Open Thread: From Baseball to Football (and a Lee update)


That up there is a time lapse video of the transformation Yankee Stadium underwent earlier this month in preparation for last weekend’s Army-Notre Dame game and next month’s Pinstripe Bowl. I’m a sucker for this kind of stuff, so I’m passing it along. Thanks to Rob for the heads up about the video.

Once you’re done checking that out, use this as your open thread. Both the Knicks and Nets are in action in an otherwise dull spots night. Chat about whatever you like – the free agent market certainly picked up today – so have at it.

Update: Yanks have yet to make any offer to Lee

Meanwhile Mark Feinsand has an update to a rumor we deemed a bit unreliable this morning. Ostensibly, the Yanks had extended a six-year, $140-million contract to Cliff Lee, but Mark Feinsand’s sources say this rumor is “not accurate.” In fact, says Feinsand’s sources, “the Yankees have not made an offer to Lee yet.” The Cliff Lee situation is likely to be unresolved until the winter meetings after Thanksgiving.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Bryan L says:

    Cashman telling Jeter to test the market…

    Over/Under 2 weeks Jeter takes 3/45?

  2. Steve H says:

    If the Yankees had offered Wood arbitration and he accepted, wouldn’t he have had some trade value on a one year deal? I’m guessing they would have had to eat some of the salary, but I can see there being a market for Wood. If he hits the open market and gets 2/$15 or so and Benoit is getting 3/$16, I would have to think a trade could have been worked out. It will be interesting to see who gets Wood and at what cost.

    • The Yankees don’t really eat money to get rid of bad contracts, though. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

      • Pavano… oh wait…
        Igawa… oh wait…

        • JGS says:

          Pavano was just hurt.

          Igawa is closer to the mark, but the Yankees aren’t paying him to play for another organization.

          • That.

            Nor did we kick in money to get rid of Pavano. He stayed put for the duration of his deal.

            Both of them were rumored to be dealt away a few times and weren’t, probably because the Yankees refused to subsidize another team paying their salaries.

            • Jimmy McNulty says:

              Both of them were rumored to be dealt away a few times and weren’t, probably because the Yankees refused to subsidize another team paying their salaries.

              False. Cashman still showed faith in Carl Pavano, and most people would rather have herpes than Kei Igawa pitch for a baseball team that they are associated with.

              • We’re talking about two different things here. I’m not saying the club didn’t want Pavano or Igawa to stay here and redeem themselves and reestablish their worth; I’m simply saying one of the reasons they were never moved to clear space for some other, better option is that the Yankees never consummated any of the trade proposals involving either one of them because the Yankees (philosophically) don’t eat money to trade away players.

                Cashman showed faith in Pavano, but if the right deal came along, he would have traded him. The right deal never came along. I’m arguing that the team’s refusal to eat money may be a reason why that deal never happened.

                I’m also arguing that the reason that Igawa to the Padres rumor never came to fruition is due to the same philosophical aversion to eating money.

                • Jimmy McNulty says:

                  Ehhh…they typically eat money to GET players, there weren’t a whole lot of players that were tradable that Cashman really wanted to get rid of. All of his big contracts seemed to either play well in their later years of the contracts or in Pavano’s case played well the year after they stopped paying him. Giambi, Moose, Pavano, Abreu, and most of the other guys that were tradable played well into their later years. Kei Igawa, on the other hand, is a downright terrible player and sucks even in Scranton. I think he didn’t get traded because he sucks too much.

      • Steve H says:

        Is it really a bad contract though. I’m not saying pick up half the tab, but if Wood got 1/$11, couldn’t you pay $2 million to a closer needy team and buy a prospect? Wood on a 1/$9 would be pretty attractive to a team needing a closer I’d think.

  3. yankees1717 says:

    I’m starting to think that we should completely hold firm in our 3 year maximum in a Jeter contract. I say if he keeps demanding 5-6 years, just tell him to go get that somewhere else. If he has any sense, he’ll sign with us for about 3y54MM, because no one out there will beat that. If he decides to pull a Damon and delusionally hold out hope for something better, tell him to take a hike and sign Juan Uribe.

    He would be light-years cheaper than Jeter, and has put up a very solid .266/.318/.464 line with 40 HRs in his two years with the Giants. So, if they could get him cheap, say 2 years at 12MM, I say that’s a better value than Jeter.

    Note that I in no way am saying that Uribe> Jeter. What I am saying is that Uribe at 2/12 is better than Jeter at 5/100, or whatever he somehow thinks he can get. So, the moral of the story: If Jeter holds firm for 4+ years, sign Juan Uribe at 2/12. However, if Jeter is willing to accept three years at 45-60, he is the better option. I’m just very worried that Jeter would be useless in the fourth year and beyond.

  4. Jimmy McNulty says:

    If Cliff Lee signs 6/140 I wouldn’t be too upset. Fewer miles on his arm than Sabathia when he signed, better command, and in better shape. Listening to the podcast, just reminded of how much I hate AJ Burnett.

    • Listening to the podcast, just reminded of how much I hate AJ Burnett.

      Shit, he ain’t my kid.


    • Accent Shallow says:

      If Cliff Lee signs 6/140 I wouldn’t be too upset

      I would be. I have no desire to give a 32 year old 6 years, unless he’s Randy Johnson level, which Lee is not.

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        Well if you’re talking about 5/125 or something what’s an extra year at fifteen million dollars? I mean, he’s the type of pitcher that ages well. His career path isn’t the same as the typical 32 year old left handed pitcher with a CYA.

        • Accent Shallow says:

          I mean, he’s the type of pitcher that ages well.

          People keep saying this, but no one has really offered up much evidence. Surely, there’s a study on the Hardball Times or something, showing how pitchers with different walk rates age?

          And I wouldn’t want to give him 5/125, either.

          • Jimmy McNulty says:

            Moose, Maddux, and Glavine all aged fairly well.

            • JobaWockeeZ says:

              That’s taking 3 of the better pitchers in history. Let’s not put Lee in that category yet.

              • Jimmy McNulty says:

                Well his 2008-2010 is better than any of their three year streaks, save for Maddux…even then he’s only about a win a year off from one of the greatest peak pitchers ever. If you count the post season, Lee pulls closer. Nothing to be ashamed of. The man said show evidence, so I showed evidence.

              • Jimmy McNulty says:

                Also, that detestable repugnant corpulent piece of fucking pigeon shit aged pretty well. He was a command pitcher who figured it out late in his career too.

              • Accent Shallow says:

                Over the past three years, Cliff Lee has an ERA+ of 142 over 667 1/3 innings. That’s great, but that’s not historically great. That’s merely “one of current best pitchers in baseball” great.

                The one eye popping number he has is K/BB ratio — 5.64 over that time.

                • Jimmy McNulty says:

                  That K/BB suggests a slightly better ERA+ than that…while it isn’t Pedro, Unit, or Maddux prime…how many other pitchers in baseball have been better? I’d say only Felix and Doc are the only two that have been better over the past three.

            • JGS says:

              Depends on your definition of “well”

              Once he left the Braves (age 37 and on), Glavine had a 105 ERA+. Maddux from 37 on was at 104. Mussina from 35 on was at 108. He had two good seasons and three lousy ones.

              Those are obviously all still above average, but if they were being paid 20M for that production, people would be pissed.

              • Jimmy McNulty says:

                Well Cliff Lee has had three seasons better than any year that Glavine has had, already. Those three also had considerably more mileage on their arms too. And I don’t think anyone would pay Cliff Lee 20M from 37 on, maybe just for the age 37 year but that’s it.

                • JGS says:

                  Well Cliff Lee has had three seasons better than any year that Glavine has had

                  According to bWAR, Glavine’s 1991 was better than any year Lee has had.

                  To the rest, I agree

                  • Jimmy McNulty says:

                    I used fWAR, but even in that case…Glavine’s best season came at age 25, Cliff Lee apparently just figured it out at age 29. Now definitely his pedigree has to be examined, and count against him…but because of his pedigree I also think it’s unfair to look at him the same way you’d look at other 32 year old starers. For example, I am miles more comfortable paying him big bucks into his late 30s than I would be John Lackey, AJ Burnett, Josh Beckett, and just about every other pitcher in baseball save for the obvious exceptions.

      • Meh, paying for a year or two of a player’s decline to get 2-3 years of his peak is what we do. It’s our business model.

        It makes sense.

        • mbonzo says:

          You should know there are no pitchers who can pitch well til they’re 38! You must be new here or something, because everyone knows when you hit 36 you might as well shoot yourself.


          What I find amazing is that in the last 10 years the only starting pitchers 38 or over with bad seasons were 2005 Kevin Brown who only got 73.1 IP due to injury and 2007 Mussina who bounced back and kicked ass. It seems the Yankees know what they’re doing signing pitchers to longterm deals. Who woulda thought they are better at this baseball thing than us?

          • bexarama says:

            Well… how many pitchers over 38 did we have over that period? Couldn’t have been THAT many.

            • mbonzo says:

              2010: Pettitte (38) 3.28 ERA
              2008: Mussina (39) 3.37 ERA
              2007: Mussina (38) 5.15 ERA, Clemens (44) 4.18 ERA
              2006: Johnson (42) 5.00 ERA He went 17-11 this year
              2005: Johnson (41) 3.79 ERA, Brown (40) 6.50 ERA
              2004: Brown (39) 4.09 ERA, Hernandez (38) 3.30 ERA
              2003: Clemens (40) 3.91 ERA, Wells (40) 4.14 ERA
              2002: Clemens (39) 4.35 ERA, Wells (39) 3.75 ERA
              2001: Clemens (38) 3.51 ERA

              14 total pitchers. I don’t consider Johnson’s 2006 a bad season since he still put up 17 wins. Yea, I know what does wins have to do with pitching, but he did what he was supposed to do. 12 out of 14 pitching seasons from 38+ pitchers is a 86% success rate. Pretty cool.

              • JGS says:

                Yea, I know what does wins have to do with pitching, but he did what he was supposed to do the Yankee hitters did what they had to do to win games when he pitched because he kept putting them into holes that they had to dig out of.

                The Yankees scored 6.48 runs per game in Johnson’s starts in 2006. Six. point. forty. eight.

                • mbonzo says:

                  And he only posted a 1.239 WHIP. Its a hard year to describe, some numbers are good but some, like his era, are bad. I wouldn’t call his whole season bad though, he ate a lot of innings and ended up with wins.

                  • JGS says:

                    He does seem to have gotten some bad luck in there (the BABIP is fine, but that strand rate looks awfully low), but the bottom line is, the runs were scoring. That he got wins is a testament to the Yankee offense.

          • JGS says:

            Since 2001, there have been 15 seasons from a Yankee pitcher age 38 or above who made at least 5 starts. By bWAR:

            Clemens 01: 5.4
            Johnson 05: 4.6
            Wells 03: 4.6
            Mussina 08: 4.4
            Clemens 03: 4.1
            Wells 02: 3.4
            Pettitte 10: 3.1
            El Duque 04: 2.7
            Brown 04: 2.5
            Clemens 02: 2.3
            Johnson 06: 1.2
            Clemens 07: 1.0
            Mussina 07: 0.3
            Leiter 05: 0.0
            Brown 05: -0.9

            Seems like about half were solid, a quarter were meh and a quarter were flat out bad.

  5. UWS says:

    Curly fries: great food or greatest food?


  6. bexarama says:

    I would just like to say that Mets fans talking about Jeter is the worst thing in the entire world. Not about these negotiations. Just about Jeter in general. Yes, it’s worse than Red Sox fans talking about Jeter.

  7. JM says:

    *Fast forwards to Dec. 9*
    Me:”Did we get Lee yet”
    MLBTR: “No.”

    *Goes back into hibernation until Lee situation is resolved*

  8. YankeesJunkie says:

    Anyone else just as excited as I am that they will get a top 50 ish pick in the 2011 super draft.

  9. Nate Silver with a good take on the Jeter situation:

    Nothing groundbreaking, but I think a decent, level-headed take on it all.

    • So what you’re saying is, both sides are proceeding with this in a reasonable and logical fashion, and I shouldn’t hastily pick a side and declare that the other side is being petty/ignorant/juvenile/offensive/stupid/haughty/franchise-crippling/the-devil-incarnate/Carl-Pavano and pledge my unyielding hate against them?

      Huh. Interesting. Screw that, though, Cashman and/or Jeter is being a total asshole here, and I hate him.

      • Well, full-disclosure, and I reserve judgment somewhat until I can get home and read the actual quotes, but my initial reaction is that I don’t like the way Cashman has been handling this stuff through the media so far.

        I don’t think he’s being petty/ignorant/juvenile/offensive/stupid/haughty/franchise-crippling/the-devil-incarnate/Carl-Pavano and I’m not pledging my unyielding hate against him, but I don’t think nobody is making mistakes here, either.

        • I’ll agree that I don’t particularly care for the statements to the media from either side, but I still doubt that these statements really impact the ultimate result very much. Jeter’s still going to sign with the Yankees, probably for 3/60-ish.

          Just my hunch.

          • Jimmy McNulty says:

            Maybe on the full value of the contract, something for Jeter’s 3000th hit and something for passing Eddie Collins and cracking the top ten in all time hits. Hopefully his race to 3,000 is a race, rather than the Death March that we witnessed with Craig Biggio.

            • Accent Shallow says:

              Craig Biggio, 2000-2007:

              1151 games, 1192 hits, .266/.338/.428, for a 95 OPS+.

              That’s starting at age 34 for him. Jeter is a class above that, as a player.

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        Yeah, I appreciate that he and the organization showing balls…but I mean, it’s Derek Fucking Jeter. No need to say dumb shit to the media about him. 3/50 seems like a fair deal for both sides…maybe a bonus for his 3,000th hit, but a fair deal none the less.

    • Steve H says:

      a decent, level-headed take on it all.

      First time for everything I guess.

  10. Anthony Murillo says:

    Brian Cashman told Newsday’s Ken Davidoff that the Yankees have offered Derek Jeter multiple deals and received one counter-offer (Twitter link). One of the deals the Yankees proposed was worth $45MM over three years, but Jeter’s representatives didn’t seem to like it. Agent Casey Close told Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News that he found the Yankees’ negotiating strategy “baffling.”

    Earlier today, Cashman told Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork that Jeter should test the open market if he believes the Yankees aren’t offering him fair deals. Now, Cashman tells the Newark Star Ledger that he doubts Jeter truly wants to remain in the Bronx (Twitter link).

    “He should be nothing but a New York Yankee,” Cashman said. “He chooses not to be.”

  11. Teh Comp Pick says:

    I kinda hope the offer is out there to Lee, with the expiration date like Joe suggested on the radio show. Would hate to have Brauneker start the bidding war they are clearly looking for, squash it before it happens.

  12. JM says:

    Which contract would YOU sign Jeter to if you HAD to:

  13. Jimmy McNulty says:

    I like the point that Joe and Mike made on the radio show, that the “Window is Closing.” Part of agrees with this totally and go all in on Cliff Lee to try and win two more over the next three. Then again, that seems to be the way that the Yankees do business regardless…but “once more, with feeling” so to speak.

    • The window is perpetually closing, though, and we perpetually jam it back open.


      • YankeesJunkie says:

        As long as the Yankees keep focusing on the minors like they have they will continue to have talent coming up through the minors. I mean just look at what is coming up the system that will help the system: Killer B’s, Stoneburner, Warren, Adams (Trade Bait), Joseph, Sanchez, Romine, Murphy, Slade Runner, Ramirez, Mitchell, Marshall, Culver, Sosa, Gumps, Hockey Guy with name I don’t care to spell, etc.

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        Yeah, I mean…get one last caress with Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte, and Posada would be nice. This will probably be Pettitte and Posada’s last years. I’d like to see them go out with a ring the same year Montero enters the league with one.

  14. I thought Jersey traffic was bad and then I went and drove home from Connecticut and it made me cry.

  15. Michael Kay but not THE says:

    I was wondering when that would be addressed, Francesa practically threw a fit about it today. He made it sound like Cashman told Jeter face to face “We don’t need you.” God forbid the team try to negotiate the most realistic and fair contract possible for their aging, albeit iconic, short stop coming off a down year. I see nothing insulting about trying to get the point across to Jeter that at 15 million they would already be overpaying him.

    Francesa also said if he were The Mets he’d make an offer. So a crumbling team with an unhappy fan base as it is would offer MORE than 15 million to Jeter who would also have to accept a position change? I thought moves like that are WHY The Mets are in the shape they’re in?

    • Michael Kay but not THE says:

      Also can’t wait to see ESPN New York’s take on this “Jeter likely done in New York” and then an article filled with phrases like “Obviously still an unlikely scenario”, “Jeter & Yankees will still get a deal done” and “Terry Francona is the brightest baseball mind ever”

    • Avi says:

      Well said.

  16. Steve H says:

    Is the Victor Martinez smear campaign in full swing yet?

    • I dunno, you’re the one in the hive.

    • Zooboy says:

      He’s certainly no ace.

    • JGS says:

      You betcha

      “The secret winners here are the Boston Red Sox”
      -Keith Law

      • Esteban says:

        How is that part of the smear campaign?

        BTW, the comments on that article are pretty hilarious. Giants fans are going crazy because KLaw doesn’t like the Huff signing.

        • bexarama says:

          I haven’t so much seen a smear campaign as much as I’ve seen “THE RED SOX WERE SUCH GENIUSES TO OFFER ARBITRATION AND GET A DRAFT PICK MY GOOOOODNESSSSSSS” like no one else has ever done this before.

          • Avi says:

            I didn’t think it was a good idea to sign Victor Martinez to a 4 year 50M deal.
            As a catcher he’s def worth 12.5M (a year), but he’ll likely spend most of that contract occupying a non-catcher spot in the lineup.
            For 12.5M you can get a hitter a whole lot better than V-mart.

            • bexarama says:

              V-Mart career: .300/.369/.469/.838, 121 OPS+
              V-Mart 2010: .302/.351/.493/.844, 122 OPS+

              That’s an excellent hitter, especially as a catcher. In this market, I can’t think of too many better bats. He’s a poor defensive catcher, yeah, but so is Posada. I can see him being a DH maybe the last year of the contract, but not really before then. Of course, I’ve been wrong before.

              • Avi says:

                Yeah, I don’t have a feel for how long he’ll stay at catcher. If you told me he stays for most of the contract I think it’s a great signing for Detroit. But just as a hitter I think Dunn is better, Konerko too (and he’ll be cheaper). Heck you could sign Vlad or Thome for about 5M or so and get the same production as V-mart or better.

                • Dirty Pena says:

                  All of those guys except Dunn are older, and I have strong doubts that he signs for much less (if less at all) than 12.5M per year.

                • Accent Shallow says:

                  and get the same production as V-mart or better.

                  Maybe for the next year, but not over the next four. And Martinez has the flexibility to play catcher, and a passable first base, unlike Vlad/Thome/Dunn. Not to mention, unlike those guys, Martinez doesn’t have any signs of toastiness.

    • YankeesJunkie says:

      If he can manage 12 WAR during his contract then it is not bad. They got better offensively, but still don’t think they are competitive in the AL Central.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      I don’t think so. I don’t see media guys hate on free agents for getting money and he was a Sock before so meh.

      But good for the AL East. More value the Sox have to replace. Coupled that with the likely loss of Beckett and the Sox may be in trouble unless they get someone like Werth who may not age well.

      Though there should be a rebound in Beckett’s and Lackey’s performance. Youk doens’t miss half the season either. But hey this won’t matter in 2011 when there’s a 2nd wild card team.

  17. Bryan L says:

    Source: Florida Marlins, Javier Vazquez negotiations get ‘hot’ – ESPN


  18. Steve H says:

    If Close comes back at Cashman and bashes the Yankees, should they pull (or put a timeline) on the 3/$45. It’d be a dick move but would certainly show who has the leverage.

    • Esteban says:

      Nah, no point in escalating things. That would just make relations worse.

      • Just to clarify, today was a spat between Cashman and Close, not the Yankees and Jeter. Close fired off his “baffled” comment and if I was Brian, I would have responded exactly the same way he did today. If their (over market) offer elicits such incredulity, shop it around and get back to me.

    • YankeesJunkie says:

      No, I don’t think that will happen unless something really bad happens. However, Jeter has no leverage in this deal and I think there is a good chance he gets 3/48 plus a generous 5-10 million bonus for 3000 hits. Mo ends up at 2/32-33.

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        5 for 3K, 2 for passing Mays, 3 for Cracking the top ten. I have to admit, it’d be pretty cool to see Jeter crack the top ten hits list.

    • Mike HC says:

      Bash the Yanks for what? For not overpaying enough based on off field factors that are by definition impossible to value?

  19. mbonzo says:

    Francesa said that Cashman doesn’t know what he’s doing with Jeter and that the Mets should sign him so that he could hit #3000 in Citi Field and fill up the stadium. First Francesa is an idiot who I hope has gotten as far to the Yankees organization as he ever will. Second, I feel that if Jeter was ever a Met, the Mets fans would hate him (as they hate everyone that has a bad game ever) and he’ll be left with nothing in New York. I have a lot of Mets fan friends and my mom is a Mets fan and it just seems that they all hate everyone on the team. Sure they like Reyes and Wright and Santana from time to time, but every other game they complain about not getting a hit every at bat. I guess thats what happens when your team sucks. There is no way Jeter would be close to liked as a Mets player.

    • Mike HC says:

      Every time I watched a Mets game, the announcers constantly talked about what is wrong with David Wright, and how it has been a tough year for him, and how is he trying to fix himself etc … And I sit there absolutely shocked. I thought the guy had an excellent year last year.

  20. Avi says:

    Wow! the Jeter stuff is blowing up quickly.

  21. Steve H says:

    Heh, from MLBTR:

    Brewers: Trevor Hoffman (B). No chance of an offer.

    What exactly were the Brewers thinking?

  22. Avi says:

    I signed up for ESPN Insider today. I’m looking for good Yankee stuff, especially on the farm system.
    Any recommendations?

    • Mike HC says:

      RAB covers the Yanks far better than ESPN Insider, and whatever Insider does put up about the Yanks, RAB links to it shortly after 99% of the time. I like and have espn insider, but not for Yankee stuff, personally.

      • Mike HC says:

        I should add that they summarize or directly quote the stuff about the Yanks that insider puts up. As well as link to them.

        • Avi says:

          I hear you. But is their any old stuff worth reading? You know like a Klaw assessment of the Yanks farm system?

          • Mike HC says:

            I wouldn’t know. I don’t read any of ESPN’s baseball stuff for the most part. Really only stuff that gets linked to here, and not even then. I like the insider football and basketball coverage. Fantasy stuff as well.

    • Teh Comp Pick says:

      I’ve had insider for years, don’t expect juicy MLB/MilB information from ESPN. Insider is great, gives you a lot of good stuff around the sporting world, and the Mag is a solid plus, but as far as baseball is concerned MLBTR, FanGraphs, and B-Ref provide you with good coverage and are free. Baseball America is probably what you are looking for if you want to learn more about the Minor Leagues.

  23. the decision on Wood comes right from Cashman: “I’m thinking yes on Wood. We’ll do them a favor. If we put them into an arbitration setting, then we can take them out and make a fair market value offer to them.”

    You know how sarcasm doesn’t translate well on the internet? Today we learned it doesn’t translate well from GMs to sports columnists, either.

  24. bexarama says:

    So I was looking at old MVP votes, and how did anyone vote for Ortiz over A-Rod in 2005?

    Ortiz: .300/.397/.604/1.001, 158 OPS+, .418 wOBA, 159 wRC+, 5.8 fWAR, 5.1 bWAR

    A-Rod: .321/.421/.610/1.031, 173 OPS+, .438 wOBA, 177 wRC+, 9.4 fWAR, 8.4 bWAR

    Keep in mind Ortiz was a DH and A-Rod a passable defensive 3B. Plus the Yankees won the division, and Alex played in every single game (and Ortiz 159 so that’s basically a wash). Alex’s OPS and OPS+ led the AL, and both of his WARs led all of baseball. I’m not trying to say Ortiz had a bad season or anything like that, just A-Rod was the only one who should’ve won.

    Oh wait Ortiz led baseball in RBI and there was probably leftover fapping from the 2004 postseason, that’d explain it.

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