Thoughts on a random Tuesday

Hale: Yankees have expressed interest in Ben Francisco
Injury Updates: Jeter & Cervelli
(Dilip Vishwanat/Getty)

It’s a Tuesday and I’m sick, so here are some random thoughts…

1. Depending on who you ask, the Yankees either did (Ken Rosenthal) or did not (Jon Heyman) extend an offer to Lance Berkman before he signed with the Rangers. Rosenthal hedges his bet a bit, so I’m guessing they didn’t make an offer despite showing interest. Berkman was, by far, the best pure hitter on the DH market when you consider the ability to hit for average, get on base, and hit for power, though he was also a tremendous health risk. The DH position is a weird spot for the Yankees because they really need a legit bat there despite also having the need to use it as a resting place for older regulars. They need more than a league average hitter or some random power-only old guy willing to take a six-figure contract because they lost a lot of offense in right field and behind the plate. Berkman is a potential impact hitter and I don’t see another one of those guys out there. Maybe the team is biding its time until the Nationals re-sign Adam LaRoche so they could swoop in with a trade offer for Mike Morse? That’d be neat.

2. The more I think about, the more I think it’s inevitable Chris Stewart will be the primary catcher to open the season. The Yankees obviously like him more than Frankie Cervelli, otherwise they wouldn’t have traded a useful reliever (George Kontos) to acquire him and send Cervelli to the traveling circus in Triple-A. We also know they’ve tried to unload Cervelli in the past, most notably on the Pirates back in 2011. The various catcher defense rankings (2011, 2012) say Stewart is an average to above-average defensive catcher, but he obviously can’t hit a lick. It’s not often a team gets to the World Series with a below-average catcher these days, nevermind actually win the whole thing. I am wholly unprepared for the Chris Stewart, Starting Catcher era. This really sucks.

(J. Meric/Getty)

3. You know what has been flying under the radar these last few months? Getting Brett Gardner back in the outfield on an everyday basis next season. It’s was painfully obvious the Yankees missed his speed prior to the Ichiro Suzuki trade last year, and his ability to work the count (career 4.29 pitches per plate appearance, which is elite) and simply get on-base (career .355 OBP) will be greatly appreciated at the bottom of the lineup. Add in his stellar defense — I do think they’ll move him to center next season, by the way — and it’s a pretty significant upgrade over the guys the club used in his place last summer. Don’t get me wrong, Gardner is no star, but he’s the upgrade no one is talking about just because he’s been here the whole time.

4. I do believe in the idea of the “contract year,” but there’s more to it than “he’s trying harder because he wants to get paid.” That part is true to a certain extent because I’ve lived through it. I know I’m not the only one who work extra hard in the weeks leading up to the annual performance review. “Contract years” also have a lot to do with timing, since many players qualify for free agency as they’re reaching their prime (late-20s/early-30s). The Yankees will have a ton of these guys on the roster next season, most notably Robinson Cano, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and Boone Logan. Curtis Granderson will turn 32 in a few weeks and is right on that prime years bubble while Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, and Kevin Youkilis are well passed it. Wouldn’t it be pretty awesome if Cano and Hughes (and to a lesser extent, Joba and Logan) had huge contract years? Forget about the impact on the team’s chances, it would just be fun to watch those two have huge seasons (175 wRC+ and a sub-3.00 FIP, respectively?).

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Hale: Yankees have expressed interest in Ben Francisco
Injury Updates: Jeter & Cervelli
  • Robinson Tilapia

    I think it’s easy to minimize what Martin brought offensively for about 3/4 of the season when it’s, admittedly, easier to remember his much improved performance at the end of the season. I understand that Stewart’s worst case scenario could be worse, and that some of his supposed defensive prowess has been overstated, but there is a whole lot of middle ground where Stewart could produce as “well,” or better, than what we saw from Martin for a large chunk of last season.

    I also think that, even though we can’t quantify it with numbers, the apparent trust that franchise and pitchers seem to have in him does mean something.

    That being said, I don’t think he’s got a leg up at all over Cervelli, and maybe a slight leg up over Romine. I still think we see CATCHER WARZ in Spring Training.

    I had zero belief in Berkman’s staying healthy. Let that be Texas’s problem, and egg on our face if he turns out to earn the contract.

    • Blake

      Martin hit 21 homers last year and he did walk a lot and hit lefties pretty well.

      He had warts offensively which everyone focuses on but at the moment it’s hard to see how they don’t take a fairly significant downgrade offensively at catcher into 2013

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I’m questionning the level of significance. That’s all. What you’re saying is certainly possible, but there’s still a range of possible outcomes not being considered. Players can overperform what they’ve done before.

        Not meant as an argument, just a further clarification of what I said.

      • Bubba

        He also had a sub 200/300/400 triple slash for most of the season and his highest SO% of his career. Stewart will probably be a downgrade. A fairly significant one? Not so sure. Those 21 homers were a career high too, I think. Tough to bank on him repeating that.

  • Nate

    What would it take to get Morse? Logan + Warren?

    • Blake

      More than that I think…..maybe not much more….depends on what other teams offer.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Seems like way too little to me. They’ll start off by asking for one of the high-Aers, I’m sure.

      • Blake

        Sure but it just depends on his market….will the Nats trade him in division or to the Orioles? How much would Seattle give to rent him after they just traded for Morales?

    • Mike HC

      Personally, I don’t think Logan is much of a piece in any trade. I see him as having extremely little trade value. As for Warren, it depends on what the Nats have in their system, which I don’t know. Do they have a bunch of guys at AAA similar to Warren or are they hurting for pitching depth? That would be a big factor in whether they value Warren or not.

      Overall, I would say that is much too little for Morse.

      • http://www.thewallbreakers.com Scully

        Well could we use the Phil Coke comparison from after 2009?

        Obviously Logan needs to be part of a bigger package and in that trade we gave up Ian Kennedy (coming off a failed few seasons but still a good prospect), Austin Jackson (hotshot prospect) and also Phil Coke for a Starting CF who was going into his age 29 season with 4 years of team control… basically I’m saying we’re going to have to give up a High A prospect, one of our best pitching prospects and Logan to get anything of note back… except that this time the rest of the league knows about our budget.

        • Mike HC

          I more or less agree with that. I think Coke probably had a bit more value then, than Logan does now, but a high A prospect, our best pitching prospect (not Nova or Phelps) and Logan is definitely more in range to get Morse.

          • thenamestsam

            If that’s the price Cashman would hang up in a second. You’re talking about trading something like Mason Williams, Campos and Logan for one year (at almost $7M) of a guy who has averaged 1.6 fWAR a season the last 3 years? That’s crazy talk.

            • Mike HC

              I take Mason Williams to be a AA guy at this point. Campos, Logan and high A prospect (not guys starting this year in AA) is what I had in mind. And I wouldn’t necessarily do the deal, but I think that is more fair value for Morse than Logan and Warren.

              • Ted Nelson

                I think that Austin and Slade are more likely to be in AA than Mason to start the season.

                I would guess Flores, Heathcott, and Austin for Trenton’s opening day OF.

                • Mike HC

                  Yea, I really don’t know where these guys are going to start the season. I wouldn’t give up one of our top 4 hitting prospects along with Campos though.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    Mike gives a couple of interesting comps below in Carlos Quentin and Josh Willingham.

                    Chicago got a top 100 regarded prospect who wasn’t at all living up to the billing and a cost controlled LHP for Quentin.

                    Washington for a 25 year old CF who had just gotten to AAA and a wild RP who had just gotten to the show for Willingham.

                    Tough to say what Washington is looking for, to me. I guess people are throwing out Logan so much in part because we have reports they were in on Howell.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I’d rate Logan slightly above Coke in that deal only because a chunk of his 2012 performance was very good, but not enough that he makes a whole lot of difference in the what I think is accurate proposal you just, um, proposed.

          Morse will cost more than I’m willing to pay for Mike Morse.

          • Ted Nelson

            Coke had 5 years of control and the Tigers thought enough of him to try him at SP a year later.

            • MannyGeee

              and how’d that experiment work? Was “Phil Coke Teh Starter” more about what they thought of him or more about what piss poor starters they had in the big club already? IIRC, it was Verlander/bucket-load of meh/Phil Coke….

              • Ted Nelson

                If they didn’t like Coke there were dozens of other ways they could have gone to fill that hole internally, through the FA scrap heap, or through a trade.

                They pretty much necessarily had to like Coke to some degree to try him as a SP.

                You also didn’t address the 5 years of control vs. 1 year at all.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                Yeah, I agree with you on this. I don’t think that’s much of a celebration of the ways of Phil Coke.

                • Ted Nelson

                  If they didn’t think Coke had some upside in the rotation, why not just pick up a cheap SP from the scrap heap? Why not convert another RP?

        • Nate

          But why would Morse cost so much? He only has 1 year of team control left. I’d think it wouldn’t take a huge package to get it done.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Rentals come at a premium and go to teams that aren’t exactly thinking of the future when acquiring a player with a year left. The team trading the player is going to, naturally, ask for as much as possible.

            • Ted Nelson

              He won’t be really cheap, but I also don’t think he’s commanding a Granderson package from any team.

            • Nate

              Rentals come at a premium compared to guys on longer, expensive contracts. Sure, Morse should cost more than Rios or A. Soriano, but he is not a young, cost controlled player. He is good, but not great, and unless the Nats are willing to trade in-division, there really shouldn’t be that many suitors.

              • MannyGeee

                OK try this on for size… Mike Morse will bemore expensive than he should be because he will be far and away the best RH bat on the trade market not named Upton or Giancarlo.

                Upton/Stanton will cost a team “all teh farmz”, but from there, no one is available. which means someone with the need or want (Seattle, Baltimore since Reynolds is gone, Toronto/LAA since they’ll sign anything right now, etc etc etc) will have to pay more. pretty logical

                • Ted Nelson

                  It’s possible, but it’s also possible that as a 1B/DH with an erratic history of performance there is far less demand for him among teams than among fans.

        • Ted Nelson

          Curtis Granderson was a CF who hit like Morse with three years of control left. Morse is a DH who can stand at 1B and trip over himself in the OF with one year of control left.

          Coke also had five years of control left, and a year after getting him the Tigers thought he could start so they might have at the time they acquired him as well.

          Morse would almost definitely take more than Warren and Logan to acquire, but I don’t see him taking one of the Yankees top 4 or 5 prospects. Not if the Nationals have any real interest in dealing him.

          • Mike HC

            Morse will definitely not cost as much as Granderson. But I think the Yanks will definitely have to give up one of their top 5 prospects in order to get Morse. Anything less would be a steal that Cash should definitely jump on.

            • Ted Nelson

              To me their top 5 prospects are, in no order: Sanchez, Austin, Williams, Banuelos, and Heathcott. Only one I think I could be convinced to move for one year of Morse is Slade, if you don’t think he’s going to stay healthy.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                Not that any of the others are truly preferable, but I’m surprised you’re not as bought into what seems to the be Slade hype right now.

                • Ted Nelson

                  It’s not that I don’t believe in his talent (though even that may be a little overhyped right now when people throw out the name Grady Sizemore like it’s nothing… we’re talking about a guy who was 4th in MLB in fWAR over a four year stretch).

                  Slade’s topped 300 PAs one of three full pro seasons. I have no idea what the outlook on his shoulder is, so I would defer to a Dr. and look into the history of guys with similar procedures.

              • The Doctor (formerly known as G formerly known as Matt Smith fornerly known as David Tennant formerly known as etc)

                Still can’t figure out why you think Austin’s a better prospect than Heathcott it Williams who both have significantly higher ceilings, but I do agree that none of them as necessary for a Morse trade. I can’t tell why everyone jumped to the assumption that Granderson is a comparable trade. He was an elite offensive player with plus defense and years of control at the time of the trade. Morse is an inconsistent player with a high offensive ceiling, little to no defensive ability, and one year of control. Sure they’ll start out asking for a top prospect straight up but they’ll work down from there. Mason, Sanchez, Heathcott, and Austin straight up will be the high request that the Yankees have to counter, not the final price. Something like Logan, CoJo, and Marshall is closer if you ask me. Obviously my trade proposal sucks, but it sucks less than those comparable to Granderson packages.

                • The Doctor (formerly known as G formerly known as Matt Smith fornerly known as David Tennant formerly known as etc)

                  Why does my ability to type fade on RAB?… Heathcott OR Williams, none of them ARE necessary, and probably more I’m not even going to read over

                • Ted Nelson

                  I don’t see any reason to rate a prospect solely on his ceiling. I also think Austin has a very high ceiling, personally.

            • Ted Nelson

              Check out the Quentin and Willingham trades Mike refers to as comparables. Only one prospect regarded as highly as those guys traded hands, and he was struggling to live up to expectations and not young for his level at all.

  • Get Phelps Up

    Neither Cervelli or Stewart have caught more than 99 games at any level in their pro careers so I don’t think one of them will be the “primary” starting catcher. Probably what’ll happen is they split time and then if Romine shows he’s ready or they acquire someone at the deadline, they’ll get rid of whoever’s performing worse.

  • Coolerking101

    Can you imagine the sh!tstorm that would ensue during the 2013/2014 off season if Cano and Hughes had career years in 2013 and the Yanks only signed one of them so that the team would get under 189 million?

    • Blake

      Probably going to happen

    • Mike HC

      Like Axisa, I’ll sign up for those career years right now and worry about re signing them when the time comes.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Well, there’s a chance they’ll sign none of them.

      I also think there’s quite a good chance they keep exactly one of them after this season. They’ll be a shitstorm from some, I’m sure, but whatever. We know what the score is at this point.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Neither, not none.

        #grammarmatters

      • MannyGeee

        Also, there is a non zero chance they sign both of them if something “unforeseen” happens with A-Rod’s recovery.

        There is also an absolute non-zero chance they lose out on BOTH while waiting for one or the other to decide to come back.

        We tend to forget that this is a two-way street, and just because we expect the Yankees to come crawling back UNTIL we no longer want them here. However, if Cano decides he can get Magic Johnson money, and the Yankees play chicken with Granderson for Cano to sign in LA, it could get ugly quick.

        Shitstorms indeed. I mean hell… look at the explosion that occurred when we watched the Yankees not sign game changers like Pierzinski and Scheirholtz.

        • Ted Nelson

          If they lose both they’ll also have a ton of money to use. Could lose both, then go out and bring in some combination of McCann, Zobrist, Prado, Choo, Pence, Ellsbury, Lincecum, Garza, etc. Or make a trade(s).

  • Austin Aunelowitzky

    Gardner bat 9th again? Jeter 1, Ichiro 2 ?

    • jjyank

      I think that’s what’s going to happen, yeah.

    • Get Phelps Up

      Against RHP, definitely. I think Youk will be hitting 2nd against LHP though.

  • boomer

    Throw in Jesus Flores with Morse

  • Mike HC

    I’m really not looking forward to the catching situation either and also have a feeling the team loves Stewart far more than they should. I hope we are wrong though and the Yanks make every effort to upgrade.

    • Ted Nelson

      Not arguing that it’s true, but it’s also possible that you hate Stewart way more than you should. The Yankees employ people that know more about both stats and baseball than any of us, so it’s tough to just assume you know more than them. It’s possible that you do or that your predictions come true while there’s don’t… and it’s also possible that they don’t love Stewart but view him as the least bad option.

      Anyway, just throwing that out there.

      • Mike HC

        True, I have no idea how the Yanks view Stewart. I think he is a fine back up, but there are better free agents still out there. Just my opinion.

  • emac2

    With the now “drug free” MLB the idea of having several catchers and matching them up with specific starters is an interesting idea.

    Sure I would love a two way, every game catcher that can hit and play defense. I’m not sure that the next best thing is a poor hitting catcher playing full time and think I prefer well rested catchers sharing the job instead of someone like Martin being overpaid and worn out by the end of the season.

  • Niko

    What’s with the picture of Morse? The Nats actually need high-A starting pitching, someone that could be called up quickly. Warren and Logan could be perfect, assuming Laroche is resigned and Morse become extraneous. I’d love to see him hit a phantom jack over the short porch.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      I mentioned him in bullet point one and am pretty sick of looking at the Yankees everyday. Figured the site could use some variety.

    • Blake

      Warren may not be a big league starter…..I think it’ll take more than him and Warren….again it just depends on who else is involved and what they offer…..

      • Niko

        How did I miss that? The dude is a superbeast, and I like this picture better: http://bit.ly/ZlU6pS

        The Nats gutted their prospect pitching over the last year so maybe Warren will look better to them than he actually is…

        • Robinson Tilapia

          If you show them some video, and shake the TV screen while he throws, it’ll look like that fastball has some movement to it.

          • Coolerking101

            What, no sound effects?

            • Mike HC

              Throw in some shots of the American flag and swooping eagle sound effects, and they may have something there.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              The wind machine was a casualty of the $189 million. We’ll have Don Wakamatsu make “woosh” sounds behind their ears.

    • Herby

      I liked the picture of Gardner bunting…probably what he’s least capable of doing. Shame he wasn’t healthy enough at the time to have DeWayne Wise teach him how to do it correctly.

  • trr

    Let’s face it, unless Austin Romine proves ready (or an unexpected big trade – Carlos Santana, anyone?)catching could be a black hole for us this year…

  • blake

    Santana would be great…..but he’d cost a lot of the Yankees probably would say they don’t like his defense or something

  • blake

    Mike,
    if you had to…..would you trade Nova for Morse straight up?

    • dp

      That is a terrible idea. I believe Nova will figure things out and become a very good starting pitcher.

      • Mike HC

        I don’t think it is a terrible idea, but I wouldn’t do it either. If it was one year of Morse for one year of Nova, that is another story, but that is not the case.

      • Blake

        If you evaluate Nova that way then no you shouldn’t do it….. I’m just not sure I do. I see him as a rather replaceable back end guy going forward…..I could be wrong and I wouldn’t mind it if I was

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I see how good he’s looked for stretches and would be willing to invest and bet on his gaining consistency as he goes along. Nova’s going to be a glass half-full/half-empty kind of guy for us armchair evaluators.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Yes, begrudgingly. I’d greatly prefer it if the team had another starter (Marcum?) lined up to take that fifth spot first.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        You sound a lot more “all in” on 2013 than I expected you to be. It’s all good, but I am slightly surprised.

      • Hoss

        Agree that Marcum would be a good one to sign at this point.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I agree with Mike that I’d sign him no matter what the team does with Nova or Phelps.

          • thenamestsam

            I do not understand the fascination with him AT ALL. I don’t know what kind of contract you’re envisioning him signing, but whatever the amount is, if the Yankees have those $ to spend there are much smarter ways to do it than on another starter who offers at best a marginal upgrade over what you have at the spot right now.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

              I don’t think the different between Marcum and Nova/Phelps is marginal at all. I could see that being a two-win upgrade, and given where they are on the win curve, two wins could be huge to the Yankees.

              • thenamestsam

                I guess you just like Marcum a lot more than me. If you look at his career the guy is barely averaging 2 WAR himself. Unless you think Nova/Phelps are basically replacement level guys, I don’t see that level of upgrade.

                The main point though is that if you’re the Yankees and your budget for next year really has room for Marcum (say 8-10 million more) than you probably could have secured your 2 win upgrade with a lot more certainty by, say, resigning Russell Martin.
                It doesn’t make sense to me to worry about upgrading the strength of the team (the rotation) when there are still major holes in other places.

              • Ted Nelson

                Based on what metric? With fWAR, you’d have to take Marcum’s career year that he hasn’t replicated in about 5 other MLB seasons, and Nova’s 2012 which was worse than his other season. With bWAR Marcum has surpassed Nova’s 3 WAR from 2011 only once in his six year career.

                So, basically you have to assume close to the best for Marcum and not assume good things for Nova.

              • Herby

                You’ve never had much support for Phelps as all though, never really seen him as anything more as middle relief, spot starter type player. I’d prefer to give him a shot and see what can develop. Giving up on the possibility of something better over a could be two win improvement isn’t worth the money spent.

      • Blake

        Yup….signing Marcum to a one year deal would be cool

  • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Drew

    1) I would not have wanted Berkman, say what you want about him being hurt, but I think it takes time for a career NL player to get adjusted to the league never mind not taking the field everyday and being a DH, so I am glad the Yankees steered clear of Fat Elvis especially for $11 million per. As we saw in 2010 I don’t think it would have worked out again.

    2) The more I think about it I am more comfortable with Stewart being the starting catcher, until Romine is ready (I hope by midseason or August/September) as long as the Yankees acquire a solid bat for the DH. Also I have a bet with my buddy that Stewart would have be the starting C, (he would have to buy a stewart jersey shirt and wear it to every yankee game he goes to) and if the Yankees brought someone from within I would have to buy a Russell Martin Pirates jersey shirt and wear it to every Yankee game I went to)

    3) It has been said a million times, but Gardner and Ichiro are similar players, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gardner get dealt midseason (along with prospects for a OF bat) [my trade proposal sucks] I see the value in his defense and OBP but if the Yankees are sticking with Ichiro then it doesn’t make sense to keep Gardner also.

    4) I really hope that Hughes has a awesome year and while he will never live up to the potential & hype [which I think is a bit unfair] I think a third strong season in the AL East will leave him with a nice pay day, and while the HR are a problem I think a 27 year old proven arm will be a great asset to the Yankees in 2014 and beyond. I just really hope the Yankees can keep him. I am on the fence about Cano because of the contract length, and as much as I loved Joba I think he is gone no matter what, some team is going to offer him a chance to compete for a starting job. I hope he can have a strong year and help Robertson and hopefully (Montgommery eventually) set up Mo.

  • Hoss

    As Scully points out, the Granderson trade should give you an idea of what it will take to get Morse. Warren and Logan will not come close. You can’t dump a marginal prospect and a LOOGY+ going into free agency on a team with MLB’s best record last year and expect them to give up a fairly good OF.

    Morse is not the solution anyway. He’s a righthanded Nick Swisher… with even worse defensive skills. I’d rather sign Hairston.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Considering the cost to get either, I agree on going with Hairston.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      The Granderson trade isn’t really a good comp. The Yankees traded for three years (and one option) year of Granderson. It’s just one year of Morse. The Quentin (CHW to SD) and Willingham (WAS to OAK) trades fit much better since they were also one year of the player.

      • Hoss

        You are right, Mike. I thought it was 2 years for Morse. I still don’t think Logan and Warren will do it.

      • Ted Nelson

        Interesting comps, Mike. Morse doesn’t have the long track record of Willingham or the upside of Quentin, to me, so perhaps a reasonable deal is possible if Washington is motivated to move him. They might prefer him to just keep him on their bench, of course.

    • MannyGeee

      I’ll take a right handed Nick Swisher. in a cocaine fucking heartbeat…

      We can stop bashing him now that he’s gone, you know….

  • rick

    Its worth a look to read the comments in the open thread last night. Pat D was all butt hurt that Notre dame lost. HAHAHA He actually though a team that beats navy can beat the SEC champion. Pure gold, his sad life is hilarious.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Pat, it looks like you’ve got your very own Dan Gold.

  • http://bassoprofundo1.blogspot.com Coloyank

    Well, Gardner’s a star to me. You don’t have to be a slugger to be a star. He’s got a helluvan ugly swing, but once he’s on, you can just feel the other team’s jitters all the way through the cable box. And I do agree – they plan to play him in center and cause havoc at the bottom of the lineup.

    • Mike HC

      I think Gardner is a star too. Elite defense, baserunning, working the count and good OBP. Not a superstar, but an all star caliber player, in my opinion.

      • Mike HC

        I should add, “when healthy,” and that really can’t be discounted.

    • MannyGeee

      “He’s got a helluvan ugly swing,”

      How dare you sir…

      – Johnny Damon

  • Mister D

    Mike, when you talk about working harder in a contract year, you mean the off-field stuff, right? Just want to clarify that.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Preparation and stuff. Maybe they read the scouting report one extra time or focus a little more during that ninth inning at-bat in a blowout game to pad the stats.

      • Hoss

        Maybe running a little harder to first base on a ground ball. It will be interesting to watch Cano.

        • Ted Nelson

          And how much impact does any of that have? If it has a significant impact, shouldn’t it be readily available in the stats?

          • Hoss

            No. The game cannot be completely boiled down to statistics.

            • Ted Nelson

              You are not worth arguing with. Perhaps if you took the time to learn what statistics are you would be more prepared to discuss them.

              Yes, running harder to 1B will show up in the statistics if it matters. If it matters, it will mean more hits. That is your argument, a statistical one.

              Mike’s whole argument is that they will have better statistical seasons, in which case… yes, stats do matter.

              • johnnybk

                It will show up, but the question is why. For all advanced stats can tell us about the game, there are still things like work ethic that just can’t be quantified. Hard work is still part of the equation.

                • Ted Nelson

                  I don’t disagree with that.

              • Steve

                In the running hard argument, it could result in more rushed throws leading to more errors, which would show up on somebody’s stats but not on Canos

                • Ted Nelson

                  I’m not arguing that Cano shouldn’t run to the base harder, but how many times a year do you really think that’s going to happen? Two or three? Cano can work as hard as humanly possible, and physically I don’t think he’s ever going to put pressure on a defense like Gardner or Ichiro will. The Yankees managed to sign him at a very reasonable bonus in part because scouts thought he was too slow for 2B.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    I have no idea, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the increase in the odds of pulling a hamstring outweighs the increase in errors.

                • Jim Is Bored

                  How hard do you think it is to fine “Times reached base via error?”

  • Ted Nelson

    The question isn’t if guys are more incentivized during their contract years, they definitely are. It’s whether that translates to increased production in any meaningful way. And I believe that the research shows that it doesn’t, though it’s not like I follow it religiously. These are already pro athletes in a very competitive sport. If they were already working very hard to get to where they were, working even harder is likely to have a marginal impact on their production at best. Perhaps if they were slacking off before it will have a huge impact.

    People are forgetting about Gardner because they are just looking for something to complain about and/or buying the MSM storyline that is just designed to sell views.

    If it does start, the Stewart/Cervelli era is likely to be short-lived.

  • Blake

    @DCameronFG: Assuming Nats can turn Morse into a decent reliever, I’d rather have LaRoche/reliever than Morse/cash.

    Is Logan a decent reliever?

    • MannyGeee

      decent enough for us to opine… however, I get a feeling this might mean the end of Joba time in the Bronx.

  • Blake

    Laroche is signing with the Nats….get morse

  • Gonzo

    LaRoche just signed! We might find out what Morse is worth to a team!

  • The Moral Majority is Neither

    How sweet would it be if Adams and CoJo have monster seasons and the Yankees feel confident letting Cano walk for a draft pick?

    I like Cano but am wary of another mega-deal, especially at a position with short career peaks historically.

    • Havok9120

      That is among the best case scenarios for 2013. It’d be awesome.