Nady against OF’s. The average DH is better than the average OF.

    Nady had a 126 OPS+ in 636 PA’s. Matsui had a 121 OPS+ in 904 PA’s. Fangraphs said Nady was worth 3.9 WAR and $17.7M over the last two years (including a negative worth this year). Matsui was worth 3.2 WAR and $14.6M.

    Looks like Elias got it right to me.

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

      Matsui is ranked against DH’s, Nady against OF’s. The average DH is better than the average OF.

      No, they’re both pooled into the 1B/OF/DH grouping. They’re both ranked against all first basemen, all outfielders, and all DH’s.

      • Rose

        Why not group EVERYBODY together if they’re really doing that?? I don’t get why they stop after that?

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

          You: preaching
          Me: the choir

        • Ed

          You can’t have too many groups, or it makes things worse.

          Split the groups further and you magnify the relief pitcher compensation issue – guys that aren’t that valuable get ranked highly because they’re compared against a pool of weak players.

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

            True.

            Best option: Scrap the whole thing. Start from scratch.

      • Ed

        You’re right, my bad on that. The rest still stands though. Nady was a better hitter during that time period, even if he did play less.

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

          Nady, 2008-09:
          155 games played, 636 PA, .304/.355/.506/.861 (126+)

          Matsui, 2008-09:
          235 games played, 904 PA, .282/.368/.473/.841 (121+)

          Barely, yes.

          (In HazMat’s defense, though, more than half of that Nady sample was from the sissy-girl league. Nady’s Pittsburgh OPS+ during the past two years was 143+. In NYY, it’s barely over 100.

          All of Hideki’s 121+ came in the man’s league.)

          • Ed

            Barely, yes.

            That’s really all that matters here though, no? Nady made the top 40% cutoff, Matsui just missed.

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

              Matsui missed by like 5 points, which is a lot.

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

                Moreover, the numbers above show that:

                A) Nady was a slightly more productive hitter
                B) Matsui was the far more valuable player, since he actually PLAYED.

                The slight advantage in OPS+ should not count for so much more than the large gap in games played to make Nady a Type B and HazMat a Type nothing.

                • Ed

                  Matsui was the far more valuable player, since he actually PLAYED.

                  If you were to remove DL time compensation from the rankings, neither player would be worthy of a Type B ranking.

              • Ed

                At the top and bottom, yeah. In the middle, no. In the middle of the rankings, everyone is clustered close together. Hit one home run and it easily jumps you past 5 guys.

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  • theyankeewarrior

    No arbitration offers. Let the Damon offerings begin.

    • theyankeewarrior

      I’ll start the bidding at 1/11 with a team option for 10M in 2011

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

        That’s way too much.

        I’ll start the bidding at a lovely seafood dinner.

        (We’re talking about Michelle Damon, right?)

  • http://www.jefflevyphoto.com/ Jeff Levy

    Mike and Joe, where should I post or send questions for next weeks podcast?

  • Aj

    Thank you guys! Anyone else have thoughts on the Brandon Lyon rumors from MLBTR?

  • Brian

    You know what the RAB Radio Show is great for? Downloading and listening on your commute home.

    LOL who has an hour long commute? Takes me all of 8 minutes to get home from work.