Jones still the best bet for Yanks


Word first surfaced last month that the Yankees are interested in bringing back Andruw Jones. With the bench and the rotation the only pressing items on Brian Cashman‘s Winter Meetings to-do list, the Jones issue figured to resurface. As if on cue, Jon Heyman this morning mentioned the Yankees’ interest in Jones. This hopefully portends a deal in Dallas.

Jones fits the Yankees needs well. With Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson in the outfield, a right-handed fourth outfielder makes the most sense. That is, if Joe Girardi is going to spell either one of them, he can do so against left-handed pitching and gain the platoon advantage at the same time. This works even better for Jones, who mashes lefties — in the last two seasons he has produced a .401 wOBA against left-handed pitching.

A look at other free agents yields few players at Jones’s level who would accept a part-time role. Mark DeRosa has been injured for almost all of the last two years, Ryan Ludwick has a reverse platoon split, Reed Johnson has trouble staying on the field, and Josh Willingham is likely seeking far more playing time. Those are only four examples, but they basically describe every other free agent on the market. Jones is the perfect fit: a bench player who can play passable defense while hitting left-handed pitching.

The only wrench in the plan could come from Jones’s desire for more playing time. There’s a chance that a lesser team could offer him the promise of more time in the outfield. Even the Red Sox could potentially offer him a decent amount of playing time, since their current outfield is all left-handed. Even if he enjoyed his time in New York, he could still yearn for the days when he roamed center field every day. While that would certainly be a corner spot in 2012, there’s a chance that some team could believe him valuable in a role that would get him 300-400 at-bats. With the Yankees it’s uncertain that he’d get even 250.

With an off-season that has moved slowly, a Jones signing would be a welcome sight. He’s not a key cog to the 2012 team, but he does fill a role that the Yankees need. There appears to be some level of mutual interest, so perhaps there’s hope of getting a deal done this week. With lefty-mashing fourth outfielder crossed off the list, the Yankees will have little left to accomplish this off-season.

Categories : Bench


  1. C. Roy says:

    I would consider resigning Jones and Chavez and possibly getting Danks and Thorton in a deal a successful offseason. I wonder how realistic that is.

    • Brian S. says:

      Not realistic unless you think the Yankees will go to a 220 million dollar payroll. And Chavez sucks and Thornton is too expensive for a relief pitcher.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        What’s your problem?

        • Brian S. says:

          My problem is that I don’t like bad players on the Yankees. What is yours?

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Let’s get HOF players in their primes for bench roles and pretend we know what the Yankees are and are not willing to spend on payroll for next year!!! Let’s rely on tiny sample sizes as conclusive proof!!!

            • Brian S. says:

              When the fuck did I ever say that we should get HOF players in their primes for bench players? Why shouldn’t we use precedent to gauge what the payroll is going to be? The Yankees have never increased the payroll to 220, so why would they now? Chavez has sucked for years making it not a SSS. Quit strawmanning the fuck out of me.

              • Plank says:

                Brian, why do you keep saying anyone who isn’t a future hall of famer has no place on this team and that anyone who thinks differently hates America and poops their pants?

                It’s clear that’s untrue.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                HOF was what is called hyperbole. Chavez doesn’t suck compared to other UTL options. He’s sucked for years because he’s been injured for years. He’s not an obviously great option… but the point is that neither is any UTL or they wouldn’t be a UTL. The best ones can look for options where they might actually start (and often get paid more since they’re more valuable to that team), and the remainder are general flawed.

                The Yankees were reportedly willing to sign Cliff Lee (and probably Pettitte too) last off-season, so you’re not looking at all historical precedent there. The Yankees can do whatever they feel like with their payroll. If they see value I wouldn’t be surprised if they raise it, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if they actually go through with the $189 million in 2014 plan.

          • Paul from Boston says:

            Agreed on Chavez. For $1.5M he wasn’t awful, but it seems they could easily do better than a no-hit, average glove at a corner spot.

      • LarryM.,Fl. says:

        Brian S., I would like to see Jones used a bit more. Providing the rest and relief against lefties for Gardner and Curtis. Not that they would sit either of the two when ever a lefty was to start just give Jones more time. He plays a decent outfield. As far as Chavez the guy has a good glove and can hit when he’s not hurt. He wants to play in NY. He accepts the bench role but can he stay healthy. Our need is more SP and a lefty if possible not a Thornton type who can throw big time speeds but hits the plate at random. I’d take the three guys Jones, Chavez and Danks or suitable SP tomorrow and sit and wait for ST. If we have to give up Nunez then we have a little more work to solidify the middle infield.

        • Brian S. says:

          I would love Jones back too, and Danks is legit as well. But our bullpen is already awesome and 5.5 mil the next two seasons for another old relief pitcher like Thornton in my opinion is a bad investment. Chavez didn’t do any hitting this season with a 79 wRC+, I bet Brandon Laird could match that.

          • T.O. Chris says:

            Brandon Laird of the .260/.288/.422, .310 wOBA, 88 wRC+ in Triple A?

            Chavez may not be the best option but Laird certainly isn’t better.

            • Brian S. says:

              I never said Laird was better. I said he could match a 79 wRC+. From what I have read, he apparently is a good defender as well. Might as well see what the Yankees have ya know?

              • T.O. Chris says:

                I’d rather have just about anyone on a cheap one year deal over Laird. He won a triple A GG, but I have never seen anything out of him to say he’s much more than average with the glove for the major league level.

                He only managed to walk 3.4 % of the time in triple over the last 154 games there. I don’t really consider him a player to watch, just more of a last ditch resort.

                It’s not like Chavez would cost anything to bring back and if he gets hurt again you Laird waiting in Scranton anyway.

              • LarryM.,Fl. says:

                I’d give Laird a shot at 3rd& 1st if we have to live with a budget and choke a few dollars out for a pitcher but young guys have a tough time with uneven play.

                • Brian S. says:

                  I’ll give you that. And bringing Chavez back wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, I would just prefer that they give Laird a shot because I don’t think Eric brings anything noteworthy to the team.

                • T.O. Chris says:

                  Laird had a tough time with even play in AAA. He’s got a lot of holes in that swing, he’d have to be a wizard with the glove to make it worth him being your first choice.

  2. well you know says:

    Jones 2011 OPS:

    Game situation 5+ run differential: 1.450 (40 PAs)
    Game situation 4- run differential: .716 (182 PAs)

    Translation: King of the “Here, hit me” fastball.

    • Monteroisdinero says:

      He is a definite mistake-middle of the plate fb-crusher. He’ll get 8-10 of those to hit.

      • Mike Axisa says:

        I think that’s a pretty common misconception, Jones can definitely hit a breaking ball. The “dead red fastball hitter” tag gets stuck on anyone with a big swing.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      It’s a theory, but those sample sizes don’t really prove it. 40 PAs is an 8 game span. He’s a FB hitter, but so are most hitters.

      • Monteroisdinero says:

        He has an all or nothing dead-pull swing. Not necessarily most hitters in that respect.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          He hit curves better than FBs in 2010, and I would imagine that most hitters hit worse pitches better…

          My point is not that Jones is not a FB hitter, I specifically said he is. My point is that “well you know’s” stats don’t prove the argument that he’s no good in close games or that he beats up on bad pitching any more than the next hitter.

  3. Jay says:

    Yankees should give Maxwell a chance to win the 4th outfielder spot. He had some impressive splits in half a season; projected over a full season, he would have similar numbers to Swisher. Plus, he seems to be pretty athletic. Don’t know about his arm for rf.

    • T.O. Chris says:

      Which numbers are we talking about? His .144/.305/.288, .279 wOBA in 67 games for the Nationals? Or his .260/.358/.588, .418 wOBA in 48 games IN TRIPLE A? Where he also managed to K 35.3 % of the time BTW.

      Maxwell is a .201/.319/.379, .316 wOBA in 122 games at the major league level. He K’s a ridiculous 31.9 % of the time too.

      The Swisher hate has officially gone too far when I see multiple people comparing Maxwell to Swish.

  4. CJ says:

    Andruw jones definitely fits well. I think the key is to avoid signing him to a contract they would not be able to trade at a later date. Does anyone think the yanks could trade Freddy garcia at $4m prior to spring training? What about Nate mcclouth as a reclamation project? A position player can turn it around like colon/Garcia. Another scrap heap bench player is Jorge cantu.

    • T.O. Chris says:

      They could trade that much money but I don’t see why they would. Even if they found someone else to take his spot in the rotation I’ve read Cashman say he would be a LR out of the pen.

      McLouth doesn’t fit the need of a right handed bat off the bench like Jones does. Any 4th outfielder would get most of his playing time subbing Gardner and Granderson, no reason for a lefty like Nate to take ABs away from either.

      If Cantu wanted to take a minor league deal with an invite to ST you can’t say it’s a bad move. Though he did post a -0.7 WAR last season and has a career UZR/150 of -15.5 at 3B, so he’s a worse option than just bringing back Chavez really.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      “Does anyone think the yanks could trade Freddy garcia at $4m prior to spring training?”


    • Plank says:

      Players signed in the off-season can’t be traded for a while. But even if they could, what does it mean if they sign players they can trade mid-season or not? If they are playing well, they would be able to trade them, but why would they? If they aren’t playing well, they won’t be able to trade them.

      What am I missing?

  5. Bronx Byte says:

    Andruw Jones should be able to be signed for the same $2MM he had for a contract last season. Not likely to get a better deal elsewhere.

  6. ChooChoo says:

    The left fielder has an anemic OPS, has virtually no power, doesn’t hit for average, bunts poorly, strikes out much more than a punch and judy hitter should and has poor judgment on the bases.
    I just love how he is such a “lock” for a starting role and is essentially an untouchable. Hopefully the team comes to its senses soon because he’s not going to get any better. Newsflash–he’s not that good.

    • Brian S. says:

      Newsflash, Brett Gardner has arguably the best combination of defense and baserunning in the game and has a well above average walk rate which leads to nice OBP. The fact that he bunts poorly is a good thing, because bunting is fucking stupid in the first place.

      • Monteroisdinero says:

        We have enough power and although Gardy can be frustratingly non-aggressive on the bases, 50 SB’s or so ain’t bad. It’s pretty darn good.

        His bunting improved. I don’t mind bunting for a hit from time to time but he should never give himself up to sac bunt.

        His defense is great. He is one of our best expenses.

      • T.O. Chris says:

        I’m a Gardner fan, but he only had a “nice” OBP in 2010. He’s not a .380 OBP guy like he was in 2010, in 09 and this year he showed himself to be a 9-10% walk guy with a .345 OBP. Which is decent enough for his speed, but far from great.

        That said his defense more than makes up for any offensive shortcomings he has, and he likely has far more value to the Yankees than he would to another team in trade.

      • nsalem says:

        If Brett Gardner was a good bunter it would not be stupid for him to but once in awhile. At worst it would bring infielders further in and keep them even more off balance which would allow even more ground balls to go through infield. Nick Swisher ever bunting again is stupid in any situation.

    • Jesse says:

      Newsflash: That left fielder who has an ” an anemic OPS, has virtually no power, doesn’t hit for average, bunts poorly, strikes out much more than a punch and judy hitter should and has poor judgment on the bases” has the 13th highest fWAR the last two seasons.

      But yeah, he’s not that good…

      • T.O. Chris says:

        To be fair his fWAR relies mostly on his gaudy UZR and we have to take those numbers with a grain of salt since defensive metrics are far from perfect.

        I think Gardner is a great piece on our team, but his 5.1 WAR has him being as good as Pujols was last year. Which is simply just not the case.

        • Jesse says:

          You can say that. But my argument was in response to ChooChoo who said Gardner isn’t a good player which is simply ludicrous.

          • T.O. Chris says:

            Which is why I said to be fair. I agree he’s a good player, but his WAR stats are inflated by a faulty UZR defensive metric.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              “his WAR stats are inflated by a faulty UZR defensive metric.”

              They’re high because of them, but can you prove that they’re “inflated” beyond his actual value? Defense definitely has value, as does baserunning.

              • T.O. Chris says:

                UZR is a flawed metric… The people who came up with the stat would tell you that. It takes 3 full seasons of UZR to get a real estimate of how good a player is on defense, yet WAR only factor that seasons defense in. So by their own account you can’t rely on the stat to be completely accurate. Which means WAR is going to be inflated to at least some degree.

                • Plank says:

                  Plus, MGL (The guy who invented UZR) has refused to reveal the formula he made up. Everyone takes his word on it that it’s legit, but unless you’re in his inner circle, you probably have never seen the formula. He released a three part explanation of what components he used when he first came up with it, but as far as I know, that’s it.

                  Dont get me wrong, it’s a good proxy for defense compared to what is available, but I laugh when someone compares people down to the closest tenth of a WAR.

                  • T.O. Chris says:

                    Exactly. We have really no better way to judge defense, but it’s far from a full proof judgement.

                    I mean the clearest way to put it is would you rather what Pujols did this year or Gardner this year or last year? Because according to WAR Gardner was as good as Pujols this year, and last year he was a full win better than what Pujols did this year. Gardner’s a solid player but that’s just crazy.

                    • T.O. Chris says:

                      His defense doesn’t make him better than Pujols this year, it just doesn’t.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Again… because there isn’t a metric to properly calculate something does not mean it doesn’t exist. Defense is not a unicorn.

                    • T.O. Chris says:

                      When did I say it doesn’t exist? You are reading what you want into what I’m saying…

                      I’ve said multiple times he’s a good player and he’s a great defender, but I don’t believe his defense makes him better than Pujols.

                      You can’t prove he is.

                    • Plank says:


                      Why do you deny the existence of Gardner? Many people have seen him either in person or on the television. In summation, saying he doesn’t exist is a silly position to take.

                    • T.O. Chris says:

                      @Plank I’m sorry I just see no proof that Brett Gardner actually exists. He is somewhat like Santa and Big Foot, people want him to exist so they pretend he does. In fact many parents dress up like Brett Gardner and pretend to be him for their kids birthday parties. Like Slash.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      You have refuted my point that Gardner may be just as valuable as Pujols due to his superior defense by… listing their offensive stats.

                      I never said Gardner is as valuable as Pujols… never once. I said that he might be, and unless you have a perfect measure of defensive value… how can you say otherwise?

                      Your response has been that Pujols is a better offensive player… which misses the point completely.

                      “I don’t believe his defense makes him better than Pujols.
                      You can’t prove he is.”

                      I never once tried to… what I said is that you can’t prove he’s not.

                    • T.O. Chris says:

                      But Pujols has a positive WAR as well, and I have stated this as well. But you’ve conveniently glossed over that each and every time.

                      Again in my opinion Pujols is greater in value. By saying you can’t make me believe otherwise is my way of saying let’s agree to disagree, but you like to keep going. Which is fine by me because it’s fun. But I think we are going to be doing this for the rest of our lives because we are stalemated.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  A. Every metric of total player performance is flawed at this point… but they might undervalue Gardner’s defense as easily as they overvalue it.

                  B. We have three seasons of consistently GREAT defense for Gardner… so you have no point there. He was at 9 as a part time player (UZR is a counting stat) and in the 20s the last two years.

                  • T.O. Chris says:

                    A. of course every metric is somewhat flawed, but UZR is without a doubt one of the most flawed metrics in baseball. It’s not my opinion, even the creater admits this. All defensive metrics are completely flawed based on the unknowns.

                    B. Yes, we have 3 great seasons of defense, but the three seasons together don’t go into WAR. No one is arguing he is a bad fielder, or even that he isn’t one of the bets fielders in baseball. The argument is that he is as valuable as Pujols based on his defense. Which he isn’t.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Again… that it’s flawed does not mean that it overvalues Gardner’s defense. It might just as easily undervalue it.

                      If he’s been at the same level for three straight seasons and you yourself claim three seasons is a relevant sample… it stands to reason that the WAR is calculated correctly.

                      ” The argument is that he is as valuable as Pujols based on his defense. Which he isn’t.”

                      Because you say so… You have not done anything at all to prove this.

                    • T.O. Chris says:

                      3 singular seasons of UZR doesn’t equal a relevant sample. It’s the 3 years combined, which means just because it’s steady in each individual season doesn’t mean it’s right.

                      UZR takes a total of 3 seasons worth of plays rolled into 1… Do you understand now? Because you seem to think I’m saying 3 individual seasons compared to one another.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      If he’s at the same level for three straight seasons… then you do have a three season sample.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      “UZR takes a total of 3 seasons worth of plays rolled into 1… Do you understand now? Because you seem to think I’m saying 3 individual seasons compared to one another.”

                      Very civil!

                      You don’t seem to understand that we do have three seasons worth of UZR to roll into one for Gardner.

                    • T.O. Chris says:

                      That actually is very civil because I’m trying to see if you misunderstood what I said, or if I was making it seem convoluted.

                      If you took it any other way then you read it with a tone in your head, thus changing the way it was written.

                      Well we really have most of three seasons, but even then individually they aren’t rolled in together. They are separate seasons in the WAR calculation.

                      Like I said the total UZR is different when calculated altogether. Especially when you take into account that some of those took place in CF and not LF.

                • Jesse says:

                  Ok, from 2009-2011 season he’s compiled the second highest UZR (50.9) in all of baseball behind Franklin Gutierrez who has a 52.8 UZR the last three seasons. And keep in mind, Gutierrez played 1329 innings more than Gardner in that span. Not to mention, Gardner’s UZR/150 in that span is 36.8, while Gutierrez has a 19.8 UZR/150.

                  • T.O. Chris says:

                    Which means what? He’s one of the best defenders in all of baseball, we all know this. That’s not the argument. If it was you win, but it isn’t.

                    The argument is that his WAR is inflated by his UZR in one season, which the creater admits is a flawed way of judgment. There is no way I will believe that Gardner this season was as valuable as Albert Pujols, sorry.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      “The argument is that his WAR is inflated by his UZR in one season”

                      Which is not a valid argument when combined with your statement that a 3 year sample is valid since he’s consistently been at the same level for 3 years…

                      “There is no way I will believe that Gardner this season was as valuable as Albert Pujols, sorry.”

                      Because you say so!!! Awesome logic!!!

                    • T.O. Chris says:

                      But none of his WAR seasons has 3 years of UZR in it… Each season only has 1 year of UZR in it, which isn’t valid since you need 3 total years of UZR in one. The argument is singular seasons, which you don’t seem to understand.

                      It’s my opinion and you don’t have any proof to make me change my mind…. That’s my point when I say there is no way I’ll believe he was more valuable than Pujols.

                      You’re quite rude you know. I have been civil to you the entire time. You’ve constantly talked down to me haha. I don’t care, but it does make you look bad to use that many exclamation points and talk like a 5th grader making a point. Which isn’t a shot at you at all, it’s just the way it’s coming off.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      You don’t seem to understand that if he’s had the same UZR each of the last three years, each year’s UZR was the same. Therefore the 3 year UZR was included in each individual season.

                      You have not stated it as opinion, but fact. All I can read is what you write.

                      Get off your high horse. Where have I been less than civil?

                    • T.O. Chris says:

                      That’s not how UZR works. His UZR for the last 2 seasons has been 25, but fangraphs has his UZR/150 at 36.7 career. Also his first season making up these “3 seasons” was only 145 innings, which isn’t a season full of innings and doesn’t make it 3 full seasons.

                      Everything stated in the course of a baseball argument like this is opinion until it can be proven. That’s just the way it is.

                      High horse? Me? That’s funny, your the one who’s been talking down to me this whole time.

                      “Because you say so!!! Awesome logic!!!”

                      That is clearly talking down to someone… The three exclamations is rude, and I see it as childish. If that’s not how you meant it you need to know how it comes off, if you care.

            • Need Pitching says:

              defensive metrics definitely have shortcomings, and while I agree Gardy’s scores seem unrealistically high, what proof is there that they aren’t accurate or close to accurate. It is possible that Gardner is that much better than average LF’s. Even if you knock him down 10 runs, he’s still a 4 fWAR player, solidly in good starter territory.

              • T.O. Chris says:

                When did I say he wasn’t a good solid starter? I said his WAR is somewhat inflated by a flawed defensive metric, which you agreed with.

                People need to stop acting like I’m attacking Gardner… That’s the other dude.

                • Need Pitching says:

                  Sorry, I was combining responses. The solid starter part was about the original post in the thread.

                  But I didn’t agree that his WAR was inflated. I agreed that defensive metrics are somewhat flawed, but Gardner could possibly be that much better than average LF. His WAR may be inflated, but their really is no way to know for sure.

                  • T.O. Chris says:

                    His defense doesn’t make him better than Pujols this year, it just doesn’t.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Again… where is your proof? “It just doesn’t” isn’t a valid argument.

                      You might be 100% right… but with no proof you might be 100% wrong too. All people are asking you to do is realize you could, possibly be wrong if Gardner’s defensive superiority does in fact save his team as many runs as Pujol’s offensive superiority generates.

                    • T.O. Chris says:

                      I don’t need proof for my opinion… It’s my opinion.

                      I could be wrong sure, but you aren’t going to convince me I am right now. Which has been my point the entire time.

                      This also isn’t defense versus offense like you keep trying to make it. It’s one of the best defensive first baseman in baseball, who’s the best offensive force since Babe Ruth versus defense with some offense.

                    • Need Pitching says:

                      it was also Pujols worst offensive year, so that brings them closer, typical Pujols year, his WAR is 7+ and this isn’t even a discussion
                      also it seems UZR underrates 1B (my opinion), so the issue may not be that Gardner’s WAR is inflated by UZR, but that Pujols’ WAR is deflated by UZR

                    • T.O. Chris says:

                      I understand, which is why I have constantly said “Pujols this year” and tried to not say Pujols alone one time. I may have but I’m just tired of constantly typing “Pujols this year”.

                      So you think UZR underrates 1B but you can’t even agree that it might overrate OF? OK. I agree it underrates 1B BTW.

                      I think it’s both. I think it both deflated Pujols and inflated Gardner. Either way they aren’t both worth 5.1 wins above a replacement player in my opinion.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      You have stated it as fact, not opinion.

                    • T.O. Chris says:

                      Everything I say is an opinion… Everything you say it an opinion. That’s the bases of 80% of all conversations. Especially baseball conversation.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      I can’t read your mind… saying something like “Pujols is better than Gardner” is a factual statement. Saying something like “I think Pujols is better than Gardner” expresses opinion.

                    • T.O. Chris says:

                      That’s a nuance. The whole time I’ve said You can’t make me believe that Gardner is better than Pujols this year. That means in my mind he’s not better, which is clearly an opinion.

                      I’ve stated multiple times the metrics are flawed, so they can’t be 100% factual. So they all have to be somewhat opinionated.

                      This whole time you’ve been trying to get me to admit something we agree on?

                    • Need Pitching says:

                      i’ve said repeatedly that UZR might inflate Gardner, but it also may not
                      I’ve never said Gardner is better than Pujols or even close, but just for this one season, factoring Pujols having a down (for him) offensive year, along with Gardner’s defensive and baserunning superiority, it is possible they were very close in worth this year
                      just my opinion

            • Brian S. says:

              It’s not flawed, his defense really is THAT much better than all of the other left fielders in baseball. I still don’t understand why defense at the corner positions is so undervalued.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          “Which is simply just not the case.”

          Based on what? (Not saying he is or isn’t, but what proof do you have besides conventional wisdom and popular belief?)

          • T.O. Chris says:

            Pujols .299/.366/.541, .385 wOBA, 37 HRs, 9 SBs

            Gardner .259/.345.369, .330 wOBA, 7 HRs, 49 SBs

            Plus Pujols plays first base about as well as anyone at the position. Gardner’s a number 9 hitter, or an average leadoff man, he simply can’t generate the same kind of value as Pujols hitting in the middle of the order with that kind of production. I’m sorry both of those seasons are not worth exactly 5 wins above a replacement level player.

            Believe what you want though, I can’t make you believe anything your not willing to believe. I just can’t chalk that up to “conventional wisdom” bias.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              Offense is half the game, and baserunning is about more than SBs. You have done nothing to show their defensive values.

              • T.O. Chris says:

                Ok so for you he’s more valuable than Pujols this year, I disagree.

                Also you act like Pujols is awful at first base, I said he’s one of the best in baseball at the position. He’s not Fielder or Miguel Cabrera awful.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  “Ok so for you he’s more valuable than Pujols this year, I disagree.”

                  No. I never once said this. I said he could be… Until you have a more accurate way to measure player value… we just don’t know.

                  You are completely missing my point, and then accusing me of doing the same.

                  • T.O. Chris says:

                    Your whole point is I can’t prove he’s not better than Pujols, but that’s my opinion… I get the point your making trust me.

                    However I also can’t man will never live on the moon, but I would think it’s a pretty good bet it won’t happen.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Again… defense is not a unicorn or living on the moon… it is very tangible and has a very real value.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      And space colonization is not the craziest idea, either, if you expect humanity to survive for a long-enough period. Look at how far we’ve come in the last 1,000 years and imagine how far we might go in the next 10,000… 100,000… 1,000,000 years.

                    • T.O. Chris says:

                      Name one time where I said defense is a unicorn? You make no sense.

                      Defense is tangible but we have no metric that can accurately judge it, if you can’t agree with that we can’t keep this going.

                      I’m not debating space colonization with you… You are funny though.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      You specifically compared saying we will be able to measure defense with an acceptable margin of error to living on the moon… living on the moon and unicorn are effectively the same thing here.

                      “Defense is tangible but we have no metric that can accurately judge it, if you can’t agree with that we can’t keep this going.”

                      Clearly we agree, since I’ve made this point dozens of time now. This is a monumental waste of time.

                    • Plank says:

                      living on the moon and unicorn are effectively the same thing here.


                    • T.O. Chris says:

                      “Clearly we agree, since I’ve made this point dozens of time now. This is a monumental waste of time.”

                      I agree because my point the whole time has been that defensive can’t be accurately measured and because of this Gardner’s defense can’t be accurately measured. Thus making his WAR inflated.

              • Plank says:

                Offense is half the game

                What is the other half?

      • ChooChoo says:

        He’s not that good, Jesse. He can’t hit. He also has poor baseball instincts. Ask Joe Maurer

        • Need Pitching says:

          “He can’t hit”
          103 wRC+ 2011, 111 wRC+ over last 2 years
          So if by can’t hit, you mean above league average offensive player, they yes you are correct

          So in summary, elite defense, above league average offense, 2nd most steals in baseball over the past 2 seasons. Who in their right mind would assume that player would be a starter???

          Gardner definitely has flaws, but his strengths more than overcome his flaws.

        • Brian S. says:

          Ask Joe Mauer? That was one play. I guess Granderson has terrible instincts too because he was thrown out to end the game that one time against the Angels. I guess Jeter has terrible instincts because he doesn’t have a 100% SB rate.

  7. ChooChoo says:

    If I were Andrew Jones I’d look for another team for playing time because it is an embarrassment for someone with the talent of Andrew to be slotted behind a joke like Brett circa .715 OPS–speed and all.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      There’s that whole defense thing… you know the 1/2 of the game where the other team is on offense. There’s also the whole salary thing where you have to pay players.

      And while it’s a small sample, Jones actually had an OPS of .709 against RHP last season.

  8. ChooChoo says:

    He’s a corner outfielder for Christ Sakes. Produce like one.

    • T.O. Chris says:

      He’s actually a center fielder being forced to play corner because of Granderson. He actually plays much better D than Granderson though. If the outfield was aligned correctly it would look better.

  9. ChooChoo says:

    Why does anyone here concern themselves with salary? Especially on the Yankees? When my parking costs 35 dollars, my beer and hot dog cause me to break a twenty, and my yearbook and scorecard are the combined price of a half a tank a gas, I don’t care what the Yankees cost concerns are.

  10. ChooChoo says:

    He’ll be gone in two years–tops. then this Cashman science experiment will be over–especially when he loses a step or two of his blazing and unharnessed speed. If he was a good baserunner–with his speed—he’d have numbers like Rickey Henderson, Lou Brock,Vince Coleman–or other real baserunners who had an instinct for what in hell they were doing.

    • T.O. Chris says:

      Considering he’s 28 he probably will be gone in a few years. His speed won’t hold into his mid to late 30′s, but that doesn’t mean he’s bad.

      Obvious troll is obvious.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Other real baserunners that last played a generation ago?

      • T.O. Chris says:

        Plus I wouldn’t consider Brock and Rickie “real base runners”… I’d consider them the two greatest base runners of all time. It’d be like saying someone wasn’t doing as good as real HR hitters like Babe Ruth.

  11. T.O. Chris says:

    I’ll give you this Ted you are certainly my equal in hard headedness and love of arguing haha. No other human being on the planet would’ve engaged in this argument for this long.

    Bullet points…

    . I believe UZR inflates Gardner’s WAR
    . You have never said you believe Gardner is better than Pujols this year
    . Everything said on a baseball blog is pretty much 100% opinion
    . Plank is my hero
    . This computer screen is giving me a headache
    . Unicorns are cool
    . Defensive metrics are flawed
    . Space colonization is possible
    . Exclamation points are rude

    • Tom says:

      Some UZR craziness:

      Jeter at home -11 UZR/150 (career)
      Jeter on the road 0 UZR/150 (career)

      Apparently Jeter is more skilled defensively on the road?

      And we’re talking a rather massive sample size here – if this is random noise/variation/luck, it would render UZR useless in my view… (Personally I think it’s a real systematic issue that UZR is not accounting for… couldn’t tell you whether this is an issue at home or on the road… the delusional Yankees fan in me says obviously there’s a problem with the home #’s!

      Carl Crawford at the Trop 22.5 (career)
      Carl Crawford everywhere else ~7.5 (career)

      So he’s probably (my opinion obviously) closer to a +7.5 defender but since 1/2 his games were at the Trop people see him as an overall a +15 defender (that’s potentially a 0.75 WAR/yr over estimation of his value)

      It will be interesting to see how his #’s look playing in Boston… it’s only been 1 year, so the # is somewhat meaningless, but let’s just say the 22.5 isn’t looking so real!(and the defensive value that people were using to judge his contract may have been a little overstated)

      • Plank says:

        The thing with UZR is that it’s formula is secret. It may be perfect. I doubt it. Everyone takes it as gospel. It’s essentially a number coming out of a mystery box. Smart people believe it is legit so that’s good enough for a lot of people. I use it just because it’s convenient to look up and probably better than random. If someone quotes UZR numbers for reference, that’s fine, but concluding skill beyond a shadow of a doubt based on that is silly.

        The idea that UZR can calculate a players contribution to team wins to the tenths place is absurd.

        • Plank says:

          Here is where MGL first presented his new number.


          That’s the first of 3 parts.

        • Plank says:

          Part 2:


          I couldn’t find part 3, I’m sure it’s still there somewhere.

          also interesting:


        • Tom says:

          Yeah I think that’s the right attitude…. I use it (when there are multiple years of data) as basically a good / average / below average type metric as oppose to +1WAR or -1 WAR or 0.2 WAR. It drives me nuts when people are comparing 5.5 WAR to 5.1 WAR as if it is meaningful – especially if those #’s have significant defensive components.

          Sadly Fangraphs has continued down the rabbit hole with BSR (baserunning value)…. this appears to be an even noisier stat than UZR (though thankfully a smaller component overall). It looks at base advancement based solely on who the ball is hit to. The current variant doesn’t care whether it’s a shallow single or deep single, whether it was right at the OF’r or required him to range significantly or whether it was a sinking flyball where a runner has to hold up to make sure it wasn’t caught. It ignores the score and all context of the game which is a significnat part of good baserunning (are baserunners going second to home on a single down 3 runs in the ninth?)

          I like advance stats but as they have become more mainstream they get abused and people have no concept of standard error and statistical significance. I had looked through the MGL primer in the past and it’s not bad but it leaves out quite a bit on how things are actually done and there is no real look at the standard error of that statistic and it is pretty vague on how it corrects for park factors. Also I think there is significant concern/debate by people much smarter than me on whether there is systematic bias coming from the input data (the person who decides what zone the ball was hit to and what type of ball it was). Then of course the model doesn’t really care what the fielders starting position was either…

          Like you said give people a # with a decimal point and many (most?) people will just accept it’s accuracy…

          • Plank says:

            Even if you assume UZR is everything MGL and fangraphs says it is, the numbers coming out of the magic box admittedly have a huge amount of error.

            From MGL (the creator of UZR):

            So at 2 SD’s (95% confidence interval), that’s an “error range” of around 15 runs!

            With any two players within 15 runs of each (or 7-8 if you want to use 1 SD) UZR cannot determine which player is better.

            That’s already with the caveat that the creator doesn’t show how he arrived at these numbers to begin with.

            Again, it just shows how silly it is to break down UZR that finely or calculate WAR to the tenths place.

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