The Experience returns for 2011


(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Late last night we learned that the Yankees had re-signed Sergio Mitre to a one-year contract worth just $900,000 guaranteed with another $200,000 available in unspecified performance bonuses. Mitre was arbitration-eligible for the third and final time, and the Yankees had to at least offer him a contract by midnight tonight to retain his rights. They took it one step further and actually got the contract done before the deadline, giving him a very modest (in baseball terms) $50,000 raise. The move almost certainly spells the end of Dustin Moseley’s tenure in pinstripes, but I don’t think too many will complain about that.

Now we know who the Yanks’ swingman will be in 2011 and it shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Mitre was clearly the best of the group that included him, Moseley, and the already departed Chad Gaudin, posting the best ERA (3.33), WHIP (1.09), FIP (4.69), xFIP (4.34), tRA (4.97), WPA (-0.38), and fWAR (0.0) of the trio. By just about every measure – old school or advanced – he was the guy for the job just by being replacement level. Remember, Mitre finished this season extremely well, allowing 20 baserunners and just five runs in his final 20.1 innings after August 3rd, good for a 2.21 ERA and a .278 wOBA. We just didn’t see very much of him because the Yanks were trying to force feed Gaudin a playoff roster spot.

Most fans aren’t fond of the move because Mitre certainly isn’t great, and they believe the Yanks can find someone better. Well, like who? The list of free agents and potential non-tenders doesn’t offer much, maybe Kyle Davies or John Maine or Brian Bannister or Brian Moehler could do the job, but they all have significant warts of their own. The concept of a “huge upside long reliever” is a fallacy (unless you’re using a top prospect in that role), those guys are getting more important jobs. There’s also the price issue, the Yanks are paying Mitre very little in the grand scheme of things, and there’s no guarantee that any of the alternatives would a) sign for a similar price, and/or b) pitch better.

The other set of alternatives are in-house, guys stashed in Triple-A like Romulo Sanchez or Hector Noesi or D.J. Mitchell. Those options remain in play though, Mitre’s not going to block them just as he didn’t block Ivan Nova in 2010. All they did when they re-signed Serg is add a piece to the inventory, a known commodity at a reasonable price to fill out the fringes of the big league roster. That’s all, nothing major. Every team has guys like that because they’re a necessary evil.

I’m not saying you should jump for joy over Mitre re-signing, but when you consider the alternatives, there’s no reason to hate it. It’s a low consequence move; the Yankees need someone they can throw to the wolves and soak up innings every once in a while, and Mitre’s that guy. Better him than an actual prospect (that could have his development stunted) or a free agent being paid seven figures. If when/he stinks, they’ll find someone else to do the job and move on. That’s all you can do with everyone. I mean, yeah, if it was a multi-year deal then it would be an atrocity, but it’s not, so no harm no foul. It’s just another horse for the stable, that’s all.

Categories : Musings


  1. Not a big deal. If Mitre has any kind of real impact on the 2011 season, something has gone horribly, terribly wrong.

    • B-Rando says:


      Mitre isn’t a huge impact guy, we all know this. Don’t know what isn’t to like about the signing. He’s costing the Yankees pennies (relatively), and he’s proven capable from time to time since he’s been with the Yanks.

      • cano24 says:

        I know hes not huge but I do support this signing. He’s solid to come out of the bullpen when burnett blows another start. Also if we sign pettite and he gets injures i like mitre to fill in for a few weeks

    • JGS says:

      If Mitre has any kind of real impact on the 2011 season, something has gone horribly, terribly wrong.

      This. Mitre’s 2010 leverage index was dead last among all 363 pitchers with 40+ innings. What more talented pitcher would sign up for that role?

  2. steve (different one) says:

    Wow, TWO posts on Sergio Mitre? When do the winter meetings start again?

    Just playing around, not criticizing, but we’re all starving for some action.

  3. Guest says:

    Co-sign to this entire post.

  4. JerseyDutch says:

    Love the pic of the Mitre-Cervelli battery. Fifth starter? Just kidding.

  5. Poopy Pants says:

    Another season of dummies thinking they’re witty/funny by typing ‘Meat Tray’ on this site? Wonderful.

  6. Mike says:

    Edited by RAB: Super off-topic. Please don’t do that.

  7. Jimmy McNulty says:

    Meh…trying to get mad at this. Mitre is awful, and I have a feeling that Burnett will give the AAA crew plenty of starts. I just hope Nova is first in line unless he’s doing well out of the pen.

  8. jsbrendog (returns) says:

    i’m all about the sergio mitre experience

  9. misterd says:

    Thou Shalt Not Overspend on Thy Mop Up Man

    Mission accomplished.

  10. Frank says:

    A low cost move for guy who is another year removed from TJ surgery. Whio knows, he may turn out to be a pleasant surprise. I also wouldn’t rule out the Yanks bringing Mosely back given Aceves’ surgery yesterday and back problems. He’ll cost even less than Sergio.

  11. Klemy says:

    I have never like Mitre, but the move does make sense. He can be useful when he’s sharp and he’s not costing us much at all. He’s not an impact player, just an innings eater in games gone outside of the norm.

  12. king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

    mark my words, he’ll get all of his strength back by spring, coupled with another year of working with Kevin Long, and he will be the…yeah never mind.

    you never know though…its the Yankees. hopefully he throws 160 innings in blowout games.

    • M-Three says:

      Hopefully Mitre is not part of the team. I get why they resigned him, as insurance in-case Aceves is not healthy. If thats the case though I would rather go with a young guy like Hector Noesi over Mitre. I don’t agree with this idea that he is just here to eat up innings because Girardi uses everyone in the pen and likely will use the guy in this role in a big spot. Girardi has some kind of crush on Mitre dating back to when he was managing the Marlins.

      Mitre should just be put in the minors to be the guy that comes up to spot starter if someone has to miss a start. The thing that I don’t like about guy like Mitre or Moseley is that it takes them so long to warm up and they are both the kind of guy that don’t perform well when brought in during an inning with runners on base. To me both of these guy are nothing more than overachievers.

      As someone wrote above, I am sick of alway seeing guy like this. Whether its Mitre, Moseley, or guy from the past like Karstens or Rasner. Its time that we start giving more of the young hard throwers a chance over the overachieving veterans. Kids like Ryan Pope, Hector Noesi or if theres no room in the rotation then I want to see Nova in the pen.

      • king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

        somebody has to be the mop.

        if the kid has any potential, we should be training him (AAA) or evaluating him (NY ‘pen).

        not mopping.

  13. Joe P says:

    Where did “The Experience” come from?

  14. seimiya says:

    I wonder if his hair will be even more Hughesian in 2011. It’s getting there.

  15. PG says:

    Everything said about Moseley is true, but in Game 1 of the ALCS vs Texas when the Yanks were down 5-0, it was Moseley who gave 2 lights out innings of relief to help settle things down for the Yanks to rally, not Mitre.

  16. I can’t stand Sergio Mitre, he’s horrendous. I wrote this about him

  17. As the longman in the ‘pen, perfect signing. Former SP, also used to relieving by now. Hopefully this means Nova will start the year in AAA and continue to start every 5 days. Mo, Joba, Robertson, Logan, Ace?, (Lefty), and Mitre is a fine ‘pen IMO.

  18. Jerome S says:

    Remember in 2009 when Mitre was like no-hitting a team into the sixth?
    It’s a vague memory.

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.