Jan
28

What should the Yankees expect from Randy Winn in 2010?

By

When word got out that the Yankees had agreed to a deal with Randy Winn yesterday, many fans were up in arms over letting a silly little thing like a budget get in the way of bringing Johnny Damon back. Damon was a proven performer on the big stage after all, and he had just played a major role in helping the team capture their 27th World Championship. Instead the Yanks opted for Winn, who was so bad with the bat in 2009 that he got outslugged by Ramiro Pena. By 30 points!

Brian Cashman has been saying for weeks that he only had $2MM to spend on a left fielder, but almost no one took him seriously because hey, they’re the Yankees and they usually get what they want and will pay top dollar to do so. Not this time. Scott Boras told Cash that he wouldn’t take a penny less than $26M over two years for Damon back in December, and Cashman ended up calling his bluff. So now the Yankees are paying Winn $2M in 2010 to do something. Whether that’s serve as the every day left fielder or be a platoon partner for Brett Gardner or just provide a veteran presence on the bench, we don’t know. We won’t know until the season starts either.

Winn’s .262-.317-.353 batting line in 2009 represents the worse full season offensive output of his career, an ominous sign for a 35-year-old. His .158-.184-.200 line against lefties was the worst mark by a righty batter in 54 years, however that comes with the disclaimer of a microscopic .178 BABIP. One-seventy-eight. If he had posted his career average BABIP against lefties (.301), he actually would have picked up an extra 17 hits, nearly doubling his average to an even .300. That is some horrific luck ladies and gentlemen. It’s so horrible that even at his age, a rebound is all but guaranteed. Bouncing back against lefties alone will improve his overall offensive output, but moving from cozy AT&T Park Park to the New Stadium will help as well. I’m not saying Winn will revert to his ~.350 wOBA ways of ’07-’08, but matching Melky Cabrera‘s .331 wOBA from a year ago isn’t out of the question. He did have 22.3% line drive rate in 2009, his highest in at least eight years, so Winn’s bat hasn’t gone totally limp.

The one area of Winn’s game that doesn’t need to improve is his defense. He’s been well-above average in both corners over the last few years, and Jeff Zimmerman’s age-adjusted UZR projections peg him as a +2 defender in left and +9 in right. The Yanks could optimize their defensive alignment by sticking Winn in right and sliding Nick Swisher over to left (where he projects for +1 UZR), but for now let’s assume Winn’s staying in left. Baseball Prospectus’ EqBRR metric rates him as well-above average on the bases, but if you’re into raw stolen base totals, then you’ll be pleased by Winn’s 56 steals and 88.9% (!!!) success rate over the last three years. Gardner’s fast, crazy fast even, but he was too hesitant in late-inning stolen base situations at times last year. Given his experience, Winn should absolutely be the new guy for that job, and he should be fantastic at it.

So let’s round it all up. We’ve got Winn as a .331 wOBA hitter next year (essentially replacing the Melkman), a +2 UZR defender in left, and let’s say +2.4 runs on the bases (half of his 2009 total). Assuming 400 plate appearances, Winn would be just a tad over a two win player in 2010, but let’s call it an even two. For all intents and purposes, that’s league average. Despite his struggles last season, Winn was worth just under two wins, so we’re not out of the realm of reality here. A two win player for $2M is a bargain, and even if the aging process is harsh or the NL-AL switch is tougher than expected and knocks Winn down to a one win player, the Yanks are still paying him about two-thirds of his market value. The Yankees should expect the bare minimum from Winn, but chances are they’ll be rewarded with more.

He’s certainly not a sexy name and he won’t be as productive as Damon, but the Yankees didn’t just take a match to $2M bucks. Remember, he’s not replacing Damon; Curtis Granderson is. Winn is essentially filling Melky’s spot (for $1.1M less). He’s a useful player and perfectly qualified for what the Yankees are asking him to do. Oh sure, there’s always a chance Winn will be just awful and is DFA bait by May, but I’d be shocked if he ends up being that bad. It’s a very easy move to back out of, and the Yanks did well to improve two of their roster’s biggest weaknesses (defense and baserunning) with Winn. And he’s going to bat ninth for cryin’ out loud, with this lineup they could let the pitcher bat and be a top five offense.

Update: As requested, here’s an overlay of the park dimensions of AT&T Park and the New Yankee Stadium. Keep in mind that the right field wall in San Francisco is 20-feet tall.

Photo Credit: Eric Risberg, AP

Categories : Analysis
  • Steve H

    Remember, he’s not replacing Damon; Curtis Granderson is. Winn is essentially filling Melky’s spot (for $1.1M less).

    Not only that, but a combination of Winn/Gardner/Hoffman is filling Melky’s spot. This isn’t Cody Ransom filling in for A-Rod at 3rd.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      Remember, he’s not replacing Damon; Curtis Granderson Nick Johnson is. Winn is essentially filling Melky’s spot (for $1.1M less).

      /nitpick’d

      Otherwise, spot on. 100% agreement.

      • Rose

        Then who’s replacing Matsui!!! Ahhh!!!

        /Overboard’d

      • Chris

        When was the last time Nick Johnson played the OF?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          My point

          ————–

          Your head

          • camilo Gerardo

            must have been amateur hour

            • Reality Check

              Would it be novice if I asked for a key for the overlay graph?

        • KyleLitke

          Yeah but we’re talking offense, and Johnson’s taking Damon’s spot in the order.

    • Bo

      why should he be replacing melky?

      why cant granderson replace melky and have damon? why not get really better rather than incrementally?

      its not about replacing anyone. its about the team getting better. how does gardner/winn make the team better? at least melky could hit last yr.

      and all the gardner fans still havent answered how he is so good that melky beat him out after a week. if winn is even 50% of his old self he’ll beat him out

      • Yages

        I could be wrong, but me thinks there’s a bigger picture thing goin on here.

      • Chops

        http://www.urbandictionary.com.....lification

        cant believe it took a whole 25 minutes

      • Jack

        and all the gardner fans still havent answered how he is so good that melky beat him out after a week

        They have answered that, you’re just too dense to understand.

  • FrankFernandez

    Winn>>>Womack

    • Bo

      is that saying much??

  • http://twitter.com/tafkasic the artist formerly known as (sic)

    And he’s going to bat ninth for cryin’ out loud, with this lineup they could let the pitcher bat and be a top five offense.

    Yuuuup.

    • Johan Iz My Brohan

      see: CC Sabathia

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

    Also worth noting: Winn has never been on the DL. Not once.

    • Steve H

      True, but……

      His career is completely defined with a large sample.

      /pete luciano’d

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        I smell an Instant Meme.

        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Templeton_%22Faceman%22_Peck Templeton “Brendog” Peck

          last night’s open thread?

    • Rose

      Don’t jinx it Axisa! Damon never had been until lately either!

      Just for the record, I like the Winn signing. Platooning a young speedy defensive guy with a older veteran defensive guy sounds pretty good to me. Especially with the line up we already have. We have the luxury of doing these types of things…

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

    What should we expect from Randy Winn in 2010? WE SHOULD EXPECT JOHNNY DAMON’S CAREER BEST 2009 LEVEL PRODUCTION, DAMNIT, OR ELSE CASHMAN IS A MISERABLE PENNYPINCHING IDIOT AND WE MADE A HORRIBLE MISTAKE!!!

    /boversimplified

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Templeton_%22Faceman%22_Peck Templeton “Brendog” Peck

      where’s your silly little movie quote eric

      \bo’d

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        Lame.

        My movie quotes aren’t silly, they’re lame.

    • Steve H

      /pete luciano’d
      //moversimplified

    • Bo

      You should have thrown in a useless movie quote there Eric.

      Would make more sense.

      Then again you few may be the only people who actually think that Winn/Gardner is as good as Damon. So its like talking to a wall.

      Now get that Winn jersey ready, Eric!

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Templeton_%22Faceman%22_Peck Templeton “Brendog” Peck

    i kind of wish they did let the pticher hit just so they could still beat every other team haha

    • http://twitter.com/tafkasic the artist formerly known as (sic)

      That’d be sweet. Plus, the more time the pitchers can spend on the basepaths the better.

      /sarcasm

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        I’d bring back CMW on a guaranteed major league contract… just to be our designated late inning pitcher-pinchrunner.

        • pete

          ietc

  • A.D.

    So Winn isn’t terrible and the death of the 2010 Yankees?

    Why I would have loved to have Damon back, I like this signing, a lot of weird went on for him last year with some of the crazy splits, especially vs career norms, hopefully & nice bounce-back year.

    Plus, with all due respect to Swisher’s D, late in games can go Gardner/Granderson/Winn and just have redic outfield defense.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      “Why I would have loved to have Damon Melky back, I like this signing…”

      /drivingthepointhome’d

  • Chip

    I think we should let Sabathia DH every now and then just to screw with the other teams

  • pete

    perfectly put. It’s not about finding a starter for next year, nor is it about finding a 4th outfielder. It’s about creating a deep enough mix that there’s a good chance that somebody is producing at league avg or better levels pretty much all the time.

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: The yankees left field mix will out-WAR Johnny Damon in 2010.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      Swisher (S)
      Granderson (L)
      Gardner (L)
      Hoffmann (R)
      Winn (S)

      Every single day, you’re going to have three solid-to-great hitters and three excellent defenders at your three OF spots. Lots of flexibility; only Swish can’t play all three spots. Lots of bat handedness matchups for any pitcher we see, both starter and reliever.

      Win.

      • Steve H

        And Swish, in a pinch, could play all 3 spots, as he’s logged some serious innings in CF. Of course, with 4 other OF’s all capable, that pinch will never happen.

        • pete

          swish can actually play all 3 at once, if the pinch gets pinchier.

          • ColoYank

            Homer, sadly: No, I’m going to eat him all by myself. Pinchy would have wanted it that way. (Proceeds to rip lobster apart …)

  • Steve H

    Well Bo was complaining the other night about not having an All-Star in LF. Winn has only made one less All-Star team than Damon, and Damon was voted in by the fans both times he made it, by virtue of playing for the Sox. Had Winn played for the Sox and Yankees for 8 years of his peak, he probably would have made at least one more AS game, which would tie Damon.

    • andrew

      Eh. Winn’s one all star appearance came because he happened to be the best player on a crappy team and the MLB requires a representative for every team…

      • Steve H

        Oh I know, arguing all-star appearences from several years ago was pointless when Bo brought it up, I was just engaging in a little bo-baiting.

  • pat

    I like Winn hitting in front of Jeter. Good base running instincts + SlumpProofSwing = lots of hit+run and less GIDP.

    • Rose

      Less GIDP for Winn equals more GIDP for Jeter…

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        I think you’re misreading what pat is saying.

        • Rose

          I was…I re-read it and get it now. Winn as a #9 guy hitting in front of Jeter wouldn’t be bad at all.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

            I’m proud of you, Rose. 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.

            • Mike Pop

              I miss the constant Anchorman quotes.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                Anchorman 2 is supposedly coming out this year.

                • Mike Pop

                  RAB meet up?

                  /half-serious

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                  I’m down.

                • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Templeton_%22Faceman%22_Peck Templeton “Brendog” Peck

                  ::pushes chips into the middle::

                  all in

                • Mike Pop

                  RAB meets up for not a game, not a game, not a game, we talking bout meeting up for a movie.

              • Bo

                Miss them? When did Eric ever stop them?

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                  You are a parody of yourself.

    • mike c

      plus he won’t get on base a lot so jeter won’t hit into a lot of double plays

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        Randy Winn, career OBP – .344
        Melky Cabrera, career OBP – .331
        Brett Gardner, career OBP – .325

        http://knowyourmeme.com/i/124/.....-wrong.jpg

        • mike c

          Randy Winn, current OBP – .317

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Templeton_%22Faceman%22_Peck Templeton “Brendog” Peck

            your current OBP: .250

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

            Randy Winn, current OBP – .317 .000

            2009 is over, my friend.

            Oh, and, just for poops and giggles:

            Nick Swisher’s 2008 OBP with the Pale Hoes – .332
            Nick Swisher’s 2009 OBP with the Yankees – .371

            Chew on that. BABIP luck is a bitch, yo.

            • Sweet Dick Willie

              So does no one else appreciate the fact that you refer to the Pale Hose as the Pale Hoes, or do they just think that’s the way it spelled?

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                I give because I love.

      • pat

        So true man, so true, good point.

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Templeton_%22Faceman%22_Peck Templeton “Brendog” Peck

        you’re like a minniature buddha covered in hair.

    • Bo

      After Winns last season in SF whats to say he’ll get on base here??

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t you asking substantially the same question last year about Swisher?

        How did that work out?

  • A.D.

    Winn’s ability to play all the OF position helps overall depth, in having a solid vet to be able to plug in if Swisher or Granderson went down (or just need a day off).

    • Bo

      A perfect 4th OF.

      But the fact that hes signed to platoon in LF and most likely play everyday. Hurts.

  • Rose

    Watch for Randy Winn to blow peoples minds in 2010. Don’t say Rose didn’t tell you!

  • Mike Pop

    At first, I was kind of shocked because it goes against getting younger and all that jazz. But after reading many comments/posts about it, I’ve come to be okay with the move. It’s really no big deal. I would assume it leaves more money to add a piece at the deadline too. If he can just be the 2009 version of Melky, it’s a solid move.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Well, Randy Winn is younger than Johnny Damon…

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      At first, I was kind of shocked because it goes against getting younger and all that jazz.

      This reminds me of an old convo we once had about the difference between strategies and tactics.

      It’s our long-term strategy to get younger and better defensively. Sometimes you can employ a short-term tactic that doesn’t, at first blush, agree with your long-term strategy, but it is merely a stopgap tactic that allows you to postpone a decision that WILL reinforce your strategy later.

      i.e., we may have our eye on Carl Crawford or something for our longterm strategy of youth and defense, so we’re signing a stopgap like Winn (or Cameron) to buy us time until Crawford gets on the market, rather than locking ourselves into a longer-term commitment that would preclude us from the Crawford sweepstakes.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Signing Randy Winn for 1 year/$2M doesn’t “go against getting younger and all that jazz,” though. This isn’t a long-term deal that locks an aging player into a roster spot and uses financial resources that could be used elsewhere, it’s a stop-gap contract given to a role player. This is precisely the kind of aging player the Yankees should be signing, given their current and foreseeable roster construction.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Didn’t see TSJC’s comment when I posted mine, my bad.

      • Mike Pop

        That’s what I came to realize after reading more info on the matter.

    • Bo

      Winn makes Melky look like an all star. Esp comparing last yrs #’s

  • Brooklyn Ed

    If you compare Winn and Damon’s 2009 numbers, they are pretty much similar in SB, doubles, and triples.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      And the large homer difference can essentially be explained by the large park effect discrepancy between Damon’s homer-inflating YS3 and Winn’s homer-deflating House that Bonds Built.

      • Brooklyn Ed

        ahh..Thanks for reminding me the ball park factor.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          You know what this convo needs? A snazzy ballpark overlay chart with Winn’s XBH comparing AT&T to YS3. (hint, hint, Mike/Joe/Ben, make it happen).

          I bet, even with his down year last year, some of his doubles would have been homers if he played for us.

          That crazy scoreboard cutout and high wall in the RF power alley in AT&T makes it play like 40-50 feet deeper than the YS3 launching pad. I think the leftfield foul pole is a ways further back as well.

          • Steve H

            Not just AT&T, but in his division he also got to play regularly in Petco and Dodger Stadium. (Damn Adrian Gonzalez is a beast)

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

              Also great points.

      • mike c

        so you’re saying damon would have hit 2 HR’s last year if he played for the giants?

        • Mike Pop

          Don’t be ignorant.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          Again:

          http://knowyourmeme.com/i/124/…..-wrong.jpg

        • pat

          No that’s not what he was saying at all. But how should I know? All I did was read his comment.

          • Steve H

            heh.

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Templeton_%22Faceman%22_Peck Templeton “Brendog” Peck

            you’re on fire today

        • Steve H

          He’s not replacing Damon. One more time, he’s not replacing Damon

          Also, if you’re only talking HR’s, there’s a good chance Grandy/Winn will out homer the Damon/Melky combo they’ve replaced in 2010.

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

            He’s not replacing anyone. No one is replacing anyone. Replacing production is one of the dumbest ideas people float. Yeah, as if production doesn’t fluctuate from year to year.

            • pete

              i don’t know if i would go that far. Sure there’s no need to identically replicate 2009 in 2010, but when a team succeeds, and wants to succeed at the same levels the next year, it has to try to do everything it can to be as good as its former self. when guys who had productive years leave, it is important to try to replace that production, or improve upon it, somewhere. Ironically, Cash and Co (correctly, IMO) believe that the best replacements for Damon and Matsui are not damon and matsui, but Granderson and Johnson.

    • Bo

      Please dont embarrass yourself by comparing Winn to Damon.

      It’s not even close. Compare Winn to gardner. thats at least fair.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        Damon 2007 – 270/351/396 in 605 PAs

        Winn 2007 – 300/353/445 in 653 PAs

        There I just compared them.

  • The Three Amigos

    With the addition of Wynn as a switch hitter and having gardner, granderson and swisher… I think there is a chance they dump Hoffman now and try to add a RH pinch hitter off the bench. Gardner (obvious), Wynn without returning to career norms and Granderson against a good LOOGY– could all be pinch hit for late in the game now. Plus, Ramiro Pena got OF experience last year and could play there in a pinch.

    I guess my thought is signing Rocco Baldelli to an MiL contract would be advisable now, if possible.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      W-I-N-N.

      He wins games. He doesn’t build casinos.

      • mike c

        i sincerely hope you’re correct. if not, you and the cashman groupies better check your ego’s

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

          Why? Cashman haters never check theirs, even after a World Series.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

            What’s that? I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear the conversation you guys were having. I was busy polishing this 2009 World Series Championship trophy. Could you repeat that?

            Sincerely,
            Brian Cashman

            • SamVa

              IETC

          • mike c

            cashman deserves an A+ for last offseason
            this offseason, the vasquez and granderson moves were sick moves. the johnson/winn pickups will be questionable until results are in. they could have had damon/thome for the same amount of $. personally i think keeping damon should have been more important than trying to out-duel boras. time will tell however, i still like our chances for this year. the question still remains… what’s the LF chant for 2010?

            • Steve H

              Do you have a direct line to Scott Boras? Do you have any idea what they truly could have had Damon and Thome for? Do you have any idea if country boy Thome wanted to come play in NY?

              Doubtful,no,no.

              • mike c

                he didn’t seem to have a problem joining LAD last year

                • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Templeton_%22Faceman%22_Peck Templeton “Brendog” Peck

                  Scott Boras said that “The Yankees never even made an offer to me regarding Johnny Damon during the entire process,” according to a tweet from Tyler Kepner of The New York Times. In a second tweet, Kepner says Boras indicated that the two-year, $14MM offer the team reportedly made was conditional on whether or not Nick Johnson would sign.

                  http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....upton.html

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                  Yeah, he totally signed that free agent contract to play with the Dodgers midseason last year, of his own free will.

                  Wait, what?

            • Nady Nation

              “personally i think keeping damon should have been more important than trying to out-duel boras”

              If by “outdueling boras,” you mean “working within the budget he was given,” then I agree with you.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

              the johnson/winn pickups will be questionable until results are in. they could have had damon/thome for the same amount of $.

              I’d much, MUCH rather have Johnson and Winn over Damon and Thome for the same money. Johnson can actually play 1B well, Thome can’t. Winn can actually play LF/CF/RF well, Damon can’t. Furthermore, there’s a far lower risk of age/injury-related decline from Johnson and Winn than from Damon and Thome.

            • Big Juan

              the johnson/winn pickups will be questionable until results are in.

              All offseason moves are questionable until the results are in. Unless you have tea leaves or something that you’re not telling us about.

              they could have had damon/thome for the same amount of $.

              1. I’m leaning towards that statement being false.
              2. Johnson >>> Thome

              personally i think keeping damon should have been more important than trying to out-duel boras

              Why does this mean Cash was trying to out-duel Boras? Did you honestly want to give a DH two years and $26 million? No…? Didn’t think so.

            • pete

              the johnson and winn pickups will not be “questionable until the results are in”, because the results won’t be in until after a decision had to have been made. Remember, the Yankees are a business. Do you really think that not having matsui/damon back after winning the world series is going to keep people from going to the games? Didn’t think so.

            • Andy

              The whole duelling with Boras comment made me think. Is it a bigger picture strategy from Cashman to make a point that he wasn’t concerned with snubbing Boras’s client and looking elsewhere and managing to come up with some creative solutions/gambles?

              After getting bent over without so much as a reach around from SB in recent times it’s feeling nice to have not given in.

      • The Three Amigos

        Can’t he do both?

  • Rose

    Trivia: Who was Steve Nash’s old roommate at Santa Clara University?

    Answer: “Macho Man” Randy Winn, ooohhh yeeeaaahhh!

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

    Any time you can pick up a guy traded for a manager, you have to do it.

    • Mike Pop

      Hah.

  • Rose

    Trivia: Who’s the last person in the Majors to hit an inside the park grand slam?

    Answer: “Macho Man” Randy Winn, ooohhh yeeeaaahhh!

    • Rose

      Against the Yankees no-less!

  • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    You know, I (and I’m sure everyone else) thought about Randy Winn earlier this offseason when we were all discussing LF/platoon partners, and I dismissed him because of his awful 2009 splits against LHP. Do I still have those concerns? Sure… I mean, the guy isn’t getting any younger, and he put up those numbers in the NL… But, at the same time, that season is certainly an outlier when examined in the context of his career numbers, his peripherals show that he should bounceback a bit against LHP, the guy plays a good outfield, and he comes with no health issues. A decent, veteran 4th outfielder who can play (and play well) at all three outfield positions, for 1 yr/$2M? I’m not sure how anyone can complain too much about that. I bet this deal winds up looking pretty good in the long-run.

    • Nady Nation

      Yup. It’s pretty funny to think the Randy Winn thread got 500 comments yesterday. The fact that a fringe 3rd/4th veteran OF signing a 1 yr deal for $2 million could generate that many comments shows that:

      1. RAB is awesome.
      2. Some Yankee fans will bitch about ANYTHING.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        3. Some Yankee fans haven’t progressed past the preoperational stage of cognitive development into the concrete stage, as evidenced by the fact that they can’t think past the simple binary “Damon is a leftfielder and Winn is a leftfielder, ergo these two should be weighed against each other and no other 2009-2010 offseason moves need to be included in this evaluation” level of information processing and assimilation.

        Piaget FTW.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        I’ve been staying away from the threads for that reason. I mean, we all comment around here very often and I obviously love discussing baseball and the Yankees, but how some people can get themselves so emotional about a 4th outfielder (not to mention how they can be so divorced from reality that they simply refuse to believe the Yankees won’t overpay for every player they, the fan, wants them to sign) is just beyond me. I’m just not even interested in participating in those conversations.

      • rbizzler

        Not to discount your point, but that thread is really about Cash not ponying up for Damon.

        Like it or not, there is a certain segment of the fanbase that has a sense of entitlement that is outrageous. For them, it is unthinkable that the Yankees could actually be operating on a budget, or that the F.O. didn’t want to go the extra mile for Damon because of internal concerns about his price tag, age, or possible decline, etc.

    • rbizzler

      Agreed. Once the sentimental attachment to Damon starts to fade people will calm down about Winn. The guy is not a superstar but he can be a valuable contributor once he settles into the right role. Until then, nothing will stop the fanboys (and girls) from having the knives out for Cash.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        I just don’t get it, though. I’ve been one of Damon’s biggest supporters around here for a long time (i.e. I’ve been a big fan and talked about how valuable he was to the team, not that I necessarily wanted the Yankees to re-sign him this offseason), but this isn’t about Damon vs. Winn. I honestly just can’t comprehend how so many people don’t seem to understand that. Not to mention the fact that… Look, we all liked Damon when he was a Yankee… But it’s not like the Yankees are parting ways with Thurman Munson, here.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          but this isn’t about Damon vs. Winn. I honestly just can’t comprehend how so many people don’t seem to understand that.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.....evelopment

          It’s a failure of the American education system. As a population, we show a shocking lack of critical thinking skills.

        • ColoYank

          Ooh, ouchy reference there, Your Honor.

        • A.D.

          It’s not even like Damon is showing that he wants to be back with the Yanks, and the Yanks are pushing him away. From what any fan can tell, Damon’s camp has never really negotiated with Cash, or given a non Boras-headline figure to the Yanks.

          If Damon really wanted to be back with the Yanks he would be

        • rbizzler

          Honestly, I think that it all comes back to the feelings of entitlement that some vocal fans harbor. Damon was part of the championship team and a fan favorite. The prevailing sentiment among the anti-Cash crew is that he should have thrown them a bone and spent extra for Damon.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

            TASTE MY BOILING SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS!!!

          • Dalelama

            My concern is that our team that just won its first world series in 9 years has replaced 3 starters, 2 of which played a significant role in that victory, with 3 guys who are at best a productivity wash but unproven in the Bronx…to me getting Vasquez is what may make this off season a plus…johnson’s health and granderson’s LH splits add risk but our piching should be better

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona

          As long as the Yankees spend $20 million on this year’s amateur draft and $20 million on the international signings, I’ll be happy. :)

          • Tampa Yankee

            I’ll be happy if they just bring Melvin to America!

            • Andy in Sunny Daytona

              It’s totally Melvin’s choice.

              • Tampa Yankee

                True, the Yankees don’t bring Melvin to America, Melvin brings American to him.

  • http://www.wiredtowns.com Short Porch

    Was Winn playing hurt, something nagging that sapped his strength and messed up his swing from the left side?

    Having hit the age wall a while back, and had shoulder/wrist issues, I can tell you that something nagging can mess up your swing and take your power way. You can compensate — cheat on your swing, but end up as Robten notes in his analysis from Fangraphs chasing pitches out of the zone all of a sudden. Was Winn committing a slow bat too early and flailing at pitches?

    Winn didn’t hit a homer after April (both were batting LH btw). Most of his decline was from the left side, indicating some ailment — left shoulder? right wrist? — was plaguing him.

    LD% FB% up GB% down with no power sounds to me like he was just slapping at the ball instead of driving through (and rolling the wrists).

    He just was not whipping through the zone as in past years, especially from the left side and especially post all star break, not pulling the ball. Let’s hope he healed in the off season, and that the Yanks can help keep whatever is barking at bay (reaching for the advil myself…).

    Please be healthy Randy, and ready to get your swing back with Kevin Long.

    • A.D.

      I wondered the same thing about injury myself.

  • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    Regarding the Cashman/Boras comments in the media…

    I have a hunch that Cashman is acting deliberately and according to a plan. At first I thought it seemed like he was just reacting off-the-cuff, but I think he’s doing something here, and I think it’s something important (then again, I tend to put more weight onto negotiating tactics/strategies than most people, so I’m probably a bit out of the mainstream with these thoughts). I think Cashman is playing a very important game, here. Cashman operates in a closed yet perpetual negotiating system – he constantly negotiates with the same parties and against the same peers and adversaries, in a system that never ends (i.e. it’s not like the deal closes and he never deals with these people again, it just keeps going in perpetuity). I think he has been working towards something for a few years now, and I think this offseason has presented probably the most obvious signs of what he’s doing. The man is setting the rules… He’s the big fish and he knows it and everyone in his negotiating system knows it… And he’s deliberately altering people’s perceptions of the game by sending clear signals about how that game will be played. He has basically said to all of baseball that if you want to negotiate with the Yankees or even have the Yankees involved in any negotiation in any way, even as a stalking horse, then you better play by his rules – you don’t negotiate through the media, you don’t lie to him, and you don’t overly inflate your client’s worth nor the strength of his negotiating position. And he’s in a unique position to get the other parties to comply with those rules, since it’s worth SO much to them to have him involved in their negotiations.

    I would imagine it’ll be a long time before any agents try to play this little public blame game with Cashman again. At the end of the day, Boras is the one who is responsible for getting Damon a deal, and he effectively took the Yankees (the freaking YANKEES!) out of the negotiating process before it even began. I can’t imagine Damon is too happy with Boras right about now, he’s going to wind up on a worse team for less money than the Yankees were willing to pay him (not to mention that having the Yanks involved would drive up the price for the other teams, and Boras didn’t even get that part right).

    All of baseball sees what Cashman is doing and has been seeing it for a few years now. I find it very respectable that he’s been able to so accurately identify his negotiating position (most money, best team, willing to pay for what he wants) while being disciplined enough to also show the rest of baseball that he’s still in the driver’s seat and won’t be used or fleeced.

    • pat

      Completely agree, well said. He has really been working hard to change the whole “Yankees are drunk sailors who will buy anything” mentality that seems to be pervasive throughout the baseball community. People always used to talk about the Yankees having to pay a “tax”, (ie overpay greatly) to get free agents to come over. This course correction will surely prove beneficial in the future when agents stop trying to play these bullshit little games with our FO.

      The Damon situation was the perfect example to really drive this point home. Considering the moves he has already made this offseason JD isn’t the icing on the cake JD is the supermodel with no panties on, sitting on your lap hand feeding you. Cash could afford to take a hardline stance with Damon and Boras here without seriously hampering the team for next year.

      I’ve always thought Cashman has so much more crap to deal with than the average GM(re-vamping the farm system and hierarchy, overhauling the roster with youth and flexibility, dealing with the Boss, competing with the Sox etc. etc.) that he’s actually pretty underrated in terms of GM’s. Yeah, everybody and their uncle sees the money spent and thinks a monkey could d his job, but it is much more difficult than that.

    • Andy

      Well put. I had a half formed thought in a similar vein, this is what I’d have liked to say.

    • Dalelama

      That is the best analysis i have read on RAB

  • Mitch

    I believe that Winn will be the every day left fielder. He is not going to platoon with Gardner, because Winn hits better against righties. Gardner will be a defensive replacement/pinch runner. I am sure he will be given the opportunity to win the job, but probably won’t beat out Winn. Winn is a better than average corner outfielder and can play centerfield as well. Maybe we will see Austin Jackson as a call up? Or maybe Damon comes back at the trading deadline? You never know.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      Change “Maybe we will see Austin Jackson as a call up?” to “Maybe we will see Greg Golson as a call up?”, and I’m in total agreement with you.

    • pat

      Hahaha Mitch, where ya been for the past few months? Ajax is long gone brosef.

    • Tampa Yankee

      Maybe we will see Austin Jackson as a call up?

      LOL! Thanks man, I needed that!

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

    In case anyone missed Mike’s update:

    Update: As requested, here’s an overlay of the park dimensions of AT&T Park and the New Yankee Stadium. Keep in mind that the right field wall in San Francisco is 20-feet tall.

    So, Randy Winn
    A) had a down year in BABIP, which correspondingly dragged all his offensive numbers down, similar to what happened to him in 2006 (which he bounced back from nicely, as I outlined here: http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....ent-759767 )
    B) played in a home park with a crazy-deep and crazy-tall RF power alley, thus stripping him of most of his lefty homer power (in a manner that would have similarly ruined Damon’s homer stroke)

    Yeah… Randy Winn’s not that bad, fellas. Put him in our house, get him some better BABIP luck, he’s golden.

    • Reggie C.

      I’m sure Winn didn’t hit many balls that could’ve left the home park had it not been for the 20 foot wall. Last 4 seasons, Winn’s averaged 9 homers over 575 ABs.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        The last four seasons, Winn’s played in… WAIT FOR IT!… AT&T Park.

        In fact, Winn’s never been a good homer hitter, but he’s also NEVER played in a good homer hitting park.

        The Trop, Safeco, and AT&T. Good luck with all that shit.

        • Reggie C.

          Where can i get a graphic overlay of balls put in play for Winn at AT&T Park?

  • Rose

    Interesting tidbit on NJ.com…

    NEW YORK — Randy Winn, who will soon become the newest member of the Yankees, endured a brutal year at the plate in 2009.

    Let’s put it into some context: Of the 157 major league players who made at least 500 plate appearances last season, only eight managed to be less productive than Winn.

    Here are the bottom 10 offensive players in baseball, as measured by weighted on-base average (wOBA). With this stat, the .300 mark is considered the “Mendoza Line.”

    1. Yuniesky Betancourt .271
    2. Emilio Bonifacio .277
    3. Edgar Renteria .283
    4. Jason Kendall .290
    5. David Eckstein .296
    6. Kaz Matsui .297
    7. Aubrey Huff .297
    8. Cristian Guzman .301
    9. Randy Winn.302
    10. Pedro Feliz .302

    Four of the players on this list entered this offseason as free agents. Each of those four has signed major league deal. Kendall beat the odds by inking a two-year contract.

    All 10 players on the list have employment lined up for the 2010 season,

    Meanwhile, Johnny Damon posted a .376 wOBA for the Yankees in 2009, production that put him in line with guys such as Torii Hunter, Ryan Zimmerman, Victor Martinez and Carlos Pena.

    Yet, Damon is unemployed.

    The rest can be seen here: http://www.nj.com/yankees/inde....._winn.html (SAFE)

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Damon is unemployed because he and his agent are overplaying their hand, not because he isn’t productive. Their loss.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      Other people who, like Damon, are also unemployed:

      Russell Branyan
      Carlos Delgado
      Orlando Hudson
      Melvin Mora
      Johnny Gomes
      Reed Johnson
      Gary Sheffield
      Jermaine Dye

      The reason that Damon and all those other “good” hitters are unemployed, while Winn and all those other “bad” hitters have jobs: Winn and all those other “bad” hitters accurately realized their true market value and agreed to deals, rather than playing hardball and holding out for larger money deals that aren’t really there.

      • Mike Pop

        I’ve been really surprised by the lack of love Branyan has gotten this offseason.

        • Rose

          Wouldn’t be surprised seeing him in Toronto next year…

          BTW…how long was Lyle Overbay’s contract when they got him…seems like he’s been there forever lol

          • Mike Pop

            Heh. He’s only been there since 06.

    • Rose

      Oh I entirely agree with the both of you. Damon seemed like he had a lot of fun over his years with the Yankees…especially last year…and I’m sure it would have been even better this year with Granderson in the mix…but in the end…he let Boras steer him into oblivian, Varitek-style. Except, even Varitek realized what was going on after a while and grabbed what he could as soon as he could.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      Furthermore:

      Four of the players on this list entered this offseason as free agents. Each of those four has signed major league deal. Kendall beat the odds by inking a two-year contract.

      Only one of those four players is not also an ELITE DEFENSIVE PLAYER, and that’s Aubrey Huff. And Huff’s 2009 wOBA of .297 was pitiful, yes, but it came with a BABIP of .263. A year before, when his BABIP was .314, closer to his career norms, his wOBA was a robust .387. Aubrey Huff’s not a bad offensive player.

      As always, glossing over critical facts worsens an argument.

  • John NY

    It is true. The Yanks shed Matsui and Damon…two players who can’t play the field for players who can. I think everyone is angry because of the offensive abilities or lack of from these players.

    However, I see a team that is pretty flexible at least for the short term (April-July). By then, someone will become available if they need an upgrade on offense in the outfield.

  • Rose

    Do the Red Sox still have much better defense in their outfield (including depth) after the Randy Winn signing?

    • pete

      IMO, it’s about even. The sox have a very strong defensive infield, and a solid/good defensive outfield (Drew’s excellent, Cameron is very good, and Ellsbury could probably be solid/avg. in left). They’re actually pretty similar to the Mariners defensively, only not quite as good (great RF, CF, SS, 3B, 1B, solid 2B, C, bad LF for Seattle, great RF, 3B, 1B, 2B, CF, solid SS, LF for boston). Still, if Jennings comes up and pushes upton to right, the Rays could have one of the best defensive OFs ever assembled.

    • pat

      I’d rather have Winn at 2 mil than Hermida at 3.35. At least Winn actually does something well. The only thing Jeremy Hermida does well is under perform.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        Swish/Granderson/Winn/Gardner/Hoffman v. Drew/Cameron/Ellsbury/Hermida/Reddick

        Hmmm… I’ll take us by a nose. Both defensively and offensively.

  • pete

    So Melky Cabrera has been replaced with Randy Winn, Jamie Hoffmann, and Greg Golson, and much more playing time from ’09 (WS winning) partner-in-crime Brett Gardner. Got it. So lets see, the only remaining bit of production to be replaced has been replaced, got it. Sounds good.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      That.

      The 2010 Yankees (on paper) >>>>> the 2009 Yankees

      • mike c

        2009 NYY (on paper) >>>>> 2010 NYY (on paper)

        before CMW imploded

  • Bo

    After last yrs numbers for Winn aren’t you just hoping for mediocre here? Cashman is betting a lot on Gardner. I dont think he’ll even beat out Winn in the long term.

    • pete luciano

      I think Gardner’s trade bait. Winn hits lefthanded well but needs a platoon since he awful right handed. How about a Gardner for Brendon Harris trade. Harris could learn to play lf in a part time platoon and he’d be a great infield back up at short, third, and second. His contract is cheap, not much more than Gardners, is an upstate New York kid, has some pop in his bat and balances out our too left handed lineup. Possible?

  • Warren

    Cashman could be thinking – Scott Brosius

    • ColoYank

      As in, get a nice bounce-back from a guy who’s had success in the past?

      Yeah, sounds about right.

  • Kiko Jones

    The Yankees wanted to be younger and more athletic in 2010; welcome to the Bronx, Randy Winn and Nick Johnson. Yay!

  • NCpinstripes

    Good for Cash and the Yankees for trying to show a little bit of financial restraint, and not throwing 8 million dollars blindly at Damon. Randy Winn will be a fine, veteran OF, that can fill in at all 3 OF positions. He has some speed, and if he can throw the ball at all, he has a better arm than Damon.

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  • Dkreator

    Johnson replacing Matsui = downgrade
    Granderson replacing Damon = upgrade
    Winn replacing Cabrera = even

    Never thought I say it but I’m gonna miss Damin, he grew on me. That being said he wasn’t gonna play 100 games this year. He barely stayed healthy in his contract year. None if this matters as long as we pick up Crawford at the trade deadline!!!

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