Thoughts following the Kevin Youkilis deal


(Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

The Yankees plugged their third base hole last night, agreeing to sign Kevin Youkilis to a one-year contract worth $12M. As I wrote yesterday, every win added to the team’s ledger this offseason will have a big impact on their division title chances next season given how tightly packed the AL East is at the moment. As soon as Alex Rodriguez‘s new hip injury was announced, a deal with the former Red Sox infielder seemed inevitable.

1. I can’t say I’m all that enthusiastic about the signing. I would have preferred Mark Reynolds, but the Yankees are apparently allergic to players who have yet to experience their 30th birthday. Reynolds is an awful defensive player but he’s a better hitter than Youkilis, especially in terms of hitting right-handers, drawing walks, and hitting for power. He’s also a much better bet to actually stay on the field. My master third base plan was a defensive platoon with Reynolds (fly ball pitchers) and Eric Chavez (ground ball guys), but that was never going to happen. Anyway, the Yankees do deserve the benefit of the doubt here given their recent track record with veterans on one-year contracts. Watch Youkilis go .280/.400/.475 next season.

2. One thing about the Youkilis signing I do like is his ability to work the count and really grind out an at-bat. That’s been a Yankees trademark for the last two decades or so, but I thought the team got away from that a bit last season. A big part of that was the long-term injury to Brett Gardner and medium-term injuries to Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, but the Yankees are also losing noted count-workers Russell Martin and Nick Swisher this offseason. Youkilis will replace some (but not all) of those tough at-bats and they are the key to the kingdom. There is no argument to be made (traditional or sabermetric) against working the count and forcing the pitcher to throw more pitches than he wants to.

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty)

3. This has no direct tie-in to the Yankees, but man, what a deal for the Indians last night. They turned one year of Shin-Soo Choo, an up-and-down utility infielder (Jason Donald), a LOOGY (Tony Sipp), and a non-prospect (Lars Anderson) into a Trevor Bauer, a top ten overall prospect coming into the season. They also received lefty-mashing outfielder and personal fave Drew Stubbs as well as two relievers (Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw) on top of that. The Diamondbacks had clearly soured on Bauer for whatever reason, but he definitely has ace potential and the Indians deserve credit for capitalizing. They haven’t made many good moves lately, but they deserve major props for this one. I wonder if they’d be willing to flip Stubbs to the Yankees? He’s hit lefties better than Scott Hairston the last few years and contributes substantially more on the bases and in the field.

4. By signing all these one-year contracts, the Yankees are putting all their eggs in next winter’s free agent basket. They’re going to need three starting pitchers, two outfielders, a catcher, maybe a third baseman, maybe a shortstop, maybe a second baseman, maybe a DH, and various relievers and bench players next offseason. Here is next year’s free agent list, which will inevitably dwindle as players sign extensions during the next ten months. Free agency is by far the most inefficient and cost ineffective way to build a team, yet the Yankees are going to have to rely on that list of players in 2014 barring any farm system surprises next summer. I wouldn’t count on any and yet I fear the Yankees are.

Categories : Musings


  1. art vandelay says:

    wow, phil hughes is the only FA pitcher in his 20′s …

  2. Joba is Einhorn...Einhorn is Joba says:

    one thing is for certain…we wont have to worry about a boring offseason next year

    • GoNavy-BeatArmy says:

      I beg to differ… I think it will be one of the uggliest yet with the Yanks staying under 189 and those options out there…

      The only good news is we can’t really overpay for anyone this time without going over the 189 mark. Still, without trades, this may get ugly in 2014.

      • Joba is Einhorn...Einhorn is Joba says:

        oh i dont doubt it will be ugly – brutal actually – just not boring

        • Laz says:

          We will hear about 189 payroll a lot, but there will be a lot of money coming free. More than $80M will be coming off of the payroll. If Pineda and Nova make a big leap this year the rotation should be in pretty good shape.

  3. JW says:

    Makes you wonder if Yankees could have taken the Clev spot in the 3-way with a package of Granderson (the CF Cincy was looking for), Nunez, Logan or Cabral, and another throw-in. Trading Grandy & his $$ could have opened the door for Swish?

    • MannyGeee says:

      Granderson is better, but no one is gonna make a move like that to help the Yankees. But I think the comp is there. You probably could have kept Nunez and moved Adams in the Grander-deal

  4. MannyGeee says:

    I am hating the Youk deal less and less, especially when assorted Red Sox affiliated friends and family are telling me how overrated he is. Yeah, the same guys who are cheering for Napoli and Victorino this season.

    • Mister D says:

      It seems like an overpay in dollars (although I know necessary to beat Cleveland’s deal) but it works enough for a year. And he seems like a decent dude relative to guys like Papelbon and Pedroia and the like from back when they were good.

    • Mr. Sparkle says:

      I wouldn’t worry about what Red Sox fans say about former players. Through the years it has been the same M.O. with them. Things get tough and they turn on a former fan favorite and run him out of town, bad mouthing him all the way and continuing to do so well after they’re gone. All kinds of stories start coming out about how they were a clubhouse cancer or how they weren’t ever as important as everyone thought, etc. Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Nomar Garciaparra, Josh Beckett just to name a few. Now it’s Youkilis. I’m thinking Ellsbury or Pedroia will be next somewhere down the line.

      It always reminded me of the Mets P.R. department in reverse. Where the Mets over-hype average players as they’re coming up through their system, Boston “un-hypes” players when they’re on their way out the door.

  5. Knoxvillain says:

    From the MLBTR 2014 FA List

    “Derek Jeter (40)”

    Jesus Christ.

    • MannyGeee says:

      Kendrys Morales is only 30? wow

    • GoNavy-BeatArmy says:

      Yet we’re about to sign Ichiro until he’s 41…

      • vin says:

        Ichiro could be 31 if he tried to.

      • CountryClub says:

        I’d prefer Ichiro for 1 yr too. But if the deal is front loaded, I guess that would be OK. Sherman is saying 2 yrs at maybe 12-14 mil. What if he gets 10 mil in 13 and 2 mil in 14? That wouldnt be the end of the world.

        • Magilla Gorilla Mama Called me Roy tho says:

          for purposes of the $189M budget, two years totalling $13M would have an AAV of $6.5M no matter how Yankees and Ichiro sliced it.

          That is why the Yankees could not make a three year deal with Cano that would be something like $25M for 2013, $%M for 2014 and $30M for 2015.

          • CountryClub says:

            Oh I underdstand that. My point was that Ichiro next yr at 2 mil won’t be anything to complain about. His performance will probably justify a deal that small.

            • GoNavy-BeatArmy says:

              The point is he would be taking 6.5 out of the 189 in 2014 that he shouldn’t be. It would almost be better to pay him $13 million in 2013.

              • CountryClub says:

                That (189 cap) was never my point. Yes, I get why some fans would be upset about that. My point is, Ichiro as a 4th Ofer at 2 or 3 mil in 14 most likely would be a good deal. But obviously this is all guess work right now because we don’t even know what the deal is.

                I’m still hoping for a 1 yr contract.

                • Rick says:

                  What he’s trying to say though is that while you may be making a good point that Ichiro may be worthwhile on the equivalent of a $2M deal in year 2, signing him for 2 years completely messes up next year. Therefore, the point you’re trying to make is irrelevant and a 2 year deal, even one that is front loaded, is not a deal the Yankees should consider.

                  • CountryClub says:

                    How many times do I have to write that I get the issues with the cap? I was just trying to come up with some sort of possible positive with him getting 2 years. I am very much on board with them only giving him a 1 yr deal.

                  • CountryClub says:

                    Rick, sorry to come off like a prick.

        • GoNavy-BeatArmy says:

          AAV counts against the cap, not each year’s salary. No advantage to a front-loaded contract unless the subsequent years are team/mutual options which count as new contracts.

  6. CountryClub says:

    “They’re going to need three starting pitchers, two outfielders, a catcher, maybe a third baseman, maybe a shortstop, maybe a second baseman, maybe a DH, and various relievers and bench players next offseason.”

    I think Slade or Austin (or both) will be on the team in 14. Barring injury, Montgomery will definitely be in the 14 pen. If Adams stays healthy in 13, I think he’ll be on the team in 14. And then there’s still Robertson, Nunez, Nova & Phelps (plus possibly Hughes and Joba). I have no idea what the results will be, but I think next yr will have a home grown heavy roster.

    • GoNavy-BeatArmy says:

      Love the optimism…

      • CountryClub says:

        I dont know if it’s optimism; just being realistic based on the age/performance of some of those players and the 189 cap.

        Barring injury or falling off a cliff statistically, I think Austin and Montgomery are locks for 14. I’m sure some people will argue with me about Austin, but if he hits close to like he has, he will be on the team. The Yanks need a corner OFer and he fits the bill.

        • Preston says:

          I think the Yankees are definitely planning on filling one OF spot internally next year. They have Mesa, Almonte and Dickerson at AAA, and will have Slade, Austin, Flores at AA, they need two of those guys to put up numbers worthy of getting to the big league club next season. I think we definitely have the players to fill our bench internally between the OFers, CoJo, Adams, Nunez, Romine, Cervelli, Stewart and Murphy. So offensively we’d need an OFer, C, and DH candidate (assuming we bring back Cano).
          The big question is how many of the pitching slots can we fill internally. If we can fill three starting spots with Nova, Phelps, Pineda, Warren, Marshall, Turley and Banuelos and maybe have one or two of the guys who don’t make the rotation move to the pen, along with guys like Montgomery and Whitley we only need one SP and one back end reliever to either close or set-up for Robertson. We’d have plenty of money to fill all of those positions adequately through FA. However if we only fill one or two of those rotation spots, and can’t get an OFer then we’d likely have to dumpster dive for a cheap stop-gap options.

          • CountryClub says:

            We’re on the same page. Although I’d be surprised if a couple of those pitchers you mentioned ever pitched in NY. Also, Banuelos will miss most or all of this yr, so he won’t be a candidate for 14.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              Sure he is. He might not make it, but he’s a candidate.

              • Preston says:

                Yeah, we need pitchers for all of 2014, not just opening day. Filling out a rotation is easy in February. But if we stick Phelps, Nova and Pineda in the rotation, we’re probably going to need somebody else at some point. Banuelos will probably start throwing towards the end of next season, see some action in winter ball, go to ST, probably get sent to AAA and he could realistically be a rotation candidate by mid-season.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  I know that this one will be controversial, but Betances is certainly a candidate for the BP and maybe even the rotation. Not nearly as strong as this time last year, but still has a chance to contribute even if it gets a little rocky at times. Even taking a pessimistic view he’s got to have Farnsworth-esque potential still.

                  • The Big City of Dreams says:

                    No bullpen for Manny please

                    • Preston says:

                      I don’t understand this. Joba Chamberlain was a one time incident. Using a young guy in the bullpen is a perfectly legitimate way to use a talented pitcher who doesn’t have a spot in the rotation yet. They did it with Phil Hughes, and they did it with David Phelps, the Rays did it with David Price and Matt Moore. Especially since Manny will be on an innings count coming off of surgery if starts hitting his limit towards the end of 2014 why not bring him up in the pen and let him get his feet wet.

                    • Hughes was put in the pen and it threw him off in 2010 and 2011. We have to see how it affects Phelps this season. The kid is already rehabbing from TJ. I don’t want anything else on his plate.

                    • Preston says:

                      Your assuming a lot. Young pitchers have ups and downs. You’re only saying that pitching in the bullpen threw him off because it fits your narrative. 2010 was Hughes best season, if you wanted to view it through a different prism you could say that his success in the bullpen taught him how to get big league pitchers out so that he could be successful the following year. I don’t know what his injuries and ineffectiveness in 2011 have to do with his time in the pen. It’s not like he wore down at the end of the year because of the workload increase the year before, he wasn’t good from the start.

                    • The Big City of Dreams says:

                      I’m not doing it to fit my narrative. He went to the pen, his secondary pitches took a step back, he got cutter happy, and struggled after rejoining the rotation. He wore down in the second half of 2010 after pitching a career high in innings and it affected him the next yr.

                      The Yankees have enough problems when it comes to pitches. The last thing they should do is make things worse.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Agreed completely. This is the sort of analysis a Yankees’ blog needs.

          • entonces says:

            Yankees definitely have the talent to fill seven roster spots with first and second year homegrowns in 2014. The question is whether they have the foresight, discipline and patience to break them in. Some of that will have to start this year. But if Yanks can’t find six or seven young contributors within system it’s garbage time on the free agent market.

          • Bo Knows says:

            Nova is probably one of the two pitchers (along with CC) that are probably going to in the rotation.

            I feel confident that Pineda will be back pitch effectively (I’ve written my reasons on this site so many times I won’t do it again)

            I bet they’ll resign Phil to a 4-5 year deal at reasonable money and then let their be a battle for the 5th spot with prospects and/or cheap Vet FA signing.

            • Laz says:

              Pitching is pretty shallow next winter. Aside from a 39 yo Dickey and Garza it is a bunch of wildcards in Josh Johnson, Lincecum, Johan, Ervin, etc.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Totally agreed. It’s not too optimistic to assume that not everything will go wrong. That’s the new normal around here, though. It’s somehow reasonable on this board to assume that no prospect will ever work out and the Yankees will never be able to trade any of their prospects.

          • The Big City of Dreams says:

            No one is saying everything will go wrong

            • Ted Nelson says:

              Mike said that the Yankees should assume they will get no help from the farm system, and will have to fill all holes through trades.

              Many other people seem to assume the worst as well, though. Read the comments. People are talking about a total collapse below.

        • The Big City of Dreams says:

          It’s optimism

  7. GoNavy-BeatArmy says:

    Wondering if there is any chance Cleveland will trade Santana for a bunch of hitting prospects…

    They have their pitchers in Bauer, maybe they will take Sanchez/Williams/et al for Santana…

    • vin says:

      I don’t know enough about their system, but rebuilding teams don’t typically trade switch hitting, stud catchers with 5 more years of team control. Those kind of guys are so hard to find, that he’s probably worth more than what a team like the Yankees are willing to offer. I know it’s not fair to put this comparison on him, but Santana is on the road to being another Jorge Posada. He obviously has a long way to go, but his tools seem to match up with Jorge’s.

      • GoNavy-BeatArmy says:

        He’d definitely be a player to build around, but honestly, can you see them winning in the next 3-4 years? While you could certainly make the argument to keep him (and if he was a Yankee, he’d be going nowhere), but if you could flip him for 3-4 players, it may be best in the long-term.

        I seriously doubt he is off the table. Sanchez/Williams/Nova should at least get the discussion started. It would certainly take a lot to get him, but Sanchez could replace him in a few years and it could net them a long-term outfield with pitching help.

        • vin says:

          It’s hard to speculate with a team like that. One day they’re pursuing veterans like Reynolds, Youkilis, Victorino and Swisher, and the next day they’re interested in young players like Bauer, Stubbs and Worley.

          Seems to me that they need to develop a clear plan. They might be going through an identity crisis, not unlike the Royals with the Shields trade.

          If I was them, I’d take an honest look at the farm system and try to make a determination if they need more players, or if they have enough talent. If the former, then I’d look to acquire as much young cheap talent as possible (which may include trading Santana), but if its the latter, then I’d look to extend Santana even beyond what he’s already signed for.

    • Chris Widger says:

      Isn’t that exactly the type of trade that got us into this mess?

      • YanksFanInBeantown says:

        No, it is not.

      • GoNavy-BeatArmy says:

        Trades did not get us into this mess. It has always been our fantastic job of overpaying for FA’s and signing every player to 7-8-9-10 year deals. Trading for Granderson was a great move then and would still be if it weren’t for this 189 arrangement that came after the trade. Now they can’t resign him (likely) and it looks like a dumb trade.

        However, trading for a player with 5 years of team control has NOTHING to do with any current problem. If anything, that would be breaking our trend.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          It’s hard to maintain that the Yankees should not sign guys to long-term deals and that the Granderson deal would look better if they signed him to a long-term deal…

          Other than A-Rod, who is on a long-term deal that you don’t want? CC? Tex? Those are the only three players currently on long-term deals. Teixiera hasn’t worked out as well as expected, but he was a truly elite player when they added him. CC has been worth every penny to me.

          • GoNavy-BeatArmy says:

            There is probably no deal I wasn’t a fan of at the time and simply because we could afford a mistake without the 189 issue. It’s only now that we are trying to take the payroll down that each of these big contracts that didn’t work out to their potential is looking harsh.

            IMO, any contract that leads to a parade down the Canyon of Heroes is worth it to me. It just some have put us in a bind with the current luxury tax issues.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              I still don’t think the CC contract looks harsh.

              You keep referring to “some”… but it’s two contracts.

              • Bubba says:

                it’s three Ted and it’s not the number of contracts but their “footprint” if you will. If we had 25 10yr contracts with an AAV of 4MM, wouldn’t be much of an issue. A-Rod and Tex are albatross contracts. CC has a better than average chance to be an albatross contract. If the Yankees pay Cano what’s been floated around, that will become an albatross contract.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  They’re doomed! CC is terrible!

                  • YanksFanInBeantown says:


                  • Bubba says:

                    Didn’t even come close to saying that. Nice douchey response though. You appear to have some level of intelligence. Why you choose to obscure it with your grade-A douchiness is beyond me.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      If you want a veteran SP with CC’s track record, that’s what you’re going to pay. It’s totally in-line with market value.

                      Same for Cano.

                      While Tex isn’t earning his contract, he’s still contributing. He’s still 6th in fWAR among 1B since 2010.

                      If you have a philosophy that no player is ever worth signing in FA, that’s great. That doesn’t mean it’s right.

                    • Bubba says:

                      Isn’t that a much nicer response? While what you say is true, you choose to ignore the big picture. The Yankees have a budget, wacky as that may sound. When more than a third of the budget is committed to 3 players on a 25 man roster, it limits options. When 2 of those players (maybe all 3) are showing various stages of decline, well that just makes the situation worse. Remember that the market is not always right over the long term. Ask most people who bought a house in 2005 how they feel about it.

                      Free agent contracts are necessary to field a championship team in my opinion. I just feel the downside to long term contracts is greater than most here are acknowledging.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      No, I understand that.

                      I will take CC’s production at that cost, and fill other holes cheaper rather than sign a Kyle Lohse for a bit less money to get less production. He isn’t earning the money, but the Yankees gave Tex so much because this is his downside. Short of serious injury, this was about the low end of what he’d give them. That’s the risk you take if you want to get elite veteran players.

                      So, to me the A-Rod deal is the only crazy deal that’s gotten us “into this mess.”

                    • Preston says:

                      Signing players long term limits your options. But not giving out long term contracts also limits your option. Because the best players will get long term contracts. Is the A-Rod contract particularly bad, sure, but the other option is to let every good player walk. Which isn’t particularly appealing either. Our new budget is considerably more than most other teams, even if you count Alex’s contract as a sunk cost, which I’m not quite ready to do, so it’s not exactly time to start running the team like the Marlins. And I fundamentally disagree about Tex, the FA dollar to WAR value currently sits at over 5 million. So even if he only averages about 2 WAR for the next four years he’s not exactly an Albatross. There is very little reason to be upset about the CC contract, he has 6/144 left on his deal, which quite frankly seems below market right now. I wouldn’t trade him straight up for Greinke and the deal they just signed him to.

                    • Bubba says:

                      I see where both of you are coming from but have to respectfully disagree. This may be Tex’s low but it may not. If he averages 2 WAR like Preston mentioned I’d say that’s the definition of an albatross.

                      The Yankees are in this situation (mess isn’t a term I’d use) because the rules changed (CBA) and they have some large long term deals.

        • LK says:

          Nothing got us into this mess because the only reason the mess really exists is that ownership has mandated a payroll cut. If the Yankees could spend $220M on the 2014 team, there would be any number of ways to put a quality squad on the field. This crisis is self-imposed.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            What crisis?

          • Laz says:

            Well people have been complaining about the lack of young hitters on the team. That is from trading away all the prospects.

            • GoNavy-BeatArmy says:

              Like who? We trade away Austin Jackson (did great this year, but sucked it up last year) and received Curtis Granderson (consistent HR hitter). We traded Montero (who has been far from amazing in Seattle) for Pineda (who has done nothing in NY, but could still be a big chip when he gets back healthy). That’s it…

              Please do explain the rest of “all the prospects” we have traded away of late and how exactly that relates to the “mess” or “crisis”…

      • Ted Nelson says:

        What mess? Winning 95 games a year?

      • Not at the table Carlos says:

        What got us into this mess has been an inability to develop our prospects into productive Major Leaguers.

        The failure to develop minor league talent directly correlates to over-spending for free agents and taking bigger risks than they wouldn’t otherwise take if they felt they had an alternative in their farm system.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          They’ve developed quite a few players, actually. They’ve just chosen to trade some and got unlucky with Pineda’s injury.

          You also need to look at this in context. How many other non-early first rounders are other teams developing?

          I will bet you that a home-grown team including Cano, Gardner, AJax, Melky, Montero, IPK, Hughes, Nova, Phelps, DRob, Joba, Coke, Nunez, Cervelli, Adams, CoJo… would compete with just about any team, especially adjusting for draft position.

  8. Chris Widger says:

    It’s going to be a very interesting season for Phil. If he repeats we might be able to fit him in with Granderson or Cano going. If he’s better than that, looking at Anibal Sanchez’s demands, the Yankees won’t have much of a chance.

  9. Yes man says:

    Hooray! We can sign AJ next year! Oh, glory days…….

  10. vin says:

    I still can’t believe Arizona gave up on Bauer that easily… good job by Cleveland.

    • Knoxvillain says:

      I think I remember reading or hearing something about him and his work ethic. I’m pretty sure he pissed off his coaches in the minors because he refused to do something they asked him to do if I recall correctly.

      • YanksFanInBeantown says:

        Apparently he was refusing to cut back on his extensive long tossing and he wasn’t listening to Miguel Montero’s game plan because he trusted himself more.

        It’s not a work ethic issue, it’s a “being 21 years old” issue

        • vin says:

          Or, as I alluded to below, it’s a “hey, this is who I am, this is what got me here, take it or leave it” issue. Apparently they left it.

          Gregorious better hit.

      • vin says:

        Yeah, they’ve openly expressed concerns about his attitude. But you’d figure they would have had a good handle on his “works well with others” skills prior to selecting him 3rd in the draft. Seems like a major screw-up to me.

        Someone else may know more about it than me, but it was common knowledge prior to the draft that he is very cerebral with how he approaches preparation, training and pitching. He doesn’t just go out there and throw the way so many young, talented pitchers do. They had to know that if they mess with his process, he’s not going to be happy. I believe SI did an article about him when he was still at UCLA.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          That might not be the only reason they soured on him. There are a lot of possible explanations. He’s walked a lot of batters at every level as a pro.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Not to say they are right or wrong. Just that it’s a big assumption they only didn’t like him for that reason.

            • Preston says:

              Of all the reasons that they’ve floated for trading him, not throwing strikes better be the only one that actually entered into the process. If this was a one time thing I’d tend to believe that the rest of it is media hype. But they’ve cited personality reasons for getting rid of Drew and Young, and that’s apparently why they’ve been shopping Upton. Even if all the things they say are true, maybe they shouldn’t vocalize it so much because they are devaluing their assets.

        • Dr. Jake Rosenstein says:

          Jerry DiPoto drafted him. Apparently, Kevin Towers disagrees with his evaluation of Bauer’s ability to reach his ceiling. I’d trust Towers’ opinion more than DiPoto. But it was a risky deal for Arizona to make.

  11. Mister D says:


    • GoNavy-BeatArmy says:

      Yup, Cano is going to make $50 million over the next 10 years — I’m pretty sure he wants that for 2 years.

    • jjyank says:

      It’s sad that I had to look at your handle to know that you’re joking, because someone out there probably thinks this way.

      • Knoxvillain says:

        Since the Winter Meetings the boards have really sucked. I can’t differentiate between the trolls and idiots anymore.

        • jjyank says:

          Yeah, I feel ya. I’d imagine it’ll calm down as the offseason starts to down-shift into a lower gear.

          • Knoxvillain says:

            Hopefully it will be soon. It’s gotten to the point where if it isn’t a regular poster posting I don’t even pay attention to it.

            • jjyank says:

              On the flip side though, yelling at the trolls can be entertaining on occasion.

              But when I woke up this morning and saw the Youkilis thread had over 300 comments, I didn’t even skim it. Threads with that many comments are almost always bad news.

              • Knoxvillain says:

                It is pretty amusing, but I usually don’t stay around for it. I haven’t been back in that Youkilis thread after I read the first 20 or so comments.

                • Mister D says:

                  Its theraputic for me to do that every once in a while. Just assume any caps or run-ons are me letting out a little rage.

                  (Also, I think there’s another Mister D here. Pretty sure I saw something and thought “uh-oh, is this a double name or is someone faking to be me”. But it was normal, so I imagine its an overlapping name. We’ll probably need a dance off to solve everything.)

        • Klemy says:

          I’d even stretch it going back to last year in some cases.

    • Tom Zig says:

      If only you included a “GO YANKEES!!!!” at the bottom.

  12. Mystery Team says:

    I’m already a fan of the 2014 Yankees. They’ll be like those loveable misfits from Major League.

    The cardboard cutout of Hal losing another part of his 3-piece suit after each improbable win will really bring the guys together.

  13. Hank says:

    The writer would prefer a 200 strikeout, weak average hitting, poor defensive third base option in Mark Reynolds rather than a former MVP candidate, proven leader, and strong defensive player in Youlilis. Reminds me that you don’t need any qualifications or intelligence to write a blog. Last time reading this crap for me.

    • Knoxvillain says:

      Adam Dunn and Curtis Granderson also strike out 200 times a year and Reynolds has 40 home run power. Youkilis has health problems and hasn’t been good in a few seasons, and his glove isn’t that great.

      Please leave.

      • Steve (different one) says:

        Hasn’t been good in “one” season. If the yanks got Youk’s 2011, it would be the steal of the offseason.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          And even last season he put up a .339 wOBA after going to Chicago.

        • Knoxvillain says:

          Youk played 120 games in 2011 and his numbers weren’t that great. His career high in games played is 147 and that was seven years ago. Even in 2010 when you say he would be the “steal of the off season,” he barely played in 100 games.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            2010 is not 2011, by the way. He played 120 games in 2011. He put up 3.7 fWAR. He was the 3rd best 3B in baseball by fWAR. What exactly are your standards here?

            2010 he only played in 102 games, but his managed 4.1 fWAR.

            Player 1 can play in fewer games and still have a much bigger positive impact on his team than Player 2.

          • Steve (different one) says:

            Yes, I am saying if the Yanks got 120 games of .258/.373/.459 it would be a steal. 3.7 WAR in 2011 certainly qualifies as “good” under any reasonable definition.

        • Klemy says:

          I’m sitting here with my feel on the signing too. We could conceivably get a much better season this year from him. I don’t doubt it and I like this better than signing Reynolds. I don’t care if I end up in the minority. I’m not a Reynolds fan at all.

    • jjyank says:

      Reynolds is durable at least. I didn’t really have a preference on which one they sign, but disagreeing with Mike does not mean that you’re oh-so-smart. If you don’t like the blog, you can get the fuck out. And don’t take the time to comment if it’s so terrible.

      • Klemy says:

        We don’t have to agree with his opinion, but his right to express it is still there. He shouldn’t have to jump right to “get out” just because he disagrees with or criticizes Mike.

        • jjyank says:

          He went past disagreeing and on to insulting. And that’s bullshit. We get a ton of quality writing on this site at no charge at all. Don’t insult the guy’s intelligence because you disagree with him.

          People disagree all the time. Ted Nelson did himself further down, and I’m not telling him to get out. Big difference there.

          • Andy Pettitte's Fibula (formerly Manny's BanWagon) says:

            Last week, Mike mentioned in a one of his blogs about how inflated the price of free agents was so far this offseason.

            Ted disagreed with him and said:

            “If you really don’t understand why he made more as a FA than he did when cost controlled, it’s time to turn over the blog.”

            While Hank above was more overtly obnoxious, the sentiment was pretty similar. My question was where were you then calling for him to “get out?”

            • Mike HC says:

              To be fair, Ted Nelson has been told to “get out” more times than is reasonable to count.

            • jjyank says:

              I was talking about this specific instance. I personally found Hank’s comment much more obnoxious. I didn’t realize that I had an obligation to do that anyway. I thought he was a bit out of line, and I said so. All there is to it.

              “Reminds me that you don’t need any qualifications or intelligence to write a blog. Last time reading this crap for me.”

              Considering how much great content we get here (free of charge), I think that’s out of line. You can disagree with me, but I will be happy to not see this guy post again.

              • Andy Pettitte's Fibula (formerly Manny's BanWagon) says:

                I don’t disagree with your sentiment that someone making such an obnoxious and insulting comment against Mike, who consistently does an excellent job whether or not you agree with his points of view, should leave rather than insulting him. I think you are one of the more level headed and thoughtful commenters around here in fact.

                My point was that you used your boy, Mr Personality himself, as an example as how to disagree without being insulting or obnoxious and that example couldn’t possibly be any further off base.

                TN essentially questioned Mike’s intelligence by stating he should turn over his blog to someone else if he didn’t understand such a rudimentary concept. That’s pretty insulting, obnoxious, uncalled for and out of line where I come from.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              I stand behind that statement. Mike knows full well that cost controlled players are paid sub-market prices. To use a free agent coming off a career year to wrap up his arb years as an example of inflation is ridiculous.

              That you keep quotes of what I say or even go back to look it up is pathetic.

              • Andy Pettitte's Fibula (formerly Manny's BanWagon) says:

                You can say or stand behind whatever you want.

                Whether or not your point to Mike was vaild is not the issue. The fact that you made your point in your typically obnoxious, condescending and insulting manner is however.

                jjyank used you as an example as how to disagree with someone without being insulting or obnoxious which is about as ridiculous as using Jerry Sandusky as an example of someone who you’d think would make a good Principal of an all boys elementary school.

    • Captain says:

      former MVP candidate (last in 2008, since then .267/.373/.477), proven leader (who had issues with his manager last season) and strong defensive player (who has been moved off his position the last couple of years and hasn’t stayed healthy in the field)

      • Ted Nelson says:

        The original comment was too strong, but the guy he disagreed with was Bobby Valentine and almost anyone would consider being moved from 1B to 3B a complement.

      • Steve (different one) says:

        Youk put up 10 WAR in 2009-2010. Maybe not “MVP”, but he’s been very, very good after 2008.

        People are acting like he is 40.

        • Captain says:

          i think very good in 09-10. hes been on the decline the last couple of years which we can all agree. i don’t think hes toast though, if he can stay healthy i think he still bring it with the bat which is what they need.

    • Mr. Sparkle says:

      Actually, he also wants Drew Stubbs in the lineup, who struck out 205 times in 2011. Imagine Granderson, Stubbs and Reynolds in the same lineup? Two players who have eclipsed 200 strikeouts in recent seasons (Reynolds three times with a 196 also thrown in there) and one in Granderson who missed the mark by five last year. Even if Granderson was dealt for Stubbs, two guys in the lineup that strikeout at that rate are too many unproductive at-bats for my taste. Didn’t they have enough of those without the strikeouts last season? I’m relieved Reynolds went elsewhere.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Because just making contact is better than making quality contact!!!

        • Mr. Sparkle says:

          Actually, yes. A strikeout is the most unproductive at-bat you can have. It doesn’t even, at the very least, move a runner up one base. It can’t score a runner from third with less than two out. It can’t create the possibility of an error. Everyone just stands around watching.

          Anyone who watched any games last season (last two seasons actually) could tell you one of their biggest problems was moving runners along and particularly getting them home from third with less than two out. When someone strikes out, without a passed ball, none of that happens. If those three guys (Granderson, Stubbs and Reynolds) were ever in the lineup at the same time I wouldn’t even want to imagine how stagnant and boring the offense would be aside from the occasional home run.

          Hey, I like home runs as much as the next guy. But I despise strikeouts. It’s possible to have an even mix, but with Reynolds and Stubbs, in my opinion, there’s too many strikeouts and not enough of anything else.

          • Mike Axisa says:

            The Yankees had the ninth lowest strikeout rate in baseball last season. They weren’t a problem at all, and one of the biggest offenders (Swisher) is leaving.

            • Mr. Sparkle says:

              I never said their problem moving runners up and scoring them from third with less than two out was because of their high strikeout rate. I just said that adding two players that strikeout at the rate of Reynolds and Stubbs would make it worse. Forcing people to make plays is always potentially better than handing them an out without the fielders having to move an inch. Remember the ARod walk-off muffed pop-up against the Mets a couple years ago? An example where just making contact instead of striking out won the game. Can anyone cite an example where a strikeout was the better option? Probably not.

              • Mike Axisa says:

                Can anyone cite an example where a strikeout was the better option? Probably not.

                How many rally killing double plays has Jeter hit into the last three years?

                • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

                  Probably about many as Tex/Swish/Grandy strikeouts with runners on second/third and 1 or less outs.

                  Your point is valid, but it goes both ways.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    Yeah, but no one on here has really tried to quantify it. People keep claiming ks are the worst thing ever without backing it up with actual evidence.

                    • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

                      Agreed, but there are also people who claim all outs are equal, which is also untrue.

                      Situation, situation, situation. Sometimes K’s are the worst type of out possible, sometimes grounders are.

                      You can either look at it from a minimizing potential damage viewpoint that K’s are always just one out (barring strike em out throw em out DP) but will never score a run or advance a runner, or a maximizing potential benefit point of view that grounders or fly balls can produce a run or advance a runner, but could also result in multiple outs.

                      In summary: situation.

                    • Mr. Sparkle says:

                      My evidence is a lifetime of watching and playing baseball. I guess I’m testifying as an expert witness. There’s not necessarily a statistic to quantify everything. I hate repeating myself, but here goes. Nothing happens when a player strikes out. True that sometimes a ball put in play results in a double play. That might be an instance where a strikeout would be better. However, there are usually far more strikeouts in a season than a double plays.

                      Keep in mind that it seems some players amplify the amount of strikeouts in the post season, when facing better pitching staffs. That was clearly the case with both Granderson and Reynolds last year.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      There are statistics to quantify what you’re talking about…

                    • YanksFanInBeantown says:

                      RE24, [insert expletive of choices here]! Assigns linear weights to every outcome of an at bat depending on the situation. For example Robbie had a 30.6 RE24 vs. his context neutral 44.4 wRAA due to his struggles with RISP.

                • Mr. Sparkle says:

                  There’s always the chance Jeter beats it out…or someone muffs the relay…or anything. With a strikeout, none of that is happening. How many times has a routine DP grounder been hit that didn’t result in a DP? Many. Some probably even resulted in a run simultaneously crossing the plate. Wasn’t happening with a strikeout.

                  I’ll even help you out. 1941 World Series and Mickey Owen. The only time I can think off-hand where a strikeout actually (might) have helped. Of course, we don’t know if Henrich hit a grounder to second that Pete Coscarart would have made an error and had his name go down in infamy.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    Get real. It’s not a matter of comparing just one K to one groundball.

                    • Mr. Sparkle says:

                      Actually, that’s what Mike tried to do…not me. Fact is nothing good happens when a player strikes out. The only thing that has to be done is have the catcher catch the ball. Once you involve more players, the greater the chance someone screws up somewhere. I don’t have to quantify it with some crazy stat. It’s plain and simple logic.

                      Situation: Runner on third and one out.
                      Batter strikes out: nothing.

                      Batter hits ground ball: possible run.
                      Batter hits fly ball: possible run.

                      I guess what it boils down to is that some people don’t mind watching players on their team strikeout a lot. I personally hate it.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      It’s not simple logic. You have to compare the probability of an error (Jeter isn’t beating many DPs) against the probability that the next batter does something productive (and in the one out situation, the next two).

                      You are taking one of many possible situations. The default situation in baseball is not runners on second and third and one out.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      You’re also focusing exclusively on the results. The batter doesn’t know what the result of his swing is before he takes it. He doesn’t decide to K or hit a ground ball before the pitch is thrown.
                      He just takes what he feels is the best swing he can, if he in fact decides to swing. So, again, you get into really complex stuff. What are the benefits of taking Ps you don’t think will be strikes vs. swinging at them? Should you put a “defensive” swing on the ball to try to make contact (possibly increasing your chances of making contact)? Should you take a solid swing (possibly K’ing more, but making better contact more often as well)? Should you be changing your swing by situation or just taking a consistent approach?

              • NYCSPORTZFAN says:

                I agree with u.. Reynolds is a terrible hitter, and never was a better hitter then Kevin Youkilis, and never will be, unless maybe ur talking a fluke yr or something.. We needed a guy who could possibly hit in the 280-290 range, with some pop, and Reynolds only hit a few more HR’s then Youk last yr, with a lower AVG.. I’ll gurantee Youk dose’ t hit 235 this yr.. I bet at worst, he’ll hit in the 260-270range, and i think playing for a contract, and if healthy, will have a monster yr..

                Reynolds would be hated by seasons end, and with Youk, at least we got the chance of a big all around season.. Ur getting a boatload of K’s and a low AVG from Reynolds gurateed, and who knows if hes gonna hit a ton of hrs either, becasue hes so patheic on D, he’ll probably be taken out often..

        • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

          It certainly can be when you have a runner at third and one or less outs. Weakly hit grounders can plate runs, strikeouts can’t. Not speaking out against Reynolds, or Granderson in particular, just pointing out that all outs are not equal.

          • Mike Axisa says:

            Weakly hit grounders can also result in multiple outs on the same play, yet that part seems to escape people.

            • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

              Yes, they can. There are obviously situations where one would prefer a strikeout to a GIDP.

              My point is grounders and fly balls have the potential to be productive outs, their best case scenario is a run scored or a runner advanced. Strikeouts are never productive outs (unless the catcher somehow lets the ball by him, not going to happen frequently). Their best case scenario is an out.

              There’s no cut and dry “this type of out is better than this type”, it’s all situational. But saying that all outs are the same is just patently false.

              • YanksFanInBeantown says:

                Are there situations other than bases loaded or first and third where you would prefer a GIDP to a K?

                • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

                  Obviously not, a GIDP is only better than a K when there are no outs and a run scores. You can’t assume that every ground ball hit is going to be a GIDP though. Putting balls in play forces fielders to make plays. You have a better chance of an infielder booting a grounder or failing to turn two than you do of a catcher dropping a 3rd strike then failing to throw the batter out at first.

                  • YanksFanInBeantown says:

                    A ground ball to second is more likely to result in 2 outs than it is an error. A strikeout is always just one out.

                    • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

                      So you would rather every out made is a strikeout then, because “it’s always just one out”? Feel free to have that view, I just simply disagree.

                      Putting a ball into play is not always a grounder to 2B. It can be a grounder anywhere, a fly ball anywhere or even a weak pop up. It forces a player to make a play. They could boot it or, God forbid, it could even be a base hit! Sometimes it will be just as unproductive as a K, sometimes it will be worse, sometimes it will score a run.

                      Basically you’re looking at it from a minimizing potential damage point of view and I’m looking at it from a maximizing potential benefit point of view. But either point of view only serves to prove my original point that all outs are not equal. Situation is key.

                    • YanksFanInBeantown says:

                      You’re right that all outs are not equal and situation is key, what I was taking issue with was the idea that Ks are inherently the worst type of out, as often they are less damaging than ground ball outs. (They are definitely worse than popouts and fly outs).

                    • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

                      So we’re really on the same page here for the most part. Strikeouts aren’t by default the worst type of out, but I’d still be less than thrilled to have three 200K+ hitters in the starting lineup.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Exactly how is Youkilis a proven leader? And he sure as hell doesn’t qualify as a strong defensive player at the hot corner anyway. His previous MVP merits mean nothing right now. They sure aren’t helping A-Rod.

      • YanksFanInBeantown says:

        Youk has been a clubhouse leader since ’06.

      • NYCSPORTZFAN says:

        and how does Reynolds and his 221BA and 200K’s make u think hes better then Youkilis? Mark Reynolds sucks, and is exactly the player that Andruw Jones would be, if u gave em as many AB’s, offensivley anyways.. Screw that, i’d rather take the chance, u can get a healthy yr outta Youk, and possibly get a solid all aroud season… Reynolds is horrible…

  14. Athenian says:

    Wow. If that is the 2014 FA pool to choose from, the Yankees may need to rethink their current plan to field a competitive team.

    • Joba is Einhorn...Einhorn is Joba says:

      i have to believe that there is a plan that doesn’t just involve fielding a cobbled together collection of over the hill free agents and rookies in 2014…i hope so anyway

      • Ted Nelson says:

        I think that the most reasonable thing to assume is that it involves some of that, some promotion of prospects, and some trading. Why Mike chose to ignore the other two options is beyond me. The pessimism around here is getting ridiculous.

  15. Joba is Einhorn...Einhorn is Joba says:

    if the yankees could get a similar package for granderson would you pull the trigger?

  16. YanksFanInBeantown says:

    Yeah, Reynolds is simply not a better hitter than Youk unless you assume that Youk’s true talent BABIP is ~.270 going forward.

    Youk has a higher career BB% and a far, far lower career K%, so he has consistently hit for a much higher average than Reynolds, giving him a higher career SLG% despite not having as much power.

    Over the last 3 years Youk has batted .264/.372/.472 (.246/.355/.434 over the last 2)

    Over the last 3 years Reynolds has batted .213/.326/.450 (.221/.328/.458 the last 2)

    The only advantages Reynolds has over Youk are that he stays healthy and that his BABIP was only 20 points below his career average, not 50 points like Youk’s was.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      I have a hard time buying any BABIP argument for Youkilis because of this:

      Maybe he rebounds, but the signs point to no.

      Youkilis’ walk rate has been trending in the wrong direction for a few years now and bottomed out at 10.0% this year (which is still really good). Reynolds hasn’t been below 12.0% in four years.

      Youkilis’ decline is pretty sharp (and injury-aided) and I feel much, much better about Reynolds being even a league average hitter going forward.

      • Klemy says:

        Ichiro! dislikes your opinion. (Teasing)

      • Ted Nelson says:

        That you intuit Reynolds will be a better hitter going forward doesn’t mean you should state as fact that Reynolds is a better hitter. He’s been such for all of one season, and even in that season Youkilis out-produced him once he got out of Boston. He outproduced Reynolds in Chicago with a .257 BABIP and all.

        Your argument rests on some really tenuous assumptions.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          You can’t just ignore Youkilis’ time with the Red Sox this year because it doesn’t fit your argument. It happened and he stunk.

          And what part of my argument is an assumption? Look at his walk rate, look at his numbers against RHP, look at the power, the stuff I mentioned in the post. Reynolds has Youkilis beat, pretty significantly in some of those categories.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            And he still finished all of 7 wOBA points below Reynolds for the season.

            I didn’t ignore it. I said that once he left, he outproduced Reynolds. That clearly recognizes that he played in Boston last season. Given what was going on at the time with Valentine, though, it might not be an accurate sample from which to project going forward. Projecting forward is about the hardest part of statistics. Taking a trend and assuming it will continue is necessarily an assumption.

            “he’s a better hitter than Youkilis”

            I don’t really care how the production comes. You’re looking at one season. Projecting based on that is a huge assumption. That Reynolds can even fake 3B anymore is a big assumption.

          • Preston says:

            I agree with Mike. Reynolds had a down offensive year himself. At his age positive regression isn’t just possible, it’s very likely, especially since he showed no signs of physical decline. Youkilis is four years older, but his injury history and two year statistical decline make him seem even older than that. I get get the other side of the argument, especially the glove, and I do think it’s possible Youk has a nice bounce back this season. But it’s just not what I would have done.

          • Jack P says:

            I love this blog, but I find this part awfully funny Mike.

            “You can’t just ignore Youkilis’ time with the Red Sox this year because it doesn’t fit your argument. It happened and he stunk.”

            Meanwhile I remember not too long ago, when you were trying to improve your favorite prospect’s numbers (Hughes) you will say OKAY if we can take out these two terrible starts his E.R.A will be great!!

            I’ve seen you do this with Nova and many other pitchers including somehow Burnett. Meanwhile I never see you use that method for other teams except for the Yanks.

            I have no idea how you can defend using this method… They DID pitch those games, they DID give up those runs, it’s not a grey area, it’s black and white. Every game count, even when you suck.

            Love this blog but sometimes I feel like saber-metrics is a crutch that is leaned on way too often.

      • YanksFanInBeantown says:

        I assume that his Chicago play, which was better than Reynolds, is more indicative as to how he’ll play going forward seeing as how he’ll be only mildly injured and not playing for a guy he actively dislikes while the media tries to drive him out of town.

      • Preston says:

        Totally unrelated, did you come up with the idea of having fly ball vs. ground ball infielders? Or is this something that’s being done already (probably by Maddon). It’s kind of brilliant.

  17. Seeing what the Choo landed…why wouldn’t the Yanks trade Cano*?

    *If they feel like they can’t sign him long-term.

  18. dlr says:

    “Mark Reynolds is a better hitter than Kevin Youkilis” shouldn’t be offered up like a background fact. While possible at this point in their age curves, I don’t even think it’s likely. Over their careers, Youkilis has plainly been the better hitter. Over the last three seasons, Youkilis has plainly been the better hitter. Last year, Reynolds was a moderately better hitter, but that was a year in which Youkilis produced a BABIP 54 points below his career average (vs 24 for Reynolds). It certainly could be the age curve rearing its head, but that relative performanc also falls well within the range of random deviation. Give me 600 PA from either player in 2013 and I take Youkilis and give odds.

  19. Ted Nelson says:

    “I would have preferred Mark Reynolds, but the Yankees are apparently allergic to players who have yet to experience their 30th birthday.”

    Couldn’t be that he’s physically incapable of playing 3B and a worse offensive player than Youkilis, could it? No. Must just be that they hate young players. Totally reasonable.

    “Reynolds is an awful defensive player but he’s a better hitter than Youkilis, especially in terms of hitting right-handers, drawing walks, and hitting for power.”

    He was a better hitter for all of one season, by all of 7 wOBA points. For someone who spends a lot of time analyzing stats, I would again recommend at least one intro stats class. It’s not reasonable to take one data point and project based on it.

    Youkilis has a higher BB% than Reynolds.

    3. The Diamondbacks have been rumored to be shopping Bauer all over the place, and apparently this was the best they could do. You might be right that he’s undervalued, but this seems to be his market value according to other GMs.

    4. Because it’s impossible to make a trade right? And no prospects can ever be promoted. Again, reasonable assumptions.

    Step it up, Mike. This was hard to read.

    • I am not the droids you're looking for... says:

      Yup it’s almost like Mike has been spending too much time reading the comments and not enough time thinking reasonably, digging into the stats, and, well, practicing what he usually preaches. Weird. I get that this off season hasn’t exactly been thrillsville so far but jeez Mike, snap out of it!

    • Rocky Road Redemption says:

      While I wouldn’t use your tone, Mike works really hard and runs a great blog, but I definitely agree with the meat of your comment.

    • Get Phelps Up says:

      I actually agree with lots of this. That 30th birthday comment I really felt was unnesscary and to be quite honest seemed just Like an attempt to appeal to a group of commenters here which sadly is growing by the day.

      • Mike HC says:

        Mike was just making a joke and poking fun at the Yanks propensity to tack on mid to late 30 year olds to the team every year. I actually think the Yanks have been very smart and veteran players coming off a down season continue to be underrated. But I can still laugh and poke fun at the Yanks a bit.

        To me, I would much rather have Youk than Reynolds and Youk got double the money in free agency. If Mike disagrees, that is fine, and Reynolds out performing Youk at this stage in their careers is not so unreasonable to me.

        • Get Phelps Up says:

          Probably you’re right, but it didn’t come off that way to me given the tone around here some the offseason started.

          • Mike HC says:

            Mike was hanging around a ton of MSM writers when he went to the winter meetings. He couldn’t help but to fall into the brainwashing and start spouting impending DOOM! for the OLD! Yankees. haha when in rome …

  20. Tonino says:

    Once they sign Swisher, this will be a pretty good offense…..

    Oh yeah..

  21. Athenian says:

    I think that instead of focusing on serviceable misses by the Yankees that would ultimately produce one week or one month of value, the focus of the fans should be “what the hell do they do with all that money” because it is not spend on player development.

    This is not anything new but for an organization like this, that there is very little value in the minors let alone mlb ready talent is of far more concern than the payroll mandate.

    I cannot reconcile how the front office/deciders can feel remotely good about the product they are constructing where there are so many holes and so much wasted on financial commitments for declining production.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      “there is very little value in the minors”

      This is a tenuous assumption. They have 3-5 top 50 prospects (Manny isn’t making lists while he rehabs, but he was a top 25-50 prospect entering the season). There are 30 teams in baseball. The average team will have 1.67 prospects in the top 50. They also have a lot of talent in the low-minors that isn’t really on the top prospect radar yet, but might be soon (Gumbs, Bird, Cote, Hensley, Aune, Torrens, Andujar, Santana, Aune, Camarena…).

      “let alone mlb ready talent”

      They have brought up a legit SP each of the past two seasons, and both have performed. Not to mention Montero. CoJo, Adams, Romine, Whitley, Montgomery, and Warren are all about MLB ready. Not all will work out and none is a total stud, but the aren’t likely to get a ton readier than they are.

      • Reggie C. says:

        Dont forget Rafael DePaula. I think he’s slated to start at High-A Tampa.

      • Athenian says:

        The Yankees having 3-5 top 50 prospects means very little at this point when those ratings change each year based on performance. But I don’t disagree with your comment.

        As for the talent they did bring up, I would disagree with the real success they have had. Not one of the examples provided did much to suggest the future was bright – even Montero was mediocre with Seattle.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Trade value is part of their value, and they have that right now.

          Nova was their #2 in 2011. Phelps held his own. Montero hit pretty well on the road, so it might be a Safeco issue.

    • YanksFanInBeantown says:

      Yeah, they should definitely be spending more on Player Development!!

      What? There’s a cap to both draft spending and IFA signings? So they can’t spend any more money on amateur players than they did last season?

      • Athenian says:

        See that is the problem. You assume spending money on the player is the issue or as you presented the sarcasm, a limitation. But the player is not necessarily the issue but rather the person developing the player and then ultimately misusing the player – see Joba, Hughes.

        Otherwise, based on your comment, Kei Igawa would have been greater than Ichiro.

        • YanksFanInBeantown says:

          But, by that same logic, getting the right development personnel is not the same thing as getting the most expensive people.

      • The Big City of Dreams says:

        What? There’s a cap to both draft spending and IFA signings? So they can’t spend any more money on amateur players than they did last season?


        Why did they pull back on spending before the caps were in place?

  22. Reggie C. says:

    Really hoping Prado avoids the extension bug that’ll hit several of those guys. If Ellsbury plays a full complement of games showing consistent good health through the season, and, hitting like like 2009, then bring Ellsbury to the Bronx!

    People penciling in Heathcott and Austin into 2014 lineups have got to take a pill. Lets see stellar AA performances first … ok?

    I am a fan of David Adams and among any of the hitting prospects, he’s got a chance to contribute especially if Boras ends up directing Cano to St Louis.

    • Travis L. says:

      I think we may see a Cano trade to St. Louis soon. St. Louis traded Schumaker to LAD, that leaves Descalso to man 2B. I cant see STL heading into the 2013 season with him as their second baseman. That could be the big move we have been waiting for.

      I know most here would that moving Cano would spell certain doom and I’m not sure my exact opinion on it yet (I’m flip flopping on the idea), but if they can get at least three players that could make an impact on the 2013 team and beyond, then they may hope that what offense they have could offset the loss of Cano and gain of other players. Maybe CoJo gets the nod at 2B and has an out of character year and hits .280 with 20 HR. That’s half crazy, but its BASEBALL and anything can happen!!

      • Travis L. says:

        Just like when we signed 40 year old Ibanez. It was crazy that he would give the club any sort of value…then he turns out to be clutch as hell during the playoffs. Who would have guessed that???

        Just trust your front office guys…Have faith.

        GO YANKEES!!!

  23. Travis L. says:

    Any chance that the Youk decline is attibuted to poor clubhouse chemistry? Two season ago was the great Red Sox collapse, with last season being the one that Youk allowed things to come to a head with Valentine. Maybe putting on a Yankees uniform and being able to relax around the clubhouse brings his bat and his talent back to the surface. Kinda like Ichiro in the last half of last season. Maybe Ichiro (when he re-signs) keeps up the level he played with at the end of last season and they both help the team tremendously.

    Try to stay positive guys…hell, Jeter put up an amazing 2012 campaign after everyone thought HE was done after 2010-11. Give the guys some credit, they are professionals who work hard (Youk and Ichiro) and could be very important cogs in the 2013 lineup.

  24. Mike from Jersey says:

    Like I said – with a grooming, de-lousing and flea & tick collar, I guess Puke-ilis, uh, I mean, Youkilis will work out okay for us. Welcome to the Evil Empire “Youk”.

    • bluesy says:

      You’re the expert…even made your wife presentable…she does still tend to lick herself at inappropriate moments though.
      My wonder is when they get around to roll call for third base will it be, “Oh My Fucking God.”

  25. wow says:

    Point #3 is the real kicker here. I don’t see how you replace that much of your team, stay under the $189M payroll plan, (given our contracts currently on the books for 2014), AND field a playoff contender.

  26. Dan says:

    They are not going to be able to fill out their roster via Free Agency, stay under $189 and win 90 games next season. There are a few good FAs, especially in the outfield, and some intriguing starting options. If they were willing to be in the $210-$220 range it wouldn’t be a problem.

    Their best shot at winning 90 games and staying under $189 is by young guys taking a step forward. They need Pineda to come back strong this season, and then Phelps and Nova to continue to get better (assuming they don’t trade one of them). Then the rotation would be CC, Pineda, Nova, Phelps and someone else. It could be very effective, or it could be terrible. A lot of it depends on how Pineda rebounds from injury, and if Nova can rebound from a bad season (when he may not be in the starting rotation).

    Around the field, they need Romine and Adams to do well in AAA, so they can slot them on the MLB roster. Or their team in Charleston to get to AA/AAA this season so they have a shot at the MLB roster. These are some big iffs.

    Frankly, I think this will be their last shot until 2015 (at the earliest) at contending for the WS. They have the ultimate win right now team–good older players in their last year of their contracts. They cannot get below $189 and keep these guys together. 2014 they could be a sub 85 win team. And then in 2015, the guys in Charleston will be ready, and they can fill in their roster with a strong FA class.

    • YanksFanInBeantown says:

      Austin and Heathcott should start the season in AA. If all goes right, and it rarely does with Slade, they should be up by mid 2014.

  27. Jack P says:

    “By signing all these one-year contracts, the Yankees are putting all their eggs in next winter’s free agent basket.”

    Im confused??? Don’t we also have to stay under $189 next year??? Do you mean the winter after next? Thats what you linked to, 2014 free agents, 2013 free agents are next years crop.

    • Preston says:

      No 2013 FA are this years crop. I guess you could argue that it shouldn’t be categorized that way, but that’s how MLBtraderumors does it.

      • Jack P says:

        Okay wait so let me try to get this, next years FA crop, is that when we can sign big, or are we still attempting to be under 189 million that year too?

  28. Kevin Ocala, Fl says:

    Not much of a FA class for the Yankees to look forward to, even if they spent like fiends. They damn well better hope for some seriously great advances in the minor, or else we are on the edge of being Seattle. I can’t see why they shouldn’t trade Cano and Granderson to restock the team. Both would still bring in a nice haul, with any luck filling holes that could take years to fill. No way should they break the bank for Cano next year……

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