Mailbag: CarGo, Defense, Lee, Ichiro

Kevin Long talks about Melky Cabrera, superstar
6/22-6/24 Series Preview: New York Mets

Got five questions for you this week. Make sure you use the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar to send us mailbag questions or anything else at any time.

(Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Biggie asks: Joel Sherman wrote an article about how the Rockies would benefit from trading Carlos Gonzalez, who after this year has five years around $73M left on his deal. I know Sherman was reaching, but what would it take to land the talented CarGon? He would look great in Yankee pinstripes and cost, per year, about the same as Nick Swisher.

Gonzalez is a star of the first order, a career .384 wOBA hitter with base-stealing skills (career 76-for-94, 80.4%) and average defense in the outfield. Yes, he has a massive home/road split — .432/.332 wOBAs — but I don’t believe his true offensive talent is essentially Denard Span or Will Venable outside of Coors Field. Plus if you put him in New York and Yankee Stadium, he’d still have the ballpark going for him. CarGo isn’t quite Carlos Beltran circa 2005, but he’s not all that far off.

Anyway, Gonzalez would be a perfect fit for the Yankees as a young (27 in October), left-handed hitting outfielder that is under contract for the next five seasons at a below market rate ($11.4M average annual value/luxury tax hit). The Yankees targeted Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson for similar reasons in recent years, but CarGo is a better player. The problem is that I don’t think the Yankees have the pieces to get him, unless they’re willing to part with Ivan Nova. The Rockies need pitching in the worst way and I highly doubt David Phelps, Adam Warren, or the injured Manny Banuelos will grab their attention, ditto the Low-A kids who are years away from the bigs. If we knew Michael Pineda was going to be fine going forward, then sure include Nova in a potential package. Obviously we don’t, however.

Chris asks: How have the Yankees defensive metrics been this year? It seems like missing Brett Gardner in left field hasn’t been that big of a deal. Are they average, above or below compared to everyone else and how are they doing compared to last year’s team?

As a team, the Yankees rank 26th in UZR (-14.4) and 20th in DRS (-12), so they’ve been a bad defensive team so far this year. Obviously you have to take defensive stats with a massive grain of salt this year early in the season, so keep that in mind. I think the Yankees get consistently elite defense from only one position on the field and it’s (arguably) the least important: first base. I consider Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, and Alex Rodriguez to be average at their positions, Cano a bit above average at second, and both Raul Ibanez and Derek Jeter well below average at their positions. Ranking in the bottom third of the league defensively certainly passes the sniff test.

The advanced stats were split on New York last year, ranking them top ten in UZR (+23.2) and nearly bottom ten in DRS (-12). Pick your poison here. I think they were probably in the middle, an average defensive club overall with most of that due to Gardner running everything down. For a quick and dirty look at a team’s defensive performance, just use 1-BABIP. The Yankees are at .703, so right now three out of every ten balls put in play off the team’s pitchers are falling in for hits. That’s one of the worst marks in the game (21st). The Yankees had a pretty good defensive club last year and the year before, but I definitely think it’s fair to say they’ve taken a step back this year, with or without Gardner.

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Alec asks: Mike, since the day the Yankees missed out on Cliff Lee, what kind of pitcher has he been? Do you think he has been earning him money or is it a blessing in disguise that he wanted to go to Philly?

Oh no, this isn’t a blessing in disguise. Lee has continued to be one of the very best pitchers in baseball since the start of last season, right on par with the guy he was before hitting free agency. You can’t look at his win total (zero!) this year and draw any conclusions from that, Lee’s been absolutely stellar for the Phillies…

ERA K% BB% HR% fWAR/200 IP bWAR/200 IP
2008-2010 2.98 19.8% 3.5% 1.7% 6.3 4.9
2011-2012 2.67 25.8% 4.6% 2.2% 5.5 6.4

Yeah, he’s been pretty fantastic. We could spend all day playing the What If Game had the Yankees signed Lee — Jesus Montero is never traded, Nova is never given a real chance, etc. — but the only thing know for sure is that the guy was a brilliant pitcher before signing his megacontract and he has continued to be a brilliant pitcher since.

Mike asks: What would you think of the idea of trading for Ichiro or signing him in the offseason? He’s nothing like the Ichiro of old, but could still be a ok half of a platoon split for a stop gap RF next year or feel in while Gardner is out.

Since the start of last season, a span of 1,023 plate appearances, Ichiro is a .269/.303/.347 hitter. That includes a .264/.288/.375 batting line in 302 plate appearances this year. At 38 years old. There should be alarms going off in your head. Hitters that old who see their performance decline that much are most likely done being effective big leaguers. The odds of Ichiro rebounding next year (in any uniform) are tiny, miniscule compared to the odds of him getting worse. I know he’s a brand name and all that, but I can’t see any way a contending team could add Ichiro, play him full-time, and expect to improve their club. This is just … no.

Hanks asks: Here’s a question I’ve had on my mind for a while. We’ve been spoiled by over 15 years of winning teams, and there appears to be no end in sight. Surely “what goes up must come down” and at some point the Yankees will go through a long stretch where they are bottom dwellers. But, I just can’t envision how that would happen – it seems like they are primed to keep on winning indefinitely. Given the current landscape of the league can you describe a scenario that would see the end of this great run?

The easy answer would be to say it’ll happen when all of their older and higher priced players all collapse at the same time, but it’s not that simple. Sure, the Yankees are locked into CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez for all eternity, but they’ll have the opportunity to change their second base, catcher, and two of three outfield situations in the next 18 months. That’s just the offense. Ivan Nova gives the team some long-term youth in the rotation and the one-year deals for Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte give them a lot of flexibility.

For the Yankees to have a true collapse and go into a long stretch of suckiness, a lot of their younger and prime years players are going to have to drastically under-perform while the old guys start playing like real old guys. They have the money to cover up the typical year-to-year injuries and player evaluation mistakes, so it’ll take a whole bunch of them at one time. Maybe I’m just biased, but I think situations like 2008 — missing the postseason for one year before getting right back to contending the next year — is “bottom dwelling” for the Yankees. Given how the team is built right now, it’s really hard to see how they’ll be non-competitive over multiple, consecutive seasons.

Kevin Long talks about Melky Cabrera, superstar
6/22-6/24 Series Preview: New York Mets
  • Jorge Brosada

    Man if I’m the Rox I’m demanding the farm for Cargo

  • Donny

    Mike – I e-mailed you last night, but I figured it was too late for the mailbag. Rosenthal is on record as saying that it is finally time for the Mariners to deal King Felix. Personally, I am finally resigned to giving up the farm (I hadn’t been in the past). What do you think gets it done? I would be willing to start with a package of Nova, Banuelos, Mason, and one other prospect. That gets it done, no?

    • Mike Axisa

      Joe and I plan on talking about that in the podcast today.

      • Donny

        While I always appreciate a good plug, and I do plan on listening later today, would you mind indulging me since the anticipation is too much to handle for me right now?

        • Mike Axisa

          I don’t think that package is nearly enough. If it was, the Yankees would have done it already.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Jesus. A solid MLB pitcher, a AAA pitcher, and a single-A lottery ticket. That I could get behind. No chance it happens, though.

            • Reggie C.

              Felix Hernandez is one of the elite talents in the game where acquiring him would require an exercise of both quality and quantity.

              Nova, Banuelos, Mason Williams, and… PHIL HUGHES

              Because why not?

              • Smart Guy

                it would be more simple to just send them robinson cano and betances

                • Rainbow Connection (futurely Dummies Playing With Balls and/or RI$P FTW)

                  of course it would, that trade package is much much worse. its always simpler to send them less. the problem is they have to accept it.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                So your rotation would still be:


                I’m not saying I’m against it. I just don’t think your suggestion makes things any better.

                I’ll wait for someone to automatically fill in “Coal Hammmmels” into one of those spots below.

      • Reggie C.

        you and Joe just kill my Friday work productivity …

        MANY THANKS!

    • Smart Guy

      no matter what prospects you mix and match its not happening, before the Pineda trade cashman asked the M’s for Felix and said everyones available, we had Jesus at that time and Banuelos and betances had better value at the time.

      Now? not happening

    • Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost

      If Jack Z ever decides to move Felix, I would be vary wary. He’s likely to ask the farm, and the land that Yankee Stadium is built on, then should he not pull out of the deal at the last minute Felix will come over with his body in one car and his limp right arm in another.


      • Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost


    • AC

      Hold onto Mason. Trade Betances and 3 others.

  • Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost

    What would have to go with Nova to make a CarGo deal happen? I’m inclined to believe that the drop off from Nova to Phelps/Warren/whatever would not be as great as the benefit of getting him. It seems like there’s a chance at having a net positive there.

  • Andrew Brotherton

    I’d love to see us trade Nova for Car-Go. He is a premium outfielder with a great contract, whats not to love?

    • Cris Pengiucci

      And while Nova has been solid, he only pitches every 5 days where as CarGo would play every day. With the arms available in AAA, I’d be inclined to take the chance.

      • Smart Guy

        cargo plays everyday but misses a lot of games also

      • Ted Nelson

        That is a totally bogus argument. He pitches every 5 days and has as much of an impact on that 1 game as a hitter has on 5 games. He pitches to every hitter for around 7 innings. A hitter gets 5 PAs and maybe 1 or 2 non-routine plays in the field per game.

        • Smart Guy

          but the player gets the chance to impact every game while the pitcher just impacts one game a week

          but seriously if given the chance to have between nova or cargo and you pick nova i find that to be odd regardless of how many games they impact

          • Ted Nelson

            That’s already addressed in my argument… He gets the chance to have a much smaller impact on the game. If you are really arguing that hitters are necessarily more valuable than Ps, I don’t know what to tell you.

            No one said that. It’s not Nova for CarGo. It’s Nova plus for CarGo.

          • Ted Nelson

            But I think the gap between CarGo and Nova is pretty small considering splits and contract… So I wouldn’t throw prospects on top of Nova for CarGo in all likelihood.

          • CP

            Carlos Gonzalez has 277 PA so far this season, and his most PA in a season were 636 in 2010.

            Nova has pitched to batters in 362 PA so far this season and 704 last season.

            That’s a rather crude way of looking at it, but it shows that starting pitchers have roughly the same impact as a full time position player.

            • Cris Pengiucci

              Looking at WAR:

              Nova: bWAR 2011: 3.0, 2012 (to-date): 1.4 fWAR 2011: 2.7, 2012 (to-date): 0.9

              CarGo: bWAR 2011: 4.2, 2012 (to-date): 1.4 fWAR 2011: 4.1, 2012 (to-date): 2.3

              Based on perceived team need, I take CarGo. Not willing to give up the farm for him, (Nova plus a Nunez-type), but I see OF as a larger need than pitching going forward. I am making a huge assumption that one of the AAA arms will be able to replace Nova’s production, and I understand the salary differences, but this allows the Yankees to lock up a solid OF at no worse than an average market value based on prjected production. Probably better than they could do with Swisher.

              • Ted Nelson

                I think P is as much of a need going forward. Pettitte and Kuroda are old as dirt. Hughe is an enigma.

                In the OF, on the other hand, they have 2 studs besides Swisher.

    • viridiana

      Same old BS of trading every young talent we have or hope to have for All-Stars.
      Problem is now is the worst possible time to dump the farm. First off, you’re selling low as this has been an awful year. Second, without Mason Williams, Sanchez, Austin and Gumbs the Yankees have no future replacements for their rapidly aging roster. And with the new CBA, talent matching these guys on a one for one basis will be very hard to find.
      The solution I see is the very opposite of all these trades we hear endlessly discussed. Instead, give a real chance to young players so that they can help you meet budget in 2014. Then, in 2015 think about paying up for hi-quality free agents. But until then, priority should be giving shots to guys like Mustelier and Phelps and (next year) the Almontes. In 2014, Mason Williams and perhaps a JR Murphy or Flores can be added. But this is no time to trade the only real hope Yanks have of continued success in era of new CBA.

      • Ted Nelson

        2014 is 1.5 seasons away… Very unlikely low-A kids make MLB by then.

        While I think the prospect cost may be prohibitive in this case, I don’t think it has anything to do with the CBA. I think people make that out to be a boogeyman responsible for every problem. Trading for cost controlled proven guys is exactly the kind of move you want to make with this CBA… I just think CarGo is overvalued and will therefore be overpriced.

  • MattG

    FWIW, I listened to Washington’s broadcasters during their series, and they were raving about the Yankees’ fielding. That might have been in relation to how poorly Washington fielded, but even so, I realized they were right. For one series at least, the Yankees’ fielding was pivotal in assisting them winning three close games.

    Well, 2 close games…the first was a blow-out, right?

    The Yankees are pretty solid…or at least, they very rarely hurt themselves. With a strikeout heavy staff, that might be just the right combination.

    • Ted Nelson

      The announcers rave because they don’t make errors. That’s an important part of defense, but it’s just one part. You can not make errors and not get to many balls, and you’re not a good defender (Jeter). It’s sort of like Kevin Russo can get a bunch of hits and not be a good offensive player.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I’ve never been a big believer in making yourself weak in one area to fill another. I like CarGo. I also like a young cost-controlled starter such as Ivan Nova anchoring a slot in this rotation for years to come. I know that they are VERY different players, but it would make me uneasy to make the rotation weaker just to land another shiny piece under the tree. There’s a chasm in between “Carlos Gonzalez” and “Zoilo Almonte” as far as outfield choices go.

    The early 90’s were a perfect storm of a lot of things. This is smarter franchise now. That being said, change happens, and things won’t always be this way. I can’t see this franchise going through the type of low period they went through around ’89 without some very unforeseen things happening. In our lifetime, though? Sure (assuming you plan on being around for a while.) Can’t be on top forever.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      …weak in one area to fill another.

      Losing one starting pitcher (yes, he’s a solid one) with the available AAA arms and the potential return of Pineda doesn’t make you weak in that area as far as I’m concerned. Yes, there’s the possibility that Pineda isn’t effective or that the other 3 or 4 options in AAA can’t do what Nova does, but there’s also a chance that Swisher’s contributions can’t be replaced at a reasonable cost as well. It’s worth the discussion with the Rockies to see what they desire.

      • Ted Nelson

        Sure it’s worth talking to them, but let’s not undervalue Nova here. A cost controlled front to mid starter… Very valuable.

      • JAG

        Absolutely agree. There’s no harm in having the discussion, and it’s no secret that the Yankees OF is a real concern. They have a lot of depth to cover the 4/5th starter spots and despite the whole 2014 budget thing, they can cover depth with 1-year veteran deals in the pitching staff as well and expect to get by. There is a real possibility that Swisher won’t be brought back next year, and if that happens there aren’t a lot of attractive replacement options. CarGo happens to be one of the best, and it would be foolish not to find out what he would cost.

        Personally, if the cost is something like Nova, AAA starter, low-A kid position player, other prospect? I’d do that deal immediately. Possibly you could even wrangle in a 3rd team to provide another prospect and hand off the low-A kid and Ibanez to them in exchange for a vet pitcher to help cover the difference. No idea who that team or pitcher would be, but it’s a thought.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        If this year shows anything, its that you need all hands on deck with your starting rotation. This team will be better of with Ivan Nova AND Michael Pineda AND other internal options to fill rotation spots.

        Like I said, there’s a chasm between trading for Carlos Gonzalez and the AA guys who happen to be on the 40-man that get thrown around because they’re there. RF is a concern next year. Sure. Starting pitching is always the bigger concern.

        That doesn’t preclude having a conversation, though. I’m all for that.

  • MattG

    As for the last question, the simple answer would be ownership under performs. Look at all perennial bottom dwellers. You’ll see a similarity.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I don’t understand this. How does ownership “underperform?” What are the expectations put on, say, Jeffrey Loria and how are they different from those put on Hal Steinbrenner?

      There’s a sentiment in here which I may agree with but, as you’re stating it, this is beyond simplistic. Sorry.

      • Ted Nelson

        I wouldn’t get into trying to judge it as a fan (outside extreme examples like Knicks), but the organizational tone is set by ownership and upper management. In most cases I think owners are about neutral, but I do think on both margins there are those who set a great tone for a well run org and those who shoot their fans in the face.

        When you’re working at a job where the boss is a bum, incompetent, doesn’t care, a jerk… It’s harder to do your best and stay motivated. Plus those traits will probably be reflected somehow in thei hiring decisions.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I think guys like Angelos and Loria (and Daniel Snyder) consistently screw their teams and fanbase. For sure. The semantics of “underperforming” for owners were pretty strange, though.

          Second paragraph is spot-on.

          • MattG

            Sorry I didn’t consult my thesaurus.

            No, I take it back. I like my choice of word. Ownership underperforms when it does not install good process. All the stuff Ted Nelson talks about is a byproduct. Good decisions, even good luck, are born from good process. Not all owners put in the effort…which is probably the most classic way to underperform.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              1) Define “good process”

              2) Please explain to me how that definition affects the concept of luck.

              • MattG

                Good process promotes a few things for an organization: accountability, consistency, and the opportunity for meaningful evaluation, including the evaluation of the process itself. It can be applied to all functions of an organization, so decisions can be made with confidence, and a decided lack of revisionism.

                All of these things show up in what often appears to be luck. Year after year, the Rays bullpen is like lightning in a bottle. Their fielders appear to be positioned in the right place more often than not, even when that place is completely un-traditional. (Is it coincidental that these things happened after Naimoli left?) There were several around the industry that labelled Oakland lucky to have drafted and developed Zito, Mulder and Hudson within a couple of years of each other. These things and others are tinged by luck, but tends to follow behind the educated guess more often than the wild guess.

                On the one hand, I don’t know there can be a better example than the Rays (Texas is making a fine case, too). For the other hand, you have the Orioles. As Yankee fans, if you’re old enough, you saw both: terrible process of the late 80’s, and the present approach, which leads us to believe this will continue forever. I say only ownership can derail it, but it can be derailed.

                • Cuso

                  First paragraph: utter double-speak with absolutely no application.

                  Second paragraph: application of “luck” itself. Rays bullpen is lucky, therefore I name Naimoli and therefore luck stems from good process? What?

                  Third paragraph: You’re correct in that the Rays and Rangers have been successful in their sea change with ownership. Friedman stockpiled their draft picks during abysmal years and went with pitching. Texas got rid of their overpriced Chan Ho Parks, Kevin Millwoods and finally let homegrown products work it out. HOWEVER, they were aided by three things:

                  a.) being allowed to be God-awful for several years to get to this point
                  b.) The Teixeira trade with Atlanta
                  c.) Nolan Ryan buying the team.

                  The “terrible” process of the late 80’s by the Yankees had none of these similarities. George Steinbrenner was Jerry Jones. He should have let his “baseball men” make “baseball decisions.” When he got suspended in 1990, George couldn’t make those decisions.

                  • MattG

                    Pittsburgh has been god awful for several years.

                    Kansas City has been god awful for several years.

                    Baltimore has been god awful for several years.

                    In other sports: the Knicks have been god awful for several years.

                    The rest of your comment belies an utter lack of understanding I won’t try to refute. I’m not writing a book, its a paragraph on a meta-critical blog on the internet. And there is no way to defense the comment that it is double-speak. It is high-level, but makes a specific point, which apparently went well over your head.

  • Ted Nelson

    I disagree that defensive metrics should be taken with a grain of salt in this case. The question wasn’t about what kind of defensive team the Yankees will be going forward or are in general… It was about how they have been. The stats do measure that.
    A lot goes into BABIP besides defense, so I wouldn’t look at that unless you’ve established some fairly strong correlation with defense.
    I wouldn’t say “with or without” Gardner either… They have been without him almost all year, can’t much say where they’d be with him. It makes sense that a team would be worse defensively without arguably one of the best defenders in the game.

    • JAG

      The point, as I understand it, is that the defensive metrics don’t work as well with the small sample size of the first third of the season. They should be taken with a grain of salt not b/c they don’t state what happened, but because they state it with too large a standard deviation for us to say with certainty that the number is reflective of their true performance.

      I get your point that the stats are “true” in that they did happen, I’m just saying that there are variables that the stats don’t necessarily measure. We don’t have a “perfect” defensive stat yet, so we make do with the variability of what we have.

    • MattG

      There are plenty of very smart people that believe defensive metrics don’t tell you about where you’ve been, either…or at least, there are many, many holes in the various systems that make small samples incredibly inaccurate.

      For instance, most have no way to compensate for wacky shifts.

      Very good to say take it with a grain of salt. Maybe two or three grains, even.

      • Ted Nelson

        The point was not whether defensive metrics are relevant, it was about small samples.

  • Frank

    Mike correctly points out how the Rox would demnand pitching for Car-Go. Just a few months ago, the Yanks were considered to have so much quality pitching depth at the AAA level, i.e. Banuelos, Betances, Mitchell, Warren and Phelps. How things have changed.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      What’s changed? Phelps and Warren are pretty much at the same place. Hell, if anything, Warren’s put together a pretty nice string lately. Banuelos is injured, but it is not considered serious and was directly related to his effectiveness. Betances was always considered an enigma. I’m with you on Mitchell, but what we’ve seen lately is way too much of an SSS to know whether it means anything.

      For a second, I thought you meant the other Mitchell when I started to write this. Slightly makes more sense now, but still overstating things a bit.

  • A.D.

    What would sink the Yankees is a shrinking class of quality free agents (more players being signed through first few free agent years) and continued increasing prices coupled with a stretch of inability to develop prospects.

    Essentially if we get to the point where ~200M + inflation can only buy wrong side of 30 FAs that need to be paid through their decline years and there aren’t some decent prospects to supplement the team and/or trade for established cost-controlled players

    • Ted Nelson

      That could play a role, but I don’t think it does it. They aren’t that heavily reliant on big time free agents. Tex, CC, Soriano, and maybe Kuroda are the only big FAs on the team. CC and if you count Kuroda are the only big FAs whose production they couldn’t have gotten at a fraction of the cost.

      You can also trade prospects for vets without them having developed much.

  • Ted Nelson

    Don’t see how you just ignore the home/road splits. He has been so young that I agree his career stats aren’t necessarily an accurate indication of his prime years coming up… But I disagree he’s necessarily a first-degree star outside Coors. YS is not Coors. Not close. Coors is literally 3x more of a hitter’s park. Something like 117 vs. 106 with 100 being neutral.

    They bought low on both Swisher and Granderson. Whatever huey you want to spread, the market is very reactionary to recent performance and there is such a thing as buying low. These are two examples of it (Swisher much more so… Literally one bad year and a few spare parts got his contract… Granderson cost much more in prospects and his decline had been multi-year with a real mechanical fix needed that you could question would ever happen… Would only call him bought slightly low). They would most likely be buying high on CarGo.

    • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

      Exactly. I almost immediately replied as such but figured someone would’ve beaten me to the punch.

      I don’t get the nonchalance with which his road split was simply tossed. And worse, not only was it basically ignored, it was refuted.

      For a site that prides itself on more thoughtful analysis that is simply bizarre.

      That said, I would do Nova for CarGon straight up, but that’s it. Maybe toss in some low level filler but no one with high upside.

    • RetroRob

      I agree. I wouldn’t have a problem with CarGo, but only if the team acquired him at a price that reflects his road splits. For his career:

      .336/.389/.626/1.015 (home)
      .267/.319/.436/.755 (road)

      Those numbers are muddied very slightly with his brief time in Oakland.

      He has improved as a hitter so that his road numbers are a little stronger than his career line, but the splits are still enormous. Here’s 2012:

      .382/.441/.733/1.174 (home)
      .279/.333/.492/.825 (road)

      That’s pretty much the best line he’s ever put up on the road, and that’s in just a partial season. He’s in the prime of his career, and I can see the short porch at Yankee Stadium helping him, although the move to the AL East could also impact his overall numbers negatively.

      There is also a bit of a reverse Coors impact that has been shown over the years, where for some reason some players start to hit better on the road once away from Coors.

      So it wouldn’t shock me if CarGo turned into a .285/.340/.500 hitter for the Yankees at this point in his career, but that’s certainly not a guarantee, and the price to land him wouldn’t be based on those numbers, but on his Coors numbers, which shows him to be an elite hitter, which he’s not.

      Hmmm, be interesting if the Yankees traded for CarGo, and then Swisher signed with the Rockies. Who would put up the better numbers? I don’t think it would be much of a contest. Swisher would!

      • MattG

        It is not so simple to think his performance would equal his road splits. Many players have played in Coors and elsewhere. Most have well outperformed their road splits. There have been studies, none which I can reference, but I bet can be found on Google, to find that Coors tends to negatively impact a players road splits to the same degree it boosts the home splits. There are theories, and they are obvious: the ball doesn’t break much at Coors, making it harder to hit breaking balls away from Coors because you’re not used to the break. Or, pitchers at Coors are essentially different people away from Coors, making it hard to become familiar with the league. And more…

  • Andrew Brotherton

    No chance in hell that I try and trade for Felix after this season especially not emptying out the farm.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      When adding in last year, I start to agree with you. Seems he may be declining, however, I know far too little to make a sound judgement and will wait to see if the Yankee scouts/FO decide to make a move. Given a choice, I’d prefer Hamels, but who knows if he makes it to the market either in trade or fre agency and if he has any interest in coming to NY.

  • 28 this year

    I would be willing to deal Nova with the idea that we would sign Hamels. I know the 189 thing but CarGo is cheaper than Swisher or Granderson and on the level of Granderson in that he is a superstar. So at least Swisher can definitely go and if we need to let Granderson go, we can.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      29 other teams will have the opportunity to sign Coal Hammels. I simply don’t get why we continuously pick bones to gnaw on like this.

  • yooboo

    Forget UZR. this is good for a small ball teams. Braves’ Simmons is supposed to be one of MLB best rangy SS and yet he failed to dive and field those 2 ground balls, those ground balls Jeter does not usually make an attempt to field/dive. Yes, it would be nice to have flashy numbers in every statistics but they way Yanks have done is depending heavily on scouting reports.

    I am not sure about what does 2014 budget mean but I assume Yanks will begin to lower the luxury tax hard and then the luxury tax debt is gradually increasing every year from 2014. That means GonZo is out of budget because I don’t see how Yanks could let Granderson and Cano walk.

    Lee’s number seems a tad higher but Phillies have struggled and are without Halladay so Lee may overwork himself for now. Still solid.

    I dont see Ichiro coming to the East Coast at all. He isn’t a coastal-friendly. I can see him signing with Mariners or any West Coast teams for a good bargain annually until he reaches 3k mark. He has about 500 hits left. Holy Cats!

  • Smart Guy

    all i know is that im sick of granderson in CF and i hope he moved to LF when gardner decides to stop being so fragile

    • 28 this year

      This is Gardner’s first long stint on the DL and you’re calling him fragile like he wants to be away? So much for your handle.

      • CP

        I think there is a reasonable argument that his injuries tend to linger longer than most players. He hurt his thumb (or was it wrist) and it was a full year before he was healthy again. Now he’s had a slightly strained arm for a couple of months. He’s like the anti-Joba in his healing…

        • yooboo

          Gardner is fatless. Ailing ligament will be shorten if you have some fat in body.

          I was told by someone that fat provides a right temperature to heal ligament properly. I dunno about it but all I know is someone with essential no fat on body will get injury often when playing against gravity and slamming within gravity.

          • Bunt Gardner

            Quick, someone rub lard on Pineda’s shoulder and Mo’s knee!

      • Ted Nelson

        Yeah, I wasn’t sure if that part of his post was serious… But the guy has a mangled elbow that required a cortisone shot… Not beig able to hit at an MLB level isn’t surprising when that requires extending the injured elbow.

      • yooboo

        He seems to be on DL annually. That is something we could not rely on.

        Gardner will not take over Granderson’s job at CF unless Yanks let Grandy go for whatever idiotic reason. Not even Melky Mesa’s job when he is ready.

        • Brian S.

          Did you just say Mesa>Gardner?

        • RetroRob

          Melky Mesa will never be ready.

        • Ted Nelson

          Gardner appeared in 159 games last season and 150 the year before… He doesn’t hit the DL at all

  • RetroRob

    I’ve always found defensive metrics interesting, but approach them with a healthy dose of skepticism. I think many people feel the same way, that is until the data supports their point of view and then use it to make definitive statements. Then again, that’s just the nature of fans.

    The claim is defensive metrics have improved over the years, something which I think was true up until the last season or so, where now it’s possible they’ve reached a point where they are nearly useless again. The reason why is FIELD/fx. Teams have access to this data and are customizing it to develop defensive positioning. It allows defenses to be developed and rated holistically, not on an individual basis, which is how most of the older systems operate. It’s why shifts are being used increasingly by all teams. It’s why Brett Lawrie is having the single greatest defensive season in the history of 3B’man when rated by the freely available and totally wrong defensive metrics. He’s not. It’s just that the older rating systems don’t have a way to adjust for a 3B’man recording a defensive out in rightfield.

    No teams use or pay attention to UZR. They have something much better, and it something we don’t have access to, and worse (for fans), what teams are doing with that data is not totally screwing up defensive metrics like UZR, and every year the gap will grow wider.

  • LiterallyFigurative

    We can’t lament the lack of prospects in the organization, and then trade them away.

    I like CarGo, and think he’d be a good addition to the the Yankees. But pitching is way more valuable and costs more. I’d rather keep Nova and ManBan and try a platoon in RF, at least for a year or two. We’ve won titles with corner OF platoons before.

    • Ted Nelson

      Who is lamenting? Yankees farm is stacked.