Jennings: Yankees have no interest in George Kottaras

Rosenthal: Payroll reduction benefits might be less than anticipated
Wednesday Night Open Thread

Via Chad Jennings: The Yankees have no interest in catcher George Kottaras, who was designated for assignment by the Athletics last week. The 29-year-old walk machine will earn just $1M next season, and it’s not even a guaranteed contract since he’s still in his arbitration years. I guess bringing Kottaras — a left-handed hitter — to camp to compete with Chris Stewart & Co. just made too much sense to actually happen. How silly of me.

Rosenthal: Payroll reduction benefits might be less than anticipated
Wednesday Night Open Thread
  • BJ

    “A move that has a chance to improve our team? I think not!”

    • dcone

      The day he was released, I figured the Yanks would take a flyer on him. Good defender, decent OBP, lefty hitting catcher to create a platoon option. Is it that they want to give Romine every opportunity to win the job in spring training? Does Cashman really think that Cervelli/Stewart is a solid defensive catching tandem? Stewart has a low % for throwing out runners; Cervelli was Mr. Passed Ball in 2010. I am just not seeing what the risk is with taking a flyer on Kottaras

      • ClusterDuck

        Cervelli had 2 PB’s in 724 innings in 2010. How does that make him “Mr. Passed Ball”.

        Stewart doesn’t have a low % of throwing out runners, he instead has a high percentage.

        Kottaras is worse than Cervelli on PB’s and he’s worse than Stewart in throwing out runners.

        I agree there’s little risk in giving Kottaras a minor league contract but let’s get our facts right.

        • commerce

          ClusterDuck, looks like you bothered to look at the record…your conclusions are your own; however, the facts are in the record. Thanks!

      • commerce

        I hate to say a guy is full of crap; however, dcone, needs a laxative to avoid that label. He wrote, “Cervelli was Mr. Passed Ball in 2010” when the facts of his career show that he had FIVE (5) passed balls in his entire NYY career, mostly catching. He appeared in over 180 games and stands dcone’s conclusion on its head. One of Francisco’s strengths is blocking balls in the dirt.

        Check the damn record, man.

  • John C

    Is there anyone out there that they DO have interest in?

    • BronxBomber98

      Yeah, until they heard Clemens had no interest in a comeback…

    • dalelama

      Yogi maybe?

  • Dennis

    When are the yankees ever interested in a player? And even if they are, they never acquire that player. This is ridiculous.

  • vin

    I’m so confused.

  • LK

    Who needs a .100+ ISO anyway?

  • Get Phelps Up

    How many times do we hear that they have no interest in someone and then 2 days later they acquire him?

    • Bob Buttons

      MFIKY, Damon (?), Teixeira

      Not zero, but less often than not.

      • Get Phelps Up

        Well yeah, but its not like there’s no chance of getting him based on this one little report.

        • Bob Buttons

          Problem is I can’t remember the last time a non-major player went to the Yankees after they denying interest in him.

        • Ted Nelson

          Don’t even try reason with this crowd.

          • Ted Nelson

            It is probably in the Yankees’ best interest to have people believe that they are not interested if they are. They don’t want someone to claim him or trade for him worried that they won’t be able to sign him.

  • FIPster Doofus

    Of course they don’t.

  • trr

    are we going to do ANYTHING

    • The Big City of Dreams

      Looks like they are going to go with what they have besides maybe some more minor tweaks.

    • dalelama

      Yeah, suck….

  • Bob Buttons

    “Kottaras’ contract will be a huge deterrence in getting our payroll under 189 million” – Hal Steinbrenner

  • Mike

    Its a sad day (which has been every day this offseason) when there is legitimate sadness that the Yankees arent even going after a platoon catcher.

    What an offseason!

    • LK

      Well if you listen to Hal, the fact that they’ve retained 4 of our own free agents, signed one of the fan base’s most hated players (who also happens to be past his prime), and only lost our starting C, RF, and one of our best RPs, it’s been a banner offseason.

      • dalelama

        Not to mention the regular season performance of Aroid.

  • Bob Buttons

    Payroll dysfunction can lead to (but not limited to)

    Lack of interest
    Loss of confidence
    Lower quality of performance
    Feeling of inferiority

    Ask your doctor (of economics) about your payroll dysfunction, today.

    (My apologies to those who experience dysfunction)

    • The Big City of Dreams

      lol wow

    • Captain’s Gift Basket

      Haha pure gold, well played sir.

  • gageagainstthemachine

    “Kottaras is out of minor league options and can not be send down to Triple-A without first clearing waivers.” From Mike’s own Scouting the Market report in July. I think this is probably a huge factor. Wouldn’t this be like getting a second Chris Stewart since you can’t send the guy to the minors? So they pick him up and keep him, wouldn’t that mean that Cervelli and Romine would HAVE to go to the minors for sure if the organization kept Stewart and Kottaras, since without options they’d have to be on the MLB roster or DFA’d? Am I even close? Anyone? Thanks.

    • theyankeewarrior

      N, they could simply release him and only pay him a couple hundred grand for the trouble of dragging him through camp.

      • Mike Axisa

        They wouldn’t even have to do that. Teams always need catching, there would be takers for Kottaras, Cervelli, or Stewart at the end of Spring Training.

        • gageagainstthemachine

          Gotcha. Thanks. Then it seems like it would have at least been worth “kicking the tires”. Appreciate the reply!

  • stuart a

    reality is this team has a high probablity of being in the dark for 3 or 4 years.

    they are old, horrible contracts, and supposively the reinforcements are a few years away of having a chance of contributing.

    throw in the yanks desire to get under $189 mill and the bandwagon may be getting a little lighter over the next few years.

    i agree with the salary retrench also and I am willing to suffer for a few years but hope to see a change in direction. get younger, be prudent with the big dollar deals, etc.

    • The Real Greg

      I wouldn’t say 3 or 4. More like 1 or 2.

    • Get Phelps Up

      For you to be talking about “the bandwagon getting lighter” is quite ironic.

  • theyankeewarrior


  • Matt DiBari

    I still say something is up. No team that’s looking at the dumpster fire that is Stewart’s offense and Cervelli’s defense would just flat out refuse to even consider any improvements unless they had another plan.

    • Blake

      Like what though? I really can’t think of anybody unless they are going to give up a ton for Carlos Santana or something.

      • Matt DiBari

        I have no idea. But there has to be a reason why they have made no effort whatsoever to improve a miserable catching situation. And blind hope that they have a plan is a more pleasant answer than “Hal doesn’t care.”

    • commerce

      Matt DiBari, would the fact that the Yankees had a higher WL% when Cervelli was catching influence your opinion? Would CC’s preference for Cervelli–even when he was a callow rookie–change your opinion? Would the ERA of pitchers be best when Cervelli was catching v. all other catchers during his career as a Yankee back-up catcher change your opinion.

      Only his erratic throwing since his excellent ’09 (43% CS) supports your criticism of his defense.

      Clearly you don’t like the player so you make virtually baseless conclusions about him–way to shed light on the catching situation.

  • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

    Why does anyone think they need catching help with Yogi Cervelli and Pudge Stewart already on the roster?

  • Blake

    I think Cashman is running an experiment to find out if you can make the playoffs with the worst catching position in baseball

  • Anonymous

    If I had a dollar for every player the Yankees werent interested in… I could build a $189MM payroll!!

    • Bob Buttons

      # of players any team is not interested in > # of players any team is interested in
      Try it, it stands true on any single team.

  • RetroRob

    What part of “the Yankees 2013 catcher is already on the roster” do we all not understand? :-)

    • Bob Buttons

      Are you referring to the Tampa Yankees?

  • Vern Sneaker

    This is the first of the many “no interests” that I totally don’t get. I wanted Morse, but he didn’t really move me. The rest u could easily make a case against. But this seems plain dumb, unless there’s something missing in the picture though I don’t see what it might be.

  • Hoss

    WTF? Has Cashman’s Crew lost its cajones? There’s trouble brewing because the Ninja has no interest in a marginal catcher?

    What should bother you is that the team was considering Delmon Young until they decided that his performance didn’t merit a closer look. What performance did they mean? His hate crime on the streets of Manhattan wasn’t good enough to make it on “Law and Order”? I thought that this team cared about character. Delmon Young should have neve been given a first look.

    Kottaras? Get over not signing someone who would be a backup catcher on every team in baseball except this one.

    • Vern Sneaker

      Agree that’s it’s not worth getting worked up over, but that doesn’t make the point less valid: he would be an upgrade (how sad is that!) and ought to be brought to camp.

    • Get Phelps Up

      The Yankees “considering” Delmon Young could very well have consisted of this:

      “Would Delmon Young be a possible option?”
      “No, he sucks as a player and is a terrible person off the field as well.”

      End of story.

      • Hoss

        #yankees discussed delmon young internally but did not have great reports on his play. (beyond the alcs apparently)

        That was tweeted by Jon Heyman, but I suppose that you have more inside information?

        • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

          The Yankees have had miserable bastards on the team before, Mel Hall and Gary Sheffield being 2 off the top of my head.

          If Delmon Young could help the team, I don’t care if he becomes the grand puba of the Aryan brotherhood.

        • Get Phelps Up

          I have as much info as you do. I’m sure they knew all about Young and how much he sucks. “Discussing” a player can mean a lot of things. And they didn’t sign him, so what exactly is the big deal here?

        • Havok9120

          His point still stands. What he just outlined could easily have been the “discussion” to which Heyman was referring. And it could have happened between a pair of people with absolutely no power or influence.

          Or it could have been an in-depth conversation between Hal, Levine, and Cashman lasting several days until it was decided he wasn’t a fit. There’s absolutely no way of knowing from that tweet you quoted. Nor, frankly, does it matter.

  • dasani

    The Braves may be close to getting Upton, and the O’s and D’Backs are talking about Kubel. Where is Cashman, and what did he not understand when Hal said we need another bat.I know we don’t have what it takes to get Upton, but Kubel probaly wouldn’t cost so much.

    • Bob Buttons

      Nor would he help us much.

      • Get Phelps Up

        He would be a fine left handed hitting DH target.

        • Bob Buttons

          What I meant was if Cashman was willing to give up anything for Kubel he’d probably should use it on a non-pathetic catcher.

          • Get Phelps Up

            Are there really any catchers that would be comparable to Kubel that are available though?

            • Bob Buttons

              It is much harder to find a serviceable lefty DH than a serviceable catcher.

              • Bob Buttons

                errm make that other way around.

                More options for scrapheap DHs than catchers.

              • Get Phelps Up

                I agree, but I think what it would cost to get Kottaras (probably some fringe, low level prospect) wouldn’t get in the way of getting Kubel who would probably require a more established prospect.

  • Preston

    I think the off-season pessimism is definitely overkill. But if they truly pass on Kottaras this is the third decision this off-season I just can’t wrap my head around. Not matching Martin’s contract seemed crazy, giving two years to Ichiro and now this. I would have opted for Reynolds and Chavez rather than Youkilis, but I see both sides, and I would have pursued Swisher, but again, I get that it’s a big investment. I don’t see the other side of an argument that grabbing Kottaras isn’t a good move.

    • Bob Buttons

      Not matching Martin’s contract might have just mean they misread the market. Plus, they might be high on Romine (and Sanchez) that Romine can fill in by the end of the year until Sanchez arrives.

      Reynolds would probably be better than Youkilis, but his defense is atrocious at third, not that Youkilis is much better. Plus, Reynolds might have wanted more playing time. Chavez is one major injury away from ending his career, so Chavez would have not been a safe option, knowing that A-Rod will be out for half the year.

      Swisher, well, stuff happens, we don’t know what the Yanks FO know.

      Kottaras, frankly, is still defensible at least until spring training starts and Yankees still didn’t do squat about the catching stuff and we start the year with the terrible trio. I don’t know… Maybe they love Cervelli/Stewart more than us?

      • Jonathan

        This is a little easy but I’ll start poking my holes at the start.

        1. The Yankees offered Martin a 3 year deal worth over $20MM about this time last year. They didn’t misread his market. The only thing that made sense was they weren’t going to spend a dime on 2014 payroll this offseason…then they dropped 2 years on a very replaceable, old and quite possibly TERRIBLE option Ichiro and their only excuse for not signing the only realistic starting C on the market (to a more than fair deal) went out the window.

        2. I hate to point out the super obvious but EVERY player is one major injury from ending their career. Not to mention (it’s been pointed out on here so many times) Youkilis is a huge injury risk himself and ARod played more games in the last 3 years than him so injury risks didn’t factor in to who ended up at 3B. And I’m guessing Chavez would be with the team but wanted to go home to Arizona and that’s understandable. Warmer weather for his body and just home in general while still having a nice ballpark to hit in.

        3. Swisher is incredibly consistent and is very likely to age well and is completely worth his contract. That was a 100% $$$$ decision and had nothing to do with baseball and I think we all know that.

        4. Kottaras isn’t indefensible. If we somehow get a Carlos Santana or something we can trade one of the C or just DFA them. All 3 of our C are RH and suck at hitting. At least a proper platoon might give us something and the amount to acquire Kottaras would have been extremely minimal. When you don’t have any good options you need to have as many bad options as possible to increase the likelihood that one of them doesn’t suck. He’s just next in a long line of available players that we should have acquired over our own moves. No Ichiro/re-sign Swish/Martin/possibly trade for Upton and if that isn’t possible Morse/SP depth with Marcum as the best option but not imperative (especially now that we can’t use the other SP depth to dangle in nearly as many scenarios now that the offseason is almost over)/etc etc.

  • Pat D

    You foolish fool, Mike.

  • Wes

    This will be cashman last year as gm he seems bored he’s been Doing this for a while and needs to be rejuvenated

    • Havok9120

      This here, this is gold.

      Yes, clearly the explanation for the lack of signings is that Cashman is bored. Apathy has taken hold. It all makes sense now.

    • Get Phelps Up

      I thought it was Montero who was bored.

  • Greg

    why, because Jake Gibbs wasn’t available?

    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

      Wasn’t he one of the Bee Gees??

  • soxhata

    Everybody just chill.Jorge is back!!!!!

  • Adam

    I refuse to spend a dime to watch this team next season.

    • Get Phelps Up

      You will.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      But I’ll comment on a fucking blog about them.

  • viridiana

    Maybe it’s time take book. Two propositions:

    –over/under on 2013 attendance

    –over/under on 2014 attendance.

    • Ted Nelson

      Would George Kottaras really change the odds for you?

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Worst. Comment. Section. Ever.

    • Bob Buttons

      Clearly you’ve never been to

    • viridiana

      Has no ploace to go. Nothing to do.

  • Ted Nelson

    I’ll say it again: there’s pretty decent circumstantial evidence that suggests that the Yankees, Rays, and other teams are not valuing Cs in the mainstream–fangraphs, B-R–way.

    The Rays got pretty bad value to jettison Jaso from their roster to install Jose Molina at C. Chris Stewart finished very strong in pitch framing as well, from what I remember.

    Assuming that you are on the forefront of baseball performance analysis because you can read stats off a popular site is disingenuous.

    Would also note that while he’s on waivers the Yankees don’t necessarily want people to know they’re interested.

    • Youkales’ Misspelled Name

      “Would also note that while he’s on waivers the Yankees don’t necessarily want people to know they’re interested.”

      This is what I thought too. Anyway, what difference does it make? I haven’t looked, but is the upgrade really so significant that it’s worth getting worked up over?

    • Tom

      Assuming you have some special insight into the Yankees decision making process is also just as disingenuous. Just because you repeat it over and over, doesn’t validate it.

      Another catching thread and a bunch of pitch framing comments by Ted. It’s like clockwork.

      How does Cervelli fit in your “circumstantial evidence” model? How does he grade out in your framing narrative?

      And by circumstantial evidence, I actually mean your own personal speculation (which you regularly call others out for) dressed up to sound like something better than that. Do you even know how Jaso performs in this area?

      • Ted Nelson

        “Assuming you have some special insight into the Yankees decision making process is also just as disingenuous.”

        Ok, but that’s not what I did. I said there’s info that anyone can access to suggest it.

        “And by circumstantial evidence, I actually mean your own personal speculation”

        I am speculated that the Rays traded Jaso for Lueke to use Molina as their starting C?

        I am speculating that the Yankees traded Kontos for Stewart?

        • Tom

          No…. you are speculating on the reasons BEHIND the trade. Unless you have some special access to the front offices, you are speculating as to why the trades were made.

          With Romine not available the Yankees needed depth… I have no clue if Kontos returns anything other than Stewart – you make it sound like he was targeted because of some new market inefficiency the Yankees were exploiting. Maybe it was that, or maybe that was all they could get for him?

          Look up Jaso’s #’s the year prior to the Jays trading him… perhaps they weren’t swapping offense for defense or merely valuing framing? He wasn’t exactly hitting the cover off the ball when they traded him. You call this “circumstantial evidence” because you assume you know the reason behind the trade (and it fits what you want to think). You’re just speculating – and normally I’m fine with that; but it rings a bit hollow when you seem to call out others for doing the same thing.

          And given the A’s (who are generally thought to be ahead of the curve in modern analytics) traded for Jaso – how does that fit your model? Are the A’s just behind the curve when it comes to evaluating catchers and are not as advanced? How does Cervelli fit the Yankees model//valuation of catcher skills – is he a good framer? (I have no clue eitherway, but I recall you saying he was among the worst)

      • Ted Nelson

        I’m not saying that I know how the Yankees value Cs. I’m saying that it might not be the way Mike does. It might be better, or it might be worse. My money is on better, in part because C defense is known to be poorly quantified traditionally and new work on the subject has become public.

        You don’t seem to have even looked at that work, if you’re even aware of it, but you want to throw shit at me… interesting.

        • Ted Nelson

          Not saying that this is the data the Yankees are using, but Jaso is bad and Kottaras is just terrible based on this:

          • Tom

            I’ve looked at it… I also have read some of the author’s concens and limitations on it.

            If you recall when you claimed Pierzynski was “known to be at framing” I posted a link which ironically I think was the summary of the spreadsheet you just posted (which I apparently “haven’t seemed to have looked at”)

            The problem is you don’t understand the limitations of the data. It virtually assumes every extra ball or strike is due to the catcher, which is obviously not the case. It kind of controls for the pitcher (though even that it has problems with on catchers who catch a huge # of games like Yadier).

            It doesn’t control for :
            – Count
            – Pitch type (there was a good article by Jeff Sullivan on this)
            – Umpire
            – Time of day
            – Context (score, inning, # of outs)
            – accuracy of the pitch f/x systems (especially low/high)

            But sure I guess we can just paint a picture where only the catcher’s ability to frame a pitch determines the variation in called ball/strikes. On a crude level I believe the data, but the conversion into runs is just absurd if you know the limitations of the study.

      • Ted Nelson

        Finally, Yankees gave up an asset to bring in Stewart ahead of Cervelli. It’s possible that was purely a depth move, but I think it’s more likely that it fits my narrative perfectly.

  • Tom

    I don’t think the fan base was clammoring for George Kottaras, so having no interest as of today should not be a surprise. I think we need to look at the big picture here. Martin was offered a fair contract prior to having a horrible season and took less to go to a shit franchise. Good riddance. What’s the difference if u have Martin hit .215 with 15 HR’s and a .310 OBP or u get 3 guys to combine over the course of the season to produce a similar stat line? In my opinion, I am fine with them showing some fiscal responsibility, their spending and overpaying is why they are now in this situation. They at some point have to be willing to give guys a chance who are younger and unproven. I agree Kottaras is no risk, but I doubt that the catcher position will be the reason the yanks miss the playoffs this yr.