Feb
03

Girardi: “I think it’s important to our club that you add another bat”

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Joe Girardi was in Times Square for a charity event today, and wherever the Yankees manager goes, the media is sure to follow. “I think we’ve had a good offseason,” said the skipper to Erik Boland and Anthony McCarron, “but I think it’s important to our club that you add another bat. AL’s going to be tough … There have been a bunch of names that have been talked about, [but] because of our ballpark, it makes some sense that it would be a lefty.”

Girardi apparently mentioned Raul Ibanez, Johnny Damon, and Hideki Matsui as players they’ve spoken about, but none of those three should be a surprise. Brian Cashman recently told Andrew Marchand they may still bring Eric Chavez back, and he could get some at-bat at DH. I’m sticking with my initial prediction: they’ll eventually sign Damon, probably right before position players report.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League

118 Comments»

  1. BryanV21 says:

    I don’t want Damon. I can’t say for sure what it is about him I don’t like, but I’m sure it has to do with his days in Boston. I just can’t bring myself to cheer the guy. Oh, I’ll cheer the team for sure, and for him to hit in key situations. But it’s not for Johnny… that’s for sure.

    • Rey22 says:

      We won a WS with him, and his contributions were pretty important to get there. You gotta let it go man.

      • BryanV21 says:

        First of all, that WS was in 2009, and Damon is not the same player he was then. Secondly, was he not an “idiot” on the Red Sox team that had the biggest come back in sports… against the Yankees? I don’t loathe the guy, but that doesn’t mean I like him either.

        Bottom line is I don’t think he makes the team better.

        • Q says:

          Johnny Damon For the Win! BryanV21 For the Lose!

        • Monterowasdinero says:

          Damon was a good teammate and played for the Red Sox to win when he was their centerfielder. Terrible-don’t sign him. He should have struck out and botched outfield balls so the Yanks could win. Silly.

          Most players his age are not as good as they were 3 years ago but he will hit 15 HR’s for us as a DH and he can run and hit lefties.

    • RetroRob says:

      Yeah, and let’s purge Wade Boggs from Yankees history. And Sparkly Lyle, too, that bastard. And, oh yeah, that Ruth guy, too. Never did anything for the Yankees.. Be gone all.

    • Craig Maduro says:

      I don’t want Damon either, but for different reasons.

  2. Oran Juice Jones says:

    … In before someone writes , “well we would’ve had that bat but since you prefer defense over offense with your catchers”. Either that or some more prodding of Montero being ‘the answer that could’ve been.

  3. Raza says:

    I definitely prefer Damon over either Matsui or Ibanez.

  4. BryanV21 says:

    I’d rather have a player that I’d feel comfortable about in the field. Damon wouldn’t make a good ball girl along the base lines… regardless of how long or short his hair is.

    • Oran Juice Jones says:

      So make a suggestion. If not Damon then who ?

      • CJ says:

        If not Damon or Ibanez then trade. The possibilities are endless

        • FIPster Doofus says:

          If by “endless” you mean “pretty limited,” then sure.

          • CJ says:

            I disagree, I think the following players can be had in the right deal
            Trumbo, Butler, Parra, Headley, Duda, Murphy, Morrison (if Miami signs Cespedes), Ethier, Prado, Blanks, Brown

            • RetroRob says:

              They’re all limited in various ways, to price in prospects, to salary.

              It’s not that there aren’t hitters out there, it’s the associated cost. For example, considering what you know about how the Mets new MoneyBall management operates, what do you think the price would be for Duda, and then balance that out with what he’d deliver to the Yankees above their current level and how the cost in prospects would limit other deals.

              The Yankees don’t need to go for a grandslam in the DH spot now, unless someone has a brain lapse, like Kenny Williams did with Swisher.

              • FIPster Doofus says:

                Correct.

              • CJ says:

                Duda, Murphy, Headley, Parra, Prado are hardly Grand Slam additions

                • RetroRob says:

                  Missing the point. They might cost grand slam talent.

                  It’s the cost of acquisition balanced by what they would deliver above and beyond Damon. Trading valuable prospects for a DH is a bad idea when those prospects will be needed either on the team or to trade to fill more important needs in the coming year(s).

                  So it’s not that I wouldn’t welcome a Headley or a Duda. I would need to know the cost to acquire them, balance that against what they would deliver above a hitter like Damon, and what the Yankees would lose in trading flexibility to use those prospects to fill a more important need.

                  A part-time DH on the Yankees is not something the team should acquire at a high cost, yet many of those teams will ask for a lot. If the deal can be done on the cheap, fire away. They can’t.

                  • CJ says:

                    What about the value of a cost controlled player? Sign Damon say 1/4.5 and you still need a DH next year and a RF. It costs one way or the other I don’t see the value of deferred cost.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      “Cost” isn’t just money. It’s also prospects.

                      Re-read this from RetroRob above: “So it’s not that I wouldn’t welcome a Headley or a Duda. I would need to know the cost to acquire them, balance that against what they would deliver above a hitter like Damon, and what the Yankees would lose in trading flexibility to use those prospects to fill a more important need.”

                      Everyone is hoping the Yankees get a Headley or even a Duda… not a Damon… but we don’t know their trade cost because MLB GMs aren’t going to take our calls and let us know. Just like we’ve all wanted the Yankees to trade for an Ace for a few years… but didn’t know their prospect cost.

                      Teams are more motivated to give up proven players for prospects when they get expensive… especially overpriced. If you’re San Diego and you have one of the best 3B in baseball locked up through his theoretical prime years until 2015… what would you ask for him in a trade?

                      If you’re the Mets… you’re awful, you’re broke due to Madoff… you’ve got a young slugger who just came up to become maybe your best hitter and is not even arb-eligible until 2014… what would you ask for in a trade?

                      I’m asking for a package starting with Banuelos and Sanchez/Williams/Bichette if I’m those teams… and the Yankees are saying no… which is why no trade happens. Sometimes crazy things happen like the Montero deal… but teams aren’t constantly trading every player on their roster because they have to agree on a deal with another team.

                    • Robinson Tilapia says:

                      You have a DH next year. It’s the same DH you have this year. It’s called “flexibility.”

                      You mention names that would be extremely practical…..if we were playing a video game.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  Headley is a pretty damn good 3B. Even the mainstream media realizes Petco is killing his offensive #s.

                  Duda might turn into an offensive grandslam… which is why the Mets will probably hold.

                  Those are all good players. They’re all going to come at a pretty high cost like Rob is trying to tell you.

                  • CJ says:

                    Of course they come at a cost. Cashman’s job is to find a deal for a fair cost. Murphy will be cheaper, parra is a 4th OF, Blanks is a flier. So there are players available for varying costs. Seth Smith for example is better, younger, cheaper, more versatile than Damon and he came cheap. Carlos Quentin too.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      I agree that Cashman’s job is to find value, but let’s re-examine those deals.

                      Seth Smith has huge splits at Coors. His career SLG is .559 at Coors and .418 on the road. He’s going to a park that crushes power #s…

                      Who would you compare Guillermo Moscoso to in the Yankees’ system? I would say he’s a mirage of the Oakland Colliseum, but he’s a somewhat proven MLB SP still pre-arb. In the end I’d bet both teams are disappointed because they both got a mirage.
                      Outman is an ok lefty swing-man.
                      Probably something like… I don’t know… David Phelps and Boone Logan, for a guy who isn’t very good outside of Coors Field.

                      Quentin is a free agent after next year and cost a two time top 60 BA pitching prospect plus a 22 year old LHSP in AAA. We’re probably talking Dellin Betances + here.

                  • CJ says:

                    You’re right we don’t know the cost of the trade. It would be a lot if fun if we did. I don’t think Duda would cost that much though. Murphy even less. Proposed trade rumors used to be leaked all the time. We get nothing from these MLB insiders. Maybe Cash really is a ninja.

                    • I live in San Diego and this way-overrating Chase Headley stuff is madness. Insanity. Very nice to Mr. Headley, but just plain wrong.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Duda and Murphy are two of the best hitters the Mets have, young, and cheap… “That much” is all relative.

                      Leaks are either intentional or someone putting their job on the line if they’re caught…

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Jefferson Jay,

                      I don’t know what where you live has to do with taking 30 seconds to look at Headley’s home/road splits.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Or taking 40 seconds to look at the quality of 3B league wide…

                    • CJ says:

                      Ted, Seth smith home splits may still play well in YS also many if his road games were in petco and LA. Your comp is good, I figured wade/phelps. Still not a lot, better than Damon.
                      I disagree big time on Quentin 2 prospects from SD were not in top 10. Gms commented on bargain price.
                      Betances seems more attractive than the arm SD got for Anthony Rizzo.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      I think it’s debatable whether Smith is any better than Damon. Damon’s wOBA was similar in Detroit and outside of the Trop last season… to Smith’s Coors weighted #s. And you’ve got to look at park neutral numbers as best as possible… any lefty power bat might play up a little in YS3 (as long as they don’t go nuts with the pull-hitting like Tex).
                      Damon might well cost less $, as Smith will get $2.4 mill this season… and that’s before prospects.

                      Simon Castro was 4th in SD’s org according to Law… http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb.....op10ByTeam
                      Law had him 64 entering last season and BA 58.
                      What does Rizzo have to do with Quentin?

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Yeah, I agree. Bryan is going from a personal dislike for Damon to his performance… all without suggesting who else to take the spot. I am not pumped about Damon at this point in his career, but for maybe a couple of mill max, there aren’t many options.

        I thought Betemit was the guy they should try to sign in terms of value, though I don’t know how the relationship there is after his first run with the team.

      • CJ says:

        Angels are talking about using Trumbo at 3rd, if he can play third at all, what about Robertson and Romine for Trumbo?

        • FIPster Doofus says:

          Nein.

        • thenamestsam says:

          I think that’s too much for Trumbo. For one, he’s just not that great a hitter. He had a wRC+ of 105 last year, and aside from 2010 at AAA he has just never hit much at the upper levels of the minors either. In two tries at AA in 2008 and 2009 he had wRC+ of 102 and 109. Then in 2010 at AAA his walks and power spiked and he had a wRC+ of 132, and he had a nice rookie year, but 5% above league average is nothing to write home about for a DH.

          I think people see that he was a rookie and expect him to improve dramatically, but he has already turned 26, so he’s not that young, and there isn’t much in his minor league record to hang your hat on if you think he will improve. He has never walked much, and always struck out a lot. He has a ton of power and that’s it. He is what he is, and that’s a mediocre 1B/DH type. He could help the Yankees but I wouldn’t give up much to get him.

        • RetroRob says:

          Are you crazy? : -)

        • nsalem says:

          Trumbo’s is no better against lefties than righties so there is not even a platoon split argument that can be made. I wouldn’t even want him if he was a free agent making the mlb minimum. The thought of Robertson for Trumbo is ridiculous and throwing Romine in makes it more so. Trumbo’s upside is Steve Balboni.

        • Thomas Cassidy says:

          This may be the most insane proposal I’ve seen in a while. Robertson for an overrated hitter? Robertson is as close to untouchable as you can get on the Yankees not named Sabathia and Cano.

          • CJ says:

            That’s great news. Robertson is worth more than Trumbo. So trade him for an even better hitter. No way is Ribertson untouchable. If a team wants to use him as a closer his value skyrockets. Otherwise he’s a 7th inning man, I know you don’t like the Soriano signing but too bad. Joba returns and Phil may end up in pen. Robertson’s value will never be higher than it is right now.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              His value will be higher than it is right now if he continues to do what he did last year consistently.

              And how did he suddenly go from the 8th to the 7th? And who cares what inning he’s pitching in, anyway? And the team that wants to use him as a closer is probably the Yankees after next season.

              It’s not like other teams don’t realize relievers have limited values. If someone offers Cashman more than he thinks Robertson is worth… I’m sure he’ll make the deal. He can’t force another team to give him what he wants, though.

              • CJ says:

                You are so damn condescending. I always root for plank.
                Well we don’t know what other teams think and we don’t know what will happen in the future and you can’t make someone do what you want.
                Cmon man you must have written a dissertation on RAB disagreeing with people and stating obvious rules if nature as some logical explanation of saying nothing.
                Keep it simple. Who do you want to see at DH? What would you give up for him? That’s it. This is for fun.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  I am simply saying I disagree with you. Robertson is a valuable member of the Yankees. I don’t think they’ll get the value you do.

                  It’s not fun for me to read about trading a very good reliever for a mediocre hitter… or to read about trading a very good young reliever because his value will never be higher. Any players’ value may never again be higher than it is right now.

            • Thomas Cassidy says:

              Robertson will probably be better than Soriano ever has been. I wouldn’t trade Robertson for anyone in baseball that’s available. Especially not a hitter who can’t even manage a .300 OBP. They don’t need a DH so bad that they have to trade Robertson. If the Yankees want Trumbo, I’d offer Phelps and Joseph. But that’s it.

              Robertson isn’t going anywhere. I’d be surprised if the Yankees ever traded him.

  5. RetroRob says:

    I haven’t looked at who needs what, but are there any other AL teams out there right now where Damon would make a better fit? A team that has a DH slot open?

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Tough to think of anyone. Maybe Detroit if they’re serious about Cabrera at 3B and prefer Young LF / Damon DH over Raburn LF / Young DH?

      TBR – Luke Scott
      Bos – Ortiz
      Tor – Encarnacion
      Bal – Betemit
      Det – Delmon Young? Cabrera/Fielder?
      Cle – Hafner
      CWS – Dunn
      KCR – Butler
      Min – Doumit/Willingham/Mauer
      Tex – Young/Napoli
      LAA – Morales/Trumbo
      Oak – Gomes
      Sea – Carp

      • RetroRob says:

        And perhaps that’s what Cashman is looking at right now. What are Damon’s options.

        I mean, the O’s could bring in Damon as part of a platoon at DH, but unless some team can offer Damon more playing time than the Yankees (I’m guessing maybe 400 PAs), then I think he’d rather come back to the Yankees.

  6. Risean says:

    I’d welcome him back with open arms

  7. CJ says:

    I agree with Joe. And I agree with Mike, odds are in favor of Damon. I’m still hoping for something better in a trade that Cashman mentioned.

    • Craig Maduro says:

      Me too. I’ll be pretty disgusted if the Yanks are left settling on Damon. As much as we want to analyze the market and the situation, Cashman is always zigging when we’re zagging.

      I also hope there is something up his sleeve.

  8. CS Yankee says:

    Billy Butler from KC, for either;
    A) A cost-free AJ
    B) Hughes
    C) Garcia, Liard & choice of a Almonte.

      • thenamestsam says:

        At first glance those deals seem crazy, but is Butler really that good?

        Devils advocate position: AJ Burnett is probably a 1-1.5 WAR/year pitcher for two years. If you pay his entire contract that gives them $10-15M of value. He stinks, but he’s pretty good for a free player. Butler makes $24M for the next 3 years (ignoring his option which seems close enough to fair not to dramatically tip this one way or the other). Is he worth more than 34M for the next 3 years? He’d have to put up 6-7 WAR over the next three years probably to beat AJ from a pure value standpoint. His WAR over the last three years: 6.9. And that’s with 100% health (unlikely to continue). I certainly wouldn’t do it if I were Moore, but it’s within reason.

        • FIPster Doofus says:

          You’re assuming that front offices think fWAR is the end-all, be-all. Butler’s a good hitter. The Royals aren’t going to just hand him to the Yankees because of his contract, which isn’t even close to being a detriment.

          • thenamestsam says:

            I don’t think that it’s the end-all or the be-all but I do think it’s a very useful analytical tool, and if you disagree with it’s conclusions in this case you should provide some evidence not platitudes like “Butler’s a good hitter” and his contract “isn’t even close to being a detriment”.

            Here’s some more evidence. Consider Jason Kubel. Pretty similar player to Butler (Kubel wRC+ last 3 years: 133, 102, 110 Butler: 122, 132, 120), except Butler is the slightly better hitter and Kubel can play some outfield but not well. Kubel got 2 years, 15M. Basically what I’m saying is at his price Butler is replaceable. Kubel and free-AJ are pretty likely to outproduce Butler for less money and less long-term commitment.

            Again to be clear I don’t think KC would do this trade, and I don’t think they should. I was purely pointing out that it’s a lot closer than people would think.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              If the Royals couldn’t make any other trade… sure. There are other trades they can make with Butler, though. If he gets the .370 wOBA he had in 2009 and 2010 or even keeps developing into his prime… he could be the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th best hitting 1B in the NL next season. His defense will subtract value, but he’d still arguably be a big upgrade for most NL teams.

              KC also isn’t a hot spot for free agents. I don’t know what offers they’ve made to whom, but who have they attracted semi-recently outside overpaying Guillen?
              KC is likely going to have to pay a premium to get a FA even like Jason Kubel to play on a loser in KC instead of, in this case, a winner in Az.

              Butler isn’t the world’s greatest value by any stretch, but I think KC can do a lot better in a trade. I’d argue that taking a shot on a prospect or package of prospects is more valuable for a “rebuilding” team than 2 years of Burnett or Hughes.

              • thenamestsam says:

                I agree with basically everything you wrote. I stated many times that I don’t think they would or should do this trade, because I agree they could do better, both in terms of total value and in terms of getting a more appropriate form of value (as you say prospects are more appropriate for them, especially given that it seems like the Tigers may be willing to spend whatever it takes to lock down that division for the next few years). And your point about them maybe having to pay a FA premium is an excellent one.

                My point was basically to pay devil’s advocate, in an effort to illuminate that Butler is significantly less valuable than some people seem to think, and that AJ (if you pay his entire salary) isn’t worthless, despite how much he seems that way to us sometimes. I definitely don’t think these are good trade proposals at all. I just don’t think that specific one is AS crazy as it seems on its face. But that’s hardly an endorsement of them pulling the trigger on it.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  I’d say there’s strong increasing returns with WAR. I don’t know exactly how WAR is calculated, but if it’s a straight-line thing I don’t think it works like 1 WAR = $5 million, 3 WAR = $15 million. 1 WAR players seem far more abundant than 3 or 4 or 5 WAR players.

                  AJ is one of the worst starters around… but gets 1 WAR by throwing innings. Replace him with a healthy MLB starter… and you’ll probably get 1 WAR. Even if you lose a guy mid-season, you can probably add 3 guys together who get hurt/ineffective and accumulate more than his WAR. Without doing the math I am guess the Royals had 6 SPs who out-WARed Burnett on a per inning basis. The only guys I’d guess under-WARed him on a per inning basis is Sean O’Sullivan.

                  So I’m not sure if a 1 WAR guy is really worth 1/3 of a 3 WAR guy.

                  • thenamestsam says:

                    I agree with your ideas about non-linear WAR, although many smarter people than me seem to think it’s basically linear, and their evidence is fairly convincing. It’s a question way above my pay grade, but generally I think it’s safe to assume that it’s roughly linear. That said I think you’re either overrating the Royals staff or underrating AJ. He had an ERA+ of 86 last year.

                    Last year for the Royals:
                    Adcock made 3 starts, ERA+ of 89.
                    Hochevar made 31 starts, ERA+ of 87.
                    Francis made 31 starts, ERA+ of 85.
                    Duffy made 20 starts, ERA+ of 73.
                    Davies made 13 starts, ERA+ of 61.
                    O’Sullivan made 10 starts, ERA+ of 57.
                    Mazarro made 4 starts, ERA+ of 50.

                    So basically they got 112 starts by people who were the same or worse than AJ last year (Dear god, it’s good to be a Yankees fan). Now they would certainly rather give some of those starts to those guys as they have more important long-term goals in mind than winning next year, but I don’t think it’s accurate that they can easily find guys to outproduce AJ. In fact, quite the opposite seems to be true.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Especially since they can look to deal him elsewhere. He’s not a good defensive 1B, but he’d probably be an upgrade for a lot of NL teams at 1B overall anyway.

            What are the chances Moore prefers Burnett or Hughes to even just a salary dump for an ok prospect?

        • Mike Axisa says:

          Butler’s a .297/.360/.458 career hitter and 25 years old with a below market contract. There’s no reason for a rebuilding team to trade that guy for anything but another young stud, and Phil Hughes doesn’t qualify.

          • CJ says:

            Butler is a Hughes and Betances. I think Royals do that

          • thenamestsam says:

            Those offensive numbers look good, but he’s a DH who is a negative on the basepaths and in the field (when he plays). He’s a solid 2-3 WAR player, basically a slightly above average regular. It’s a good contract, but not a great one. As I said I don’t think Moore does any of those deals (and I wouldn’t either), because they’re not enough value and (more crucially) they’re not the right kind of value (as you said he’d want young players). But I don’t think they’re way short on total value. I can’t possibly imagine them getting a “young stud” for Butler. He’s just not that good.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              I think you’re undervaluing Butler. Look around the NL at 1B… http://www.fangraphs.com/leade.....;sort=16,d

              At 25 you’d expect his best hitting to be ahead of him, not behind. Saying he’s only been a 2-3 WAR player to date doesn’t mean that’s his likely peak.

              “Young stud” is a subjective term, but I think that the Royals can get a good return for him and have no business replacing him with Burnett and cap space. In a vacuum maybe that’s not a terrible deal, but with 28 other teams out there and the state of 1B in the NL… KC should do a whole lot better.

              • thenamestsam says:

                As I said above I agree with your fundamental premise that they could do better. One small quibble is that I think people tend to project too much growth onto young-ish players. Yes, he may still improve since players on average peak at 27, but he’s also likely to see some regression to the mean, especially health-wise. He may still improve, but I’m not sure it’s especially likely.

                I don’t have time for any kind of detailed analysis, but as a sort of quick, dirty study I looked at his baseball-reference page for his most comparable players thru age 25 and then looked at their career arcs briefly. Some of them went onto great careers (Yaz, Olerud, Keith Hernandez, Kent Hrbek), but an almost equal number of them bottomed out quickly (Carlos May, Donald Hurst, Ben Grieve). That’s obviously a really small sample, and some of those comps are dubious at best, but it supports the point that his future is not assured to be better than his present. One last piece of evidence: His ZIPS projection for next year has an OPS+ of 123, exactly in line with his current production.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  I don’t think it’s assured by any means. I think it’s likely because that’s the trend…

                  I also wonder what the trend is for two straight seasons terrible SPs in their late 30s…

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    And I’m a little confused about returning to the mean… that would refer to his own mean. Not league average. We are dealing with samples, and not the entire population of who Butler is as a hitter. He should tend towards his own mean production for his talent level, not towards the league-wide mean.

                    • thenamestsam says:

                      You’re right that ideally we’d know his true talent level, and then in that ideal world we’d know exactly what to project him for going forward (his true talent). He wouldn’t hit that projection exactly, but we wouldn’t need to regress to the mean, because we’d know exactly what his most likely outcome was. But we don’t know his true talent level. In estimating that, we’d basically take all the evidence we have and regress that somewhat towards the league average. You could do better and regress him towards some group of comparable players or something, but no matter what you’re going to regress your estimation of his talent towards some mean, since for any above-average player it’s likely that they’ve been somewhat lucky over their career. That regression is the main reason that you won’t likely see projections for him much higher than what he has already done even though he’s theoretically still approaching his peak.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      I don’t follow at all. When you have a sample of data points for seasons, they’re going to tend towards an arc which gets better till the prime years and then declines from there. Not every player will do that, but it’s the trend. Players will have good and bad seasons… points above and below their own trend line. They will “regress” back towards that line the next season in most cases. They will not regress towards the league average. Different players have different talent levels.

                      Should I look at Tulo and say he’ll regress towards the league average going forward?

                      No. He’ll tend towards his own personal production level. If he has a bad year or a good year, he’ll tend to “regress” towards his mean production (with an age curve).

                      Butler is a young veteran at this point. We have a good idea about his talent level since his wOBA has been .370, .370, .350 at 23, 24, 25. He’s clearly more talented than the league average hitter.

                      “since for any above-average player it’s likely that they’ve been somewhat lucky over their career”

                      Some players are better and some players are worse. I don’t think above average performance generally indicates luck, but talent. Some guys get lucky, but it’s really rare to be that lucky three years in a row.

                    • thenamestsam says:

                      You’re confusing a number of related concepts. For projection the problem is we don’t know the players true talent. So when you write

                      “They will not regress towards the league average. Different players have different talent levels.

                      Should I look at Tulo and say he’ll regress towards the league average going forward?

                      No. He’ll tend towards his own personal production level. ”

                      This is incorrect. If we knew Tulo’s true talent, then there is no regression to anything. We would project exactly his true talent. We don’t know that. So how we can regress him towards “his personal production level”? His true talent, which I think is what you’re trying to say with personal production level, is exactly what we’re trying to estimate. If we had an infinite number of observations of Tulo, we would observe the results converge to his true talent. Instead we have a small sample(compared to our ideal infinite sample) of only 6 seasons or whatever. In that sample Tulo has performed (for illumination purposes only) say 50% better than league average. As you say, of course players have different talent levels, but there are far more players who are 45% above league average than 50% above, and far more who are 50% above than 55% above. Thus after we observe a small sample of someone being 50% above league average out best estimate of their true talent is not 50% above, but something lower than that, because it is far more likely that they are actually 45% above and got lucky, than 55% above and got unlucky.

                      With someone like Tulo or Butler where we have a lot of data saying they’re well above league average we use much less regression to the mean, but it’s still a factor in any projection of them, because it is still much more likely that Tulo has been overall more lucky than unlucky in his career. So instead of projecting him for 50% above league average we’d project him for 48% above. With Buter, that’s going to offset any age related growth in his forecast, which is why you see him projected for the same #s as last year, even though he’s 25.

                      I’m probably not the best person to explain projection to you. I’d recommend trying to find a discussion at Tango’s blog of Marcel which is the simplest projection system.

        • RetroRob says:

          Since he’s 25, I wouldn’t be worried about Billy Butler’s health the next three years. In fact, just the opposite. Players who show durability at a young age will usually maintain that through their 20s.

          The Royals would not find a shortage of buyers if they put Butler on the market. He has a very real skill: He can hit a baseball, and based on his age, he even offers upside above his very good 120-132 wRC+ he’s registered the last three seasons.

          Butler has a bankable skill. AJ doesn’t. It would be a horrific trade for the Royals.

          • thenamestsam says:

            A few things:
            1.I wouldn’t be worried about his health in a major way, but he has averaged 159 games the last 3 years. That’s not sustainable and he’s likely due for some regression to the mean.

            2. A couple quibbles with your AJ point. For one I do think he has a skill, durability. He has thrown more than 185 innings for 4 straight years, more than 165 for 5 straight. That’s basically the only thing that has allowed him to maintain some value as his ability has cratered. My second quibble is that you’re making the crucial error in your last point of comparing AJ and Butler. The appropriate comparison is between AJ+ whatever they spend the 24 million dollars on and Butler. Ignoring the salary disparity is a mistake.

            • RetroRob says:

              I just don’t know what the regression to the mean actually means in the case of Butler. It is likely he will be a highly durable player in the coming seasons. He doesn’t have to average 159 games. Maybe 155, or 150, or 148. Whatever. He’ll be in the lineup.

              If the Yankees paid every cent of AJ’s salary, it would be a bad deal for KC if they gave up Butler. AJ offers them nothing they need.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      If you were Dayton Moore, would you even entertain any of those three deals?

    • Ted Nelson says:

      If you were Dayton Moore, would you even entertain any of those three deals?

    • CJ says:

      Hughes and betances for Butler and young prospect Campos type

    • Bavarian Yankee says:

      I’d take all Almontes from A-Z :D

  9. Monterowasdinero says:

    Something about Ibanez’s swing mechanics reminds me of Tino’s. Anyone else see this?

  10. DM says:

    “Woman charged with stalking Cashman”

    This woman, wearing a big blonde wig, black sunglasses and red pumps turned out to be Ted Nelson in drag.

    When apprehended she/he kept muttering “M-M-M-M-M-Montero”, “f-f-f-f-f-W-A-R” over and over. He’s being held for psychiatric evaluation.

  11. Dick says:

    The Yankees probably won’t do it, but I bet Barry Bonds, even off steroids, could still hit a lot of balls over the right fiend fence.

    • Thomas Cassidy says:

      Nah. He wouldn’t even hit .200. He’s been outta baseball for almost half of a decade. Of course, if he gets back on steroids, I’d be interested.

  12. Craig Maduro says:

    I’m still hoping for a trade that will bring in a solid 3B or OF that can, respectively, allow A-Rod to transition to DH full-time or replace Swisher after this season. Depending on who Cashman and Co. set their eyes on, I could be perfectly okay with them moving some combination of Betances, Banuelos, Sanchez, Williams and any other prospects.

    • Thomas Cassidy says:

      If they’re gonna give up those guys, that’s gonna be one good damn 3B man or OFer. None are really available. Why not Joseph and Phelps for Huff?

  13. Craig Maduro says:

    I would apologize for getting silly, but considering some of the ridiculous comments we have made on here over the years, that is hardly necessary.

    Anyway…

    I want Ryan Braun. Open up the cupboard and let the Brewers treat it like a buffet line.

    • Thomas Cassidy says:

      What are you, an idiot? Why get Braun when you could get Kemp and Kershaw for Hughes and Romine?

      • Craig Maduro says:

        Well, correct me if I’m wrong, but I didn’t propose a ridiculous trade package.

        In the comment above I mentioned that I would be willing to give up any combo of prospects for the right player. You commented that it would have to be an elite talent to warrant such a hefty price in prospects. Ryan Braun is that type of player.

    • Boomer's Boy says:

      NO THANKS. Don’t need another tainted star on the Yankees…

      • Craig Maduro says:

        Man, nevermind that. Braun is one of the best hitters in the game. He was so before this “steroid issue” and he will be afterwards. Besides, nobody but Braun and the people closest to him really know what really happened. He shouldn’t be labeled “tainted” until the full truth comes out.

        Under this hypothetical scenario, Braun would arguably become the Yankees’ best hitter.

  14. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Well this was as epic as I hoped.

  15. Boomer's Boy says:

    Phil Hughes straight up to Pittsburgh for Garrett Jones. Lefty with pop. Won’t be the soul source of power in the lineup and will have protection.

  16. Tom says:

    If the Nats ever get their CF’r, deal for LaRoche who should be relatively prospect cheap in a salary dump. He’s making 8mil this year and has a club option for next year (which I assume will not be exercised)

    If the Nats find a CF, Harper goes to Right, Werth to LF (from rf), Morse to 1B (from LF) and LaRoche is expendable.

    I think the Yankees should either trade for a bat or wait until mid-year (and ride it out with an internal option like Dickerson or Vazquez for a few months). I don’t see Damon, et al as a significant upgrade, the internal options also give you some roster flexibility defensively and if they are busts then you can look for a bat in June/July

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