Thursday Night Open Thread


The best position player on the free agent market finally signed today as Josh Hamilton left the Rangers for the division rival Angels. The Halos have a scary good top of the lineup with Hamilton joining Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, but they still need to work on the rotation. Jered Weaver is great, but C.J. Wilson is coming off elbow surgery, Joe Blanton isn’t anything special, and Tommy Hanson’s shoulder is mush. Need moar pitching and moar depth, as the kids say.

Anyway, here is your open thread for the evening. The Bengals and Eagles are the NFL game, plus the Knicks are playing the Lakers. Talk about either game or anything else here.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. MannyGeee says:

    Wish he woulda went to Philly, but alas. LAA might be sneaky good this year if Pujols remembers how to hit things hard and they get some pitching. Lackey might be available… Jus sayin

    • jjyank says:

      They’ll be good, but I won’t be too scared until they have a legit rotation. I wish he went to the NL too, but it is kinda funny to laugh at the Rangers for a hot minute. Baring a trade, they pretty much need to sign Swisher. I know it seems doubtful that Swisher comes back to the Yanks (even though I want him to), but I hope at the very least they help drive the price sky-high for the Rangers.

    • vin says:

      If they are good next year, I doubt it’ll be sneaky. Any team that has Trout, Pujols, Hamilton, Weaver, and Wilson stands to be pretty good.

      • NYCSPORTZFAN says:

        ya, i was thinking same thing.. sneaky can’t really include trumbo,pujols, hamilton,trout, weaver…etc Thats just plain old good..

        Hey, at least we got Bobby

      • Rivera Venue Blues says:

        Agreed. They were sneaky bad this year but it’s not gonna surprise me to see them make the playoffs next year, even before this signing.

  2. TCMiller30 says:

    Who else is pumped Dempster signed with Boston? I wish they had to go the 3rd year though.

    It’s gonna be a battle between him and Lackey to see who can keep their ERA closest to 5. That’s gonna be a race worth watching.

    • dkidd says:

      i actually think they’ve had a good off-season. they’re trying to stay competitive & build a non-toxic culture without giving up draft picks

      • Get Phelps Up says:

        They’ve been giving out some really questionable contracts though. $39M for Shane Victorino makes Ichiro for 2 years $12M look like a steal.

        • jjyank says:

          Yeah, I tend to agree. I feel like Boston is trying to pseudo-content right now. I don’t view them as the favorites at all, yet they’re throwing a lot of money around. After the trade with the Dodgers, I really thought they would back off a year or two and try to come back strong.

          I mean, it would be one thing is they pulled out a 2008-2009 Yankee offseason. But the free agent class didn’t have that caliber, and they’re spending the money anyway. It’s not like they’re signing elite players. I get that their not spending elite player money either, but they still are dropping a lot of cash on older, flawed players.

          • dkidd says:

            they’re throwing money around because they have gobs of it, and because they fielded a aaa roster last year. they were never going to do a full rebuild, and (mistakenly or not), they view rebuilding a winning clubhouse culture as important to the next wave of prospects. these aren’t albatross contracts, they owe ZERO payroll in 2016 (i think). pains me to say it, but i would rather be the red sox than the yankees right now

            • Gonzo says:

              Not giving up future assets (draft picks) and having a clean book in the not too distant future?

              I wouldn’t be surprised if the Red Sox were going to be for sale soon not the Yankees.

            • jjyank says:

              Spending money for the sake of spending money is not a good model. I am not jealous of a single player the Red Sox have signed, regardless of the construction of the Yankee roster. Napoli, a catcher who can’t catch and can DH and fake 1B? Pass. Victorino? A declining vet who’s skills are tied to legs? Pass. Dempster, an aging soft tosser who got lit up in his (admittedly SSS) stint in the AL. I don’t see the point of any of these signings for the Red Sox.

              • dkidd says:

                the point is to win in 2013 while holding on to their prospects

                napoli > loney
                ross > salty
                victorino > kalish
                dempster > doubront/morales/aceves

                • jjyank says:

                  Not really.

                  Gonzalez > Napoli
                  Ross isn’t a starting catcher.
                  Victorino is better than Kalish, but is still a declining vet.
                  Is Dempster better than those guy? I dunno. 35 year old soft tosser who got lit up in his SSS AL debut, now in the AL East. No slam dunk there.

                  • dkidd says:

                    losing gonzalez was the cost of getting rid of the crawford contract. if someone offered to take tex and a-rod for prospects, i’d be tempted

                    ross will hold lavarnway’s hand until he’s ready

                    victorino was injured in 2012

                    i hate the red sox and want them to fail, but i think cherington knows what he’s doing

                    • jjyank says:

                      Well I guess we disagree then. I think Victorino is trending downwards, Ross is a BUC and Lavarnway is no sure thing, and Gonzalez is better than Napoli (and let’s be real here, that’s who he is really replacing, not Loney). Dempster will probably get rocked in the AL East.

                      Everyone has a right to their opinion, of course, but this is mine. I don’t see the point of Boston handing out tens of millions of dollars to non-elite players at this stage.

                • TCMiller30 says:

                  Or here’s another way to look at it.

                  Crawford > Victorino
                  Gonzalez > Napoli
                  Beckett > Beckett

                  They might be better than they were at the end of 2012, but they certainly aren’t better, talent wise, than they were when Cherington took over. They have more cash flexibility and they’re spending it for the sake of spending it.

                  No thank you.

        • dkidd says:

          it’s questionable, but victorino allows them to trade ellsbury if need be

          • TCMiller30 says:

            And I absolutely hope they do. I live around Boston, and I think the feeling is that Ellsbury is going to test FA as soon as he can, so they don’t think they’ll be able to keep him here regardless.

      • Gonzo says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if the mandate from ownership was to spend but with nothing over 3 years and don’t lose picks.

  3. Big Member says:

    big member is here to analise the remaining holes in the yankees line up.

    my inside sauces told me that arizona is looking for additiona shortstops. towers the arizona gm seems to have a cashamn disorder and is looking for the next jeter. yankees should jump on this chance to plug the hole which is in the lowest part of the field. catcher.

    Yankees get: Montero
    Arizona gets: Nunez, Culver, Cervelli

    last year cashman made a very stupid trade when he sended montero to arizona for some nothingdoer pitcher who is injured. montero had a good season last year he hit 15 HR and had 88 RBI. towers would get the player he drafted in 2010, one more SS and a good replacement for cervelli. yanks may be giving too much to arizona but sometimes you just gota go the extra mile.

  4. dkidd says:

    i’m sorry to lose swisher, but i can’t wait to see what kind of facial hair he comes up with in texas (or philly or boston or cleveland…)

  5. Pistol Pete says:

    Wow, Hamilton in the AL in LA, Dempster to Boston and we’re pinching pennies until 2014. The only way to save the off season would be to get Stanton. He won’t cost money just a lot of players. Cashman should do everything to get him. He would still be under the 2014 budget and use free agency at that point to fill the holes. We’ve lost Martin Swisher Soriano and Arod and replaced them with Mo at 43 coming off an Acl and Youkalis coming off a year where he hit 235. Next year we could lose Granderson and Cano and look very weak very quickly. Cashman needs to get off his ass

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      Angels have lost Haren and Greinke and replaced them with Joe Blanton.

    • jjyank says:

      You’re really that upset about Hamilton at 5 years and Dempster at all?

      • Havok9120 says:

        Its Pistol Pete. This is his job. He’s going to be especially ticked when he learns that, for the full benefit of revenue sharing, the team actually has to stay under the cap until 2015.

        • Pistol Pete says:

          Then go get Stanton, if the Yanks sit on their asses until 2015 the stadium ‘s going to get real empty fast. Do you really think they’ll be competitive signing aging veterans and not going after controlled cheaper players like Stanton or Upton.

  6. fat jeter says:

    Who’s the right-handed platoon bat for the OF? We look a little left-handed out there. (is there one?)

  7. mrdbag says:

    Angels sign Hamilton in a phone call and we are dicking around with ichiro? Sad so sad. Angels offense is once in a generation good.

    • Havok9120 says:

      Yeah, if their three hitters actually click they’ll have a very strong top of the order and not much else as it stands. Their lineup is Trout, Pujols, Hamilton and….yeah.

      It’ll be interesting to see if they’re pretty much done or if they’re gonna blow right by the luxury tax to patch that rotation and find another bat.

      • jjyank says:

        You referenced me to a posters handle above, so I will do the same for you here. Seriously. “mrdbag”? Don’t take him seriously.

        • Havok9120 says:

          I know, I just always feel the need to respond to them when I’m bored and they aren’t being totally insane or plain rude. I really don’t know why.

          Maybe I’m hoping that the reasonable people who feel the same way will see my counter and be swayed away from the nonsense. Or maybe I’m just really, really bored. Could go either way.

          • jjyank says:

            Nah, I feel ya. I do the same thing, obviously. This isn’t exactly mrdbag’s first post here though.

            • Havok9120 says:

              Oh certainly not. I think he and Pete are now the longest tenured within the current crop of semi-trolls. Unless Rainbow Connection is still around somewhere under whatever handle he’s using this month.

              • jjyank says:

                I don’t think he is. It’s funny actually, someone posted a link to an RAB post in May a couple of threads ago. The next thread over was a game thread agains the Royals, and I read it out of boredom. It was actually very entertaining, and featured R$SP FTW (aka Rainbow Connection) at the beginning. Don’t think I’ve seen him since the end of the season though, but I fully expect him around for game 1.

                • Get Phelps Up says:

                  Rainbow Connection = Eddard?

                • Havok9120 says:

                  Yeah, we had some pretty funny threads this season. Also some truly awful ones as the season went on. Didn’t he have some variation of the word “troll” for a handle by the end of the year? It got very confusing near the end of the regular season regarding who was who.

                  So many handle swaps.

                  • jjyank says:

                    Yeah, there were quite a few. The one I read ended up being a win, and it was early enough in the season that the trolls weren’t overbearing.

                  • Get Phelps Up says:

                    The game threads in September and the playoffs were unbearable. Like literally every time the other team even got a baserunner there were 15 or so comments predicting doom and gloom.

                    • Robinson Tilapia says:

                      Worse than some of this crap lately? Debatable.

                      I hate to go on with the “old guard” stuff, but those guys were fans and fans first, regardless of what the product was or whatnot. I felt like, if there were to be 20 people at Yankee Stadium one day, they’d be among them.

                      These guys? About five minutes away from jumping ship.

  8. Cano fan #1 says:

    The yankees legend Ramiro Peña is going to the braves!!

  9. The Real Greg says:

    Watch the Astros win the division now.

    • Havok9120 says:

      It’ll never happen, but that would be awesome.

      It’ll be a lot of fun if they can pull an AL East and top the division for a week or two in April and May.

    • TCMiller30 says:

      That’d probably be a pretty huge pay out in Vegas if you were to put money on that now. Haha

      • Havok9120 says:

        Oh God. I might do that on Opening Day if the odds are good enough. Put five dollars on that and a couple other improbables and see what happens.

        I wonder what 5 bucks on an ALDS appearance for the Orioles would have netted someone last year at the start of the season?

  10. The Real Greg says:

    Just thinking about something.

    If the Indians sign Swisher, do we get their first round pick?

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      Doesn’t matter where he signs. They just get a supplemental round pick.

    • jjyank says:

      We get a comp round pick, under the new CBA. Sandwish round between the 1st and 2nd.

    • The Real Greg says:

      Never mind. Just found out. Damn it.

    • Havok9120 says:

      The picks don’t transfer directly under the new CBA. Their first round pick disappears into the void and we get an additional pick in the supplemental round.

      • The Real Greg says:

        Just found out that the top ten picks are protected so their second highest pick will disappear. That’s so BS. Got excited for a few minutes.

    • Tom says:

      I believe how that works is the Yanks get a supplemental round pick that happens between the first and second rounds, and the Indians(or whichever team signs him) just lose their top pick. I’m not 100% sure on that but that’s what I’ve come to understand regarding the new CBA and FA who were offered a qualifying offer.

      • The Real Greg says:

        I found out that since the top ten picks are protected under the new CBA, they actually lose their second highest pick which would probably be their second round pick.

    • Luisergi says:

      Nop, that pick disapears.

      The yankees get an aditional first round pick, around the 35th-40th range, i think.

  11. forensic says:

    Why don’t people want to give Ichiro 2 years? Clearly he’ll play RF this year and take one of the rotation spots next year…

  12. Havok9120 says:

    Anybody else see Michael Bourn being this year’s Prince Fielder? The media and Denizens Of Teh Interwebz have already starting piling dirt on his chances for a big multi-year deal this off season, even while saying people like Swisher and Ross are now in line to benefit from a bigger market with Hamilton gone. We already have speculation that he might take a 1 year deal to tide him over.

    It just strikes me as something we hear all the time about Boras clients a month or so before they sign some ungodly silly contract.

  13. Pistol Pete says:

    No need to worry about Hamilton or Dempster signings we just got Bobby Wilson to catch. He’s a lifetime 208/272/323 slash line with 7 lifetime home runs. Cash’s on fire.

  14. Luisergi says:

    Ichiro 2yrs-12M or AJ 1yr-say12M??

    I’d take the C, but i’ve no idea if that’s the price for Pierzynski (or whatever his name is spelled)

  15. OldYanksFan says:

    Here’s my take.
    The Yankees do not plan to be competative in 2014.
    It is time rebuild.
    A $189m payroll in 2014 saves about $20m in that year. Resetting the clock saves anther $40-$50m.
    This time allows the Yankees to look at some kids.
    This money allows some rebuilding via FA.

    Other teams are getting stronger, while ARod, Teix and CC get less productive for $70m+.

    The Fab Five are all done by 2015, maybe 2014.

    It is time to start over.

    • Havok9120 says:

      The real kicker, and the thing we all discovered when the payroll plan was announced but have now seemingly forgotten, is that to get the most out of this plan (i.e. the full savings on revenue sharing as opposed to just the reset of the luxury tax) the Yanks need to remain under the cap in 2015 as well.

      Even then, I’m becoming increasingly certain that no massive spending spree is planned after 2015. I think Hal intends to remain around/under the cap indefinitely, which would mean we’re going to try and remain competitive (so no blowing it up and rebuilding), but we won’t see a fully rounded-out squad (like we’ve had for the last few years) until more of the big contracts come off the books.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        What are you basing your belief that they won’t spend after 2015 on?

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

          Well I think at the very least it remains to be seen. One of the reasons we are in this situation is bc we signed a boatload of contracts under one CBA, but are now living with the ramifications during a different CBA. And obviously no mitigating benefits were granted for existing contracts.

          By 2015 the next CBA negotiating period will be not very far off (I think this one ends at the end of 2016 right?) so it’s not unreasonable to think that the Yanks FO would eye a major payroll increase with a wary eye, certainly warier than in the past (eg 08-09 offseason).

          Once bitten and all…

    • Should I Fister or Pettitte? says:

      I’m sort of thinking that the Yankees are punting the 2013 season and hoping that their youngsters are close to being MLB ready in 2014.

      And CC is still very productive. He’s really the only player on the team that is making over $20 million, and actually earning it.

      But I do agree with you and about .11111% of Yankee fans. It’s time to rebuild.

      • Get Phelps Up says:

        They’re not punting 2013 by signing Kuroda, Pettitte, Mo and Youkilis for 1 year.

        • Should I Fister or Pettitte? says:

          I do hope that Mason and Austin will be ready by 2014 because what other options are out there.

          Also, if the Yankees are losing out on the playoff race this year, that have to start thinking about the possibility to trading Cano. Because honestly, I can’t see Boss Jr. signing him to a lucrative, long-term deal.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

            Austin or especially Williams for opening day 2014 is a very aggressive and optimistic timeline.

            Very unlikely they’d be far enough out of a playoff spot by July to give up on the season.

            I don’t think Boss Jr. is opposed to lucrative, long term deals (they did sign Tex, CC, big offer to Lee), as long as the deal doesn’t interfere with $189 in 2014. They may decide Cano isn’t worth what he may ultimately get and pass, but I doubt it will be because of a permanent opposition to big deals. If anything, I’d say the adherence to one year deals this offseason is designed to make sure they can resign Cano and stay under $189M.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              2013 will tell the tale. If these guys take off in AA, it suddenly becomes less of a pipe dream.

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

                Injuries and performance may also tell the tale. If Ichiro regresses to Ichiro of ’11 and most of ’12, Gardner goes down again, etc. I could envision a scenario wherein one of these guys gets a shot earlier than expected.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Slade is probably closer than Mason, if he can stay healthy.

      • Havok9120 says:

        Thing is, they don’t seem to be punting. The team is just resembling the type of team that most clubs put out there. We’ve got a strong to very strong rotation, a very good bullpen, and a lineup with a bunch of holes. Its disorienting since its basically the opposite of the way we’ve done it for a decade, but its hardly a bad team.

        • Should I Fister or Pettitte? says:

          I agree with the pitching, but the position players is what freaks me out. We have nothing immediate in Triple-A. Nothing. But that’s why I bring up punting this year only if you plan on trading players like Granderson and Cano for cheap, controllable prospects and MLB ready talent.

          Like I said, I’m okay with rebuilding, and, yes, punting the season away if it means success in the years to come.

          • Havok9120 says:

            I’d usually be okay with that, but not this season. Pettitte, Mo, Kuroda will be done. Much as I love Jeter, I’m expecting another major decline at some point soon. Teix, Arod, and CC aren’t going to get any younger, and their contracts are around for awhile.

            The year to rebuild will be nearer to the end of those contracts. Until then we don’t have the resources to do it in 1 season and 2 offseasons. If we blow it up and start rebuilding now, it’ll punt away our best chance to be competitive for 2-3 years, not simply a single season.

            More importantly, I think the moves to this point indicate that we AREN’T punting the season and rebuilding, so its something of a moot point right now. Anyway, I don’t think 1 year rentals of Cano, Grandy, and Hughes would bring sufficient return to both plug the holes on the MLB roster AND the prospects for some epic future dynasty.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              I actually think that what we’re going to see in the next two or three seasons will be as close to “rebuilding” as I think we can foresee.

              Moving beyond Tex and CC, at least right now, doesn’t scare me. We’re going to come out of the next two seasons, though, probably without the last of the dynasty core. Will Robbie be a part of those future plans? If not, what will define this team?

              What you’re seeing now isn’t rebuilding in the traditional sense, but it’s the start of this franchise trying figure out who the hell it’s going to be moving forward, with some placeholders in there to give them another season to figure out what they’ve got internally.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            I disagree that there’s nothing in AAA. Not loaded with high ceiling guys at that level, but have some nice depth. CoJo and Adams are both solid IF prospects who have a chance to be average MLB starters or better. Romine is too if his back is healthy. Warren and Marshall are solid back-end prospects. Betances still has potential whether as a reliever or starter, and I believe he’ll use his last option this year so it’s probably 2014 or bust. Other pen guys who should be ready at some point this year include Montgomery and Whitley. Nix, Dickerson, and even Bobby Wilson aren’t prospects, but they are very solid depth pieces who won’t embarrass themselves in MLB and might actually contribute when called on.

      • Rivera Venue Blues says:

        Why would they bring back Kuroda, Pettitte, Mo on a punt year? I’m sure they’ll be happy to hear that.

  16. dkidd says:

    nothing they’ve done indicates to me that they’re punting on 2013

    2014 is another matter

  17. mrdbag says:

    Is it legal to try to suck? I believe that Selig could suspend for life Yankee ownership for trying to lose. If what you guys say is true then an investigation and trial should be in order.

  18. Jimmy McNulty says:

    So the Angels need pitching but have lots of spare outfielders. Maybe deal Phil and prospects for Trumbo and flip Granderson for pitching?

    • Pat D says:

      Trumbo blows, really. He’s also an outfielder just because he stands out there.

      • Havok9120 says:

        Aside from all that they’ve also supposedly said that they’re holding onto him, so its a moot point. He isn’t the player you try to blow the other team out of the water for.

        • Pat D says:

          Oh my God. He fell apart even worse than I thought he did last year. After the trade deadline, in 204 PA, he hit about .207 or .208 with 5 HR (had 27 before), 9 BB and 72 (!) K’s.

          Maybe he’s the reason the Angels didn’t make the playoffs.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        I have a feeling Mark Trumbo is going to be a new “thing” on here.

        • Havok9120 says:

          Ugh. I could get behind the Hamilton talk to certain extent (3 years, 4 if the price was right) but…Trumbo?


        • Jimmy McNulty says:

          I didn’t realize his OBP was so low, and I recall him hitting more HRs than what he actually did. That being said, at this point I think most fans are just throwing shit on the wall and seeing what sticks. There’s no starting catcher and they’re rolling with Ichiro in right field. I feel that with Hughes and Granderson the Yankees have two usable chips for a team that needs an outfielder or a cost effective starter.

  19. OldYanksFan says:

    They ar NOT punting 2013. But they will not make signings that jeapordize 2014.

    They should resign Cano. He should still be good in 2016 and 2017, and I believe that the 2016 team will be strong. It will be Teix’s last year, ARod’s 2nd to last year (@ $20m), and CC’s last or 2md to last saason… so big contracts shouldn’t be an issue.

    Meanwhile, the pressure will be off on ’14 and ’15, and Cashman will be able to be smart and build. All of our current best youngsters will either be busts or on the team.

    1) FA SS
    2) ARod (DH/BU3B)
    3) Cano
    4) Big FA OFer
    5) Teix
    6) Sanchez
    7) Bichette? (3B)
    8)&9) Williams/Austin/Heathcott/Flores

    That’s about $110m

    • Jimmy McNulty says:

      I’m almost okay with sucking if it means stripping the team of all its old shitty contracts. I’d take two years in order to get the team in a better baseball and fiscal situation in 2015 and 2016.

  20. Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

    Mike Antoni and his “system” is such a fraud. He sucked with the Knicks and now he’s sucking with the lakers.

    His reputation was because his team was run by all time great PG Steve Nash.

    • pat says:

      And a great PF in his prime in Amare AND a great PF in his prime who at the time could play some D in Marion.

    • vicki says:

      maybe. but the issue isn’t so much the system right now as it is that the lakers would have trouble guarding a girl scout troop. and chris duhon starting at point guard could sink any system. (why does he shoot from 30 feet? is he playing horse or something?)

  21. Harris says:

    Any chance the Ichiro deal is highly front loaded? If so, I’m cool with the deal.

    • Havok9120 says:

      It wouldn’t matter for luxury tax purposes if that’s what you’re counting on. The tax is calculated using Average Annual Value (AAV) of all contracts rather than what the payroll actually is.

  22. Harris says:

    Any chance the Ichiro deal is highly front loaded? If so, I’m cool with the deal.

    • 28 this year says:

      Dude, it doesn’t matter. The AAV goes toward the 189 so you could pay him 10 mil in 2013 and 1 dollar in 2014 and it still counts at 5 mil per year. How many times are people going to make that comment?

      • Havok9120 says:

        Be nice to the new people until they prove unworthy of it. God knows there was a time I didn’t know how the tax was calculated or what AAV meant. It wasn’t even all that long ago.

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        Well even then it still matters if it’s front loaded. If they pay the bulk of his salary in 2013 they can flip him in 2014 and get the contract off the books.

  23. Big Member says:

    havent seen such great analisations in a while:

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Can I unread that?

    • Havok9120 says:

      I’ve seen worse. Much, much worse. There’s even one or two very good points in there…points that the guys on here, MLBTR, and yes, LoHud, articulated at least that well, and they did it months ago.

      Hey, at least he isn’t rabidly Yankee-hating.

      • Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

        He’s 100% right that the 2013 Yankees are most likely gonna be a little worse than the 2012 version, at least on paper. How it all plays out is obviously to be determined.

        I still think they’ll be a strong playoff contender but I don’t see any of these signings as being an upgrade. They won 95 games and went to ALCS last year so you could make a case that they didn’t need to improve but they’ll be lucky to get repeat performances from Kuroda and Pettitte, they’ll be worse in RF, catcher and probably 3B and Mo will be fortunate to duplicate Soriano’s 2012 season.

        • Pistol Pete says:

          Doubtful Jeter can repeat 2012 too.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          I don’t understand why you project this to be the year every veteran Yankee takes a nose dive, regardless of past performance. It certainly possible, but it’s not exactly probable. Or why you ignore the probably upgrades.

          Pettitte appeared in 12 games in 2012 due to a freak injury, I don’t think they’ll be lucky to get 13 games out of him. His stats weren’t out of line with 2010, and he’s had no arm problems.

          Kuroda’s posted pretty similar stats year-in-and-out since coming to MLB. Again, I don’t see any reason to be concerned beyond what you would be with any veteran P.

          RF and C, I agree. Unlikely Ichiro finds himself. I don’t even know who the C is.

          Don’t see why they are worse at 3B. Between A-Rod’s late season struggles and a number of games for guys like McGehee, Nix, and Nunez… the bar isn’t too high.
          By extension they might be better at DH when A-Rod returns as well.

          LF, much better.

          Mo hasn’t had an ERA worse than Soriano’s 2012 ERA since 2007, and Soriano’s peripherals lagged quite a bit behind his ERA.

          CC had his worst season as a Yankee. Any of Hughes, Nova, or Phelps could take a step forward.

          Granderson had his worst fWAR season since 2005. Tex missed significant time for the first time since 2007.

          • Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

            Teix has been in a steady decline for several years. No reason to think it won’t continue.

            Mo is coming off reconstructive knee surgery at age 43 and hasn’t pitched in a year. I expect him to be good but he’ll be hard pressed to be as good as Soriano was last year.

            Kuroda is coming off his best season but he’s 37 coming off a career high in innings pitched. I don’t expect him to tank but I do expect a small regression from his 4 WAR season last year.

            Jeter is 39 coming off ankle surgery and while I don’t think he’ll tank either, I think some regression is also likely for him and I’m very concerned his range at SS might become a major issue.

            Ichiro in RF will almost certainly be a significant downgrade from Swisher.

            I think Best case scenario is a wash at 3B replacing Arod/Chavez with Youkalis and whatever Arod can play

            Whoever winds up at catcher will certainly be a significant downgrade from Martin.

            CC is another year older with another 250+ innings on his arm coming off elbow surgery. I think he can duplicate his very solid 2012 but I don’t expect him to improve much upon his performance

            I do think Gardner will be better than Ibanez and You’d think Nova/Phelps will improve upon the 5th starter performance from last year. I also think the pen could be better with a healthier Robertson, Joba and maybe Aardsma. I also think Hughes can be better if he improves his fastball command and gets a break on his homers allowed.

            Overall, I don’t expect the Yankees to be significantly worse than last year but I stand by my statement that they’ll be a little (3-4 wins) worse than they were in 2012, at least based upon the team I’m seeing today.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              You’re saying exactly what Ted is claiming you’re saying, though. Every one of those, while not “worst case scenario” material, has someone trending downward. Some will trend downward, but some don’t. They’re not all going to have worse years at the same time.

              • Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

                The fact is the many players on the team are on the downslope of their careers while few are still on the upswing. That’s just a fact with an aging team. Several positions have been replaced with inferior players like RF and C. Some may have better seasons than last, some worse but overall, I can’t see how you can say next years team is better than last years after losing Soriano, Swisher, Martin and having Jeter and Arod coming off major surgery, CC of hopefully minor surgery and everyone a year older.

                I’m not predicting doom but if you assume last years team played to their potential by winning 95 games, if the 2013 team does the same, I think predicting a few games below that is reasonable.

                Let’s see what Zips thinks they’ll do once Cashman is finished this offseason. I think it’ll be a few games worse than last year.

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

                  But even downward trends are not straight lines.

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

                    I agree, I just think that with the downgrades at several positions and the fact that it’s more likely that several other players are trending downward rather than upward with ultimately result in a team that wins a few less games than the 2012 version.

        • Havok9120 says:

          Pretty much all of what Ted said, except I wouldn’t direct that at you since you’re being eminently reasonable about the whole thing.

          Its unlikely we get the best or worse case scenarios out of each guy. No, we’re almost certainly not going to be as good offensively as we were last season. And no, its not likely 43 year old Mo will match Soriano, much as I want him to be. That said, the rest of the staff is likely to be better than last years was for the most part, at least on paper. And the offense won’t be an empty sock.

          The strengths are in different parts of the team, and the whole edifice is a lot more fragile than it was last year, but overall? I’m fairly confident that the Yanks won’t be an embarrassment.

          • Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

            I agree, the Yanks certainly won’t be close to embarrassing. I’m thinking 91-92 wins battling for the division and wild card

            I just think the questions marks and probable regressed performances/ downgraded positions outweighs the probable improved performances/ upgraded positions.

        • RetroRob says:

          I didn’t read the article, but it’s a little too early to say what the Yankees will be come opening day. It seems to be the nature of reporters and baseball fans fear the worst. Yet I can just as easily present a scenario where they’ll be better.

          Mark Teixeira averaged playing 153 games a year for his career heading into last season, and in fact even with last season when he only appeared in 123 games, his career average is still 150 games a year over ten years. That’s how durabel he’s been. He appeared in no less thn 156 games the prior four years. Fluky things from coughs and calfs whacked him last year, surpressing his normal 30+ HRs/100RBI seasons. He won’t return to his peak from a few years ago, but he’ll overall be more productive and helpful by being in more games.

          Cano had a fine year, but his RISP and especially his hitting against lefties suffered, creating an at times uneven year, which is one reason he only drove in 94. Yes, a return to norm against southpaws leaves room for improvement.

          Youkilis is a solid replacement for A-Rod, and with his BABIP suggest he’s hit in some bad luck and could very well improve over his 2012 numbers.

          A-Rod, when he returns, will give the Yankees hopefully two strong RH’d bats in the lineup coupled with Youkilis, with one at third and one at DH. This will represent a potential substantial upgrade form the ABs the Yanks got from Andruw Jones.

          Gardner is back, more speed, better defense, good OBP. Grandy in left, Gardner in center and a full year of Ichiro in right will be the best defensive unit the Yankees have had in years and could mean a couple more wins just on defense. Gardner and Ichiro gives the Yankees more speed.

          Granderson can improve. Not on HRs, but certainly on BA and OBP, which hit career lows.

          On the pitching side, CC seemed to be dealing with elbow tenderness the second half, limiting him to less than 30 starts. His elbow was cleaned up, and he could certainly improve some.

          Pettitte will probably not be hit by a line drive breaking another bone, limiting him to twelve starts. He can pitch worse, and still be more valuable to the team.

          Ivan Nova was atrocious. I have no idea what Ivan Nova is, but he has a good arm, his K rate increased, and he is not the 7.00 ERA pitcher we saw the second half. He is actually is someone who could improve sustantially.

          Phil Hughes is 27, suggesting he can improve, and after a lousy start really picked up his game mid-May forward. He’s HR prone, but his HR rate rose over 40% suggesting he was a little unlucky. He can improve.

          Mo will be back. Joba was throwing fine at the end of the year and he’ll be back. Pineada will give the Yankees something in 2013.

          So, yeah, even with a regression from Jeter, there are certainly areas the Yankees can improve. Not all of this will happen, but some will. Not everything will be bad just because reporters need to fill space and fans need to worry.

          Catcher is an issue. It’s also December.

          The Yankees will most likely be at least a 92 win team and, shockingly, they might even win more than 95.

  24. Yankonymous says:

    Ichiro Suzuki, the best Yankee RF since Paul O’Neill.

  25. MikeD says:

    I’ll miss Swishers regular season performance, but I’m sure happy to not have to watch all that stupid ass pointing at the sky.

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