Jun
19

Mailbag: The ones that got away

By
(Christian Petersen/Getty)

(Christian Petersen/Getty)

Daniel says: What I’ve been thinking is that maybe there was no way of preventing this season’s struggles … I really believe it is just one of those years that a lot of problems fell onto the team all at once from injuries to decline to inconsistent performances (and not just a poor approach to free agency). I think it would help to keep it all in perspective by taking a look at the players the Yankees “missed out on,” and speculate exactly what kind of a difference it would have made had they been brought on. I may be one of the few that does not blame this whole joke of a season on Brian Cashman at all, and I place only a fraction of blame on the front office.

(Apologies, Daniel. I trimmed down your submission quite a bit, but hopefully this will still get your point across satisfactorily. Of course, with loaded question comes loaded answer…)

I suppose the best way to approach this topic would be to take a quick visit to MLBTR’s 2013 Free Agent Tracker. From there, we can try to assess whether any of those “lost” free agent candidates would impact the team’s needs enough to make a tangible difference.

Let’s start with 3B, SS, C, and RF as those were all obvious spots of concern this past offseason. Of course, it is worth mentioning that this kind of speculation is somewhat futile as we don’t know whether any of these players would have performed comparably had they been with the Yankees, nor do we know how the other clubs’ rosters would have been realigned if they couldn’t get some of the players they did. But for the sake of vacuum-written posts everywhere, let’s just go with it.

Third Base
1

(click every table in this post for a larger view)

The third base market was pretty barren this past offseason. To make matters worse, the Yankees weren’t exactly looking to make major moves at this position heading into the offseason. The decision to repair Alex Rodriguez’s torn labrum surfaced in late-November. He required a month or so of pre-rehabbing prior to surgery, followed by an estimated four to six month recovery time afterward. This resulted in a need for a third baseman who could not only start, but who could potentially handle the rigors of playing all season long should A-Rod‘s return become delayed (which was/is definitely plausible).

Unfortunately, Eric Chavez was already off the table by the first week of December. He signed a one year, $3 million dollar pact with the Diamondbacks, opting instead for a starting gig. Chavez has had a solid season thus far and would have been a decided upgrade over what the Yankees have gotten from their third basemen collectively, though he’s already experienced his first (of what I’m sure will be several) injuries this season.

After Chavez, the alternatives are pretty awful besides Mark Reynolds. We’re talking Brandon Inge (signed a MiLB deal), Drew Sutton (MiLB deal), Mark DeRosa (1 yr/$750k), and the oft-injured Placido Polanco (who’s been terrible with the Marlins). Signing Kevin Youkilis made sense in theory to some degree, but it was an extremely risky move to replace one injury prone player with another. $13M for a fragile Youk plus random assorted parts simply doesn’t cut it.

Shortstop

2

Derek Jeter sure didn’t do the team any favors when he decided to go break his ankle last October. Man, that screwed things up. The Yankees took a gamble that the Captain would heal by his Opening Day target date (which in retrospect seemed pretty ambitious). Their backup plan, Eduardo Nunez, has been sidelined basically all year which has paved the road for other internal candidate, Jayson Nix who has been serviceable.

Would Alex Gonzalez (1 yr/$1.5M), Ronny Cedeno or Cesar Izturis (MiLB deal) prove a better alternative? None of these options seem particularly appealing to me – then or now. Stephen Drew would have been an upgrade over what the Yankees have for sure, but there was no way Cashman was going to sign him for a part-time gig anyway – remember the assumption was that Jeter would be back by Opening Day. I’m just not sure free agency was the solution for the short stop dilemma in terms of quality. Cash gets a pass here for not biting on any of the alternatives if all the information provided to him at the time suggested Jeter was likely to return on the expected schedule.

Catcher

3

That brings us to catcher. The plan was – I can’t believe I’m saying this – to roll the dice with Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart. Frankie went down early after contributing at a surprisng pace. Austin Romine came up and played miserably in limited opportunity. This allowed Stewart to secure the starting gig for himself. Now, to be fair, Stewart has surpassed my expectations with his .270/.326/.348 (.299 wOBA, 84 wRC+) line and three home runs, which basically represents career highs for him. Russell Martin, on the other hand, is playing pretty close to his career norm. That is to say seven home runs and a .247/.340/.419 (.336 wOBA, 116 wRC+) line – a rate, mind you, that is sustainable for him … perhaps unlike Chris’ production (or Cervelli’s for that matter).

Pierzynski (102 wRC+) has been pretty good too, and he was signed by the Rangers for a one-year stint. Other FA catchers such as David Ross, Yorvit Torrealba, Rod Barajas and Henry Blanco have all performed generally worse. While Stewart hasn’t been bad, I think it was still a pretty big #FAIL to not re-sign Martin (especially since Martin is also a defensively capable catcher, which is apparently an asset these days). I’ll blame Cashman for this lost production, but who knows. Maybe ownership deserves some of (or the majority of) the blame here too if they either a) passed on Cashman’s recommendation to keep Martin or b) prevented him from retaining Martin because of the proposed austerity budget.

Right Field

4

Now … the OF, which as it currently stands, is a complete cluster-f mess. As I mentioned last week, it’s no one’s fault that Curtis Granderson fell victim to two fluky injuries, the first of which happened in Spring Training. However, it is of absolutely no surprise that right field ended up being an offensive void after the team elected to drop Nick Swisher in lieu of some Ichiro/Francisco-headed platoon. Once Grandy went down, the team was doubly screwed as it would then be forced to trade/rely on Vernon Wells in left field. Prior to the start of the season, there were some outfielders available. The Yankees could have tried to replace Swisher with another right fielder, or hire a different outfield position and find a way to reorganize the lineup possibly.

For what it’s worth, Swisher hasn’t been all that great in Cleveland thus far; though even while playing relatively mediocre, Swisher’s 107 wRC+ still manages to sit about 30 points higher than the Yankees not-quite-so-dynamic outfield tandem of Ichiro and Wells. I can totally understand not signing a guy like Josh Hamilton for health concerns or Michael Bourn (might as well just get Swisher if you’re spending almost $50M anyway). Heading into the season, Justin Upton was an appealing option though. Ditto Torii Hunter. Mike’s been endorsing Nate Schierholtz from day one. All of these guys would have felt like a better plan going in, and a few would still be improvements now.

Sure, the actual numbers for some of these outfielders may not have panned out favorably through the first third of the season, but the opportunity for success would have been better heading in, and that’s the real point. The team chose guys whose ceilings were likely to be below average for a few of these positions. Again, these decisions were largely driven by the austerity budget, and we’re examining them in hindsight. But neither of those points makes the outcome an easier one to accept. The Yankees have gotten very little production from their corner outfielders and their third basemen, and it shows. Obviously, the Yankees were betting on their pitching and defense to help shoulder some of the burden, which it has, but the overall lack of offense has put a lot of pressure on the team to generate runs in different ways which isn’t always easy.

Now to be clear, this isn’t to say that if Cashman had hired any of these Free Agents, they’d be instant World Series contenders or definitively better off now than where they currently stand. What we’re talking about here is incremental upgrades. If some of these Free Agents came aboard and translated into even a few extra wins over the course of the season, who knows, maybe that ultimately winds up being the difference between making the playoffs and missing it in the hyper competitive A.L. East.

It’s about trying to mitigate the possibility of failure as much as possible before experiencing diminishing returns on the investment.  Frankly, I think even a marginal upgrade in RF and 3B would definitely help considering how awful those spots have been — hence the reason I’m somewhat optimistic about A-Rod when he returns.  Short-stop and Catcher haven’t been as bad relatively speaking, even though we’ve seen how Stewart’s skill set compares to a guy like Martin.  Or, maybe they wind up right where they are as you suggest even with some of these guys. There’s no way to prevent a disappointing season from possibly happening if a maelstrom of injuries occurs. 

I also wouldn’t go so far as to call this season a joke either. Games have been painful to watch at times, but there is a lot baseball to be played and the team is obviously in contention. You are absolutely right, though, in the sense that the perfect storm of injuries has exacerbated an already difficult set of conditions. Ultimately, maybe they get by without some of those Free Agents which is obviously the most desirable outcome as that’s the reality that the team created. In the meantime, keep yourself prepared for some low-scoring ballgames as we find out.

Categories : Mailbag
  • Robinson Tilapia

    This should be a feel-good kind of comment thread.

    Basically, other than SS, in retrospect, there were better available options at the other positions. I was on board with signing Youk at the time, though, so hindsight is definitely 20/20 there, but I was also endorsing bringing back BOTH Youk and Chavez.

    The only one that truly slightly smarts to me is the OF. I’m not on the Ichiro hate wagon at all, as I do even enjoy those moments from the player he’s become, but that’s not the production, even with all cylinders running, I’d want from a starting RF. I wish they just would have promised Schierholz the extra playing time from the beginning. Wells was a creative but, ultimately, not great way to address those mistakes, and that’s not going so well. Nothing we can do about it now and, like Matt said, no promise that we’d be any better in the standings.

    I don’t consider the season a mess. There’s a lot of this that should have been expected with, really, the continued injuries the only huge surprise to me. My hope is that, like other funny little Yankee moments such as 2005, we’ll look at this season and next as either an anomaly or something that needed to happen in five years’ time.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I forgot to say that we’ll be thinking of them as anomalies while we happily talk about the championships we won anyway. ;)

    • I’m One (Because typing all the letters in “The Real Me” is becoming tiresome and might get me confused with “The Real Greg” which is why I dropped the handle originally)

      I agree that if promising Schierholz extra playing time was all that was stopping him from signing, then it should have been done. That one hurts. Hunter would have been nice and I’m sure most (if not all) would have loved to have landed J. Upton. Jowever, the largest problem with the OF has been Granderson’s injuries. A platoon may have helped the production of Wells/Ichiro to the point of being at least acceptable.

      Also, I really felt they should have gone aggressively after Chavez once they knew A-Rod would be having surgery. He plus a backup would have been nice. Always like Chavex and liked him even more once he became a Yankee.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Big Chavez fan. Being able to hold on to a talented player like that and using him enough to hold off injury was a nice luxury for this team. Wish they would have prioritized him.

      • Laz

        I didn’t believe Schierholz would be as good as he has been. I simply thought he was much cheaper, less likely to get injured, and less likely to be an offensive black hole compared to Ichiro.

  • Eddard

    Catcher they made the right decision. Frankie was excellent when he was healthy this season. RF I liked the decision not to give Swisher all that money. They shouldn’t have given Ichiro 2 years. Victorino could have been had but the Sox beat Cashman to the punch.

    3B Youk was an ok choice. There weren’t many options there.

    SS they didn’t expect Jeter to be out half the year. He tried to return then had a setback. They put all their eggs in the Eduardo Nuney basket and I don’t know why they did that.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      “They put all their eggs in the Eduardo Nuney basket and I don’t know why they did that.”

      Outrage in 3…2…

      • Pat D

        Outrage missed his cue.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          He always does once you try and prompt him.

      • Preston

        EDDARD USED TO SUCK OFF NUNEY IN EVERY THREAD RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!

    • I’m One (Because typing all the letters in “The Real Me” is becoming tiresome and might get me confused with “The Real Greg” which is why I dropped the handle originally)

      Catcher they made the right decision. Frankie was excellent when he was healthy this season.

      Once again, SSS for the win. We have no idea how Frankie would hve done over the course of the season. If he doesn’t perform well when he returns, it could be due to lingering effects of the injury or just a regression to his normal level or production. But to say they made the right decision based on the small bit we saw from Frankie is wrong.

      And who is this Eddard imposter stating that the team was wrong for trusting Eduardo Nuney was a wrong decision?!?!?!? The Real Eddard would never say that!

      • OhioYanks

        Totally agree that his early season production was out of line with expectations, to be generous. In his one MLB season as a regular, though, he managed to hit almost as well as Martin did as a Yankee. You can’t necessarily project forward on one season, but his other partial seasons are fairly in line with that as well. If the Yankees knew that he had improved his D in AAA last season (and I’m sure they did), it is at least somewhat understandable to pass on Martin for Cervelli.

        After seasons with wRC+s of 87, 90, 100, and 95 deciding that Martin’s 122 wRC+ is sustainable is about as reasonable as Eddard stating that his favorite Yankee ever should not be trusted.

      • MannyGeee

        So, you’re saying we should go ahead and take down the “Eduardo Nuney with his helmet flying off” statue in front of EddardWorld National Stadium?

        Check, getting the cranes.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    And, as always, thank you, Matt.

    • http://RiverAveBlues.com Matt Warden

      Appreciate the praise, RT.

  • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

    Calling a 116 wRC+ for Martin sustainable is being rather generous.

    • Jim Is Bored

      He hasn’t been above 100 since 2008. Yeah, I’d say it’s pretty generous.

    • MannyGeee

      Yup, we tend to forget that Martin took the better part of July & August off last season.

      • http://riveraveblues.com Matt Warden

        Yeah, sustainable might have been a bit generous given that Martin has had a wRC+ over 100 only once from 2009-2012.

        However, I think it’s still reasonable to think he’s more likely to continue playing at his current level then Stewart is (considering he’s never shown anything close to this season’s productions).

  • trr

    So, it doesn’t seem that we missed any golden opportunities here. And as pointed out, who knows what their contributions would’ve been in pinstripes anyway? What I would take away from this is a reminder of how important it is to invest in your farm system, your player development programs… As we’ve seen, there’s not a lot of MLB ready talent in our farm system right now….

  • gbyanks

    almonte should just be put in right field everyday and let him sink or swim until granderson comes back. hes not gonna be of use to anyone if he has to adjust to only playing twice a week.

  • oops

    I feel like that guy, so I must be that guy.

    I believe you meant “exacerbated” down there near the end instead of “exasperated”.

    • http://riveraveblues.com Matt Warden

      Ahh, shoot! Yep…missed that one. Will fix, Descartes!

  • Vern Sneaker

    How much should you be willing to pay for a win? Or to put it another way, how badly do you want to make the playoffs? Does anybody doubt that with Swisher and Martin instead of Ichiro and Cervelli/Stewart –even with everybody else out who’s been out — we’d already have won another couple of games from the offensive/power production alone? We’re only two games back in the lost column. That’s bsasically what this season is about — Steinbrenner’s unwillingness to spend what the team used to. IMO, that Ichiro and Cervelli/Stewart were going to be downgrades from Swisher and Martin was entirely foreseeable, in fact definite.

    • MannyGeee

      I would love to get someone with some SABR-Math skills to figure out how much EXACTLY those wins would have cost this team financially. I guess you can do the easy math to say that IchiWells and Swisher are making the same amount of money and one is doing MUCH better than the other(s), but the cost of Martin over StewVelli is alarming…

      Anyone accept the challenge?

  • Eddard

    Frankie was outplaying Russ Martin by a large margin. This is the same Russ Martin who hit .180 for much of last season, which isn’t a SSS by the way. Why are we still swallowing the Russ Martin pill? I haven’t seen anyone swallow anything this hard since Joey Crawford swallowed his whistle in the last seconds of last night’s ballgame.

    • I’m One (Because typing all the letters in “The Real Me” is becoming tiresome and might get me confused with “The Real Greg” which is why I dropped the handle originally)

      Sure, in an extremely limited amount of playing time, Frankie was out-playing Martin. Would he have kept it up the entire season. There is no way of knowing due to his injury I suspect he wouldn’t have. You’re free to believe he would have. I’m basing my opinion on their previous MLB production, not the SSS of what Frankie showed at the beginning of this season.

      • Jim Is Bored

        Martin hasn’t been above a 100 wrc+ since 2008. There’s no real indication he’s going to keep playing at his current level, either.

        • Eddard

          Yep, he says I can’t predict if Cervelli would have kept it up but he knows he wouldn’t have. He also knows Martin would have sustained his success the whole year even though last year he was awful and the starters didn’t like throwing to him. And ballplayers can never improve their game, especially when they’re just entering their prime years and finally getting a shot to play everyday at the big league level.

          • I’m One (Because typing all the letters in “The Real Me” is becoming tiresome and might get me confused with “The Real Greg” which is why I dropped the handle originally)

            Never said that I knew who would do what. I said “I suspect”. Big difference. This is opinion on both of our parts.

    • Vern Sneaker

      Are you really saying that $$ aside, if you were GM and had the choice of Cervelli or Martin to make last winter as your starting catcher for 2013, you’d have picked Cervelli?

      • Vern Sneaker

        That’s for Eddard.

      • MannyGeee

        You can’t make choices like this’money aside’, because you would have signed Hamilton over Swisher, signed Drew for part time duties, signed Mark Reynolds, taken Martin and AJP as a platoon for the catching situation, signed Bourn as a 4OF and put Kyle Loshe as a long man out of the pen. I mean, money aside, Amirite??

        No one is questioning that Russell Martin is a better full time catcher than Frankie Cervelli (well, Eddard aside)… But is he $7M better? And is his inevitable “mid-summer 8-for-95 with 30 Ks” slump worth that $7M? Sure, its not our money, but we are also not making the decision for that same reason.

        • Vern Sneaker

          Fair enough, I accept that. The only reason I raised the “$$ aside” issue for the Martin vs. Cervelli discussion was because it was being made in terms of performance (Wrc+, etc) and I wanted to narrow it. I wish we had Martin’s 20 HR, 55 RBI power/production. (By the way, he’s headed for the same thing this year if he doesn’t get injured.) That wins you a game or two or three by itself and that can be all you need in a close race. Cervelli/Stweart = mainly singles.

          • MannyGeee

            I can’t argue that. Counterpoint, his sub-.100 BA during his slumps (which can last a dogs age) could also cost you those 2-3 games.

  • OhioYanks

    Seriously. The “joke of a season” where the Yankees are currently in line for a Wild Card birth and only four games behind the best in the AL. There have been a ridiculous number of injuries, but I don’t understand why Yankees fans are acting like they are the Astros.

    Martin is a career 104 wRC+ hitter who was at a 98 wRC+ for the Yankees after early career production that influences his career numbers. His current 122 wRC+ is just as out of line with reasonable expectations as Stewart’s season: 65 career wRC+ compared to 85 this season. Not to mention that we have a smaller career sample to work with for Stewart, who I am not sure has ever before gotten regular MLB PAs.

    When were defensive Cs not an asset? It is one of the hardest positions to stick at specifically because the defense is so demanding.

    Also not sure that Drew would be much of an upgrade over a healthy Nunez. Nunez has a career wRC+ of 83 and could easily improve at his age if he stopped being injured all the time. Drew is a better defender, but overall might not be much more valuable if at all.

    Schierholtz was the guy to get in the OF, and he’s happened to exceed expectations this season. Cashman seemed interested. No Ichiro and maybe they get Schierholtz.

    • MannyGeee

      Of all the names mentioned, I really agree that Scheirholtz was the one that got away. Its almost like the stars were aligned for him to come to NY when it all went down. The need, the price, the timing. It was all there.

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

    I read the original question more broadly, extending to “all time” and not just the most rent off season. Thus, I think the problems lay in the failure to sign Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran.

    • MannyGeee

      I have a soft spot for Beltran, but that’s a tall order to assume that these guys would have fixed the problem. Signing Beltran or Holliday likely means no Gardner, and you’d be in the same situation now.

      Also, the fact that the budget thing didn’t happen until last season. But I get what you’re putting down. There were options before November that could have helped our now season.

  • emac2

    In hindsight I would have given Martin, Drew and Chavez the money I gave to Wells and Youk though a healthy Nunez, Arod and Granderson would have been much better.

    Drew and Chavez seemed very obvious at the time though I don’t think Drew wanted to play here. The outfield problem is Wells alone and an outfield with Gardner and Ichiro as the 2nd and 3rd best hitter is exceptional.

    I think the Jr GM’s are trying to hit a home run with every personnel move at every position and the issue needs to be fixing what you can, making incremental improvements and not expecting old players to get better without rest.

    AND… Defense is huge! I don’t think people understand how much harder a pitcher works with weak defense.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I sometimes don’t agree with you, but you made incredibly good points here.

  • Captain

    Chavez over Youk would’ve been nice just for the money saved. but it still would’ve required Nix and Adams to play more innings than wanted due to injury. both are injury prone so the DL stints were to be expected. also it seemed like Chavez wanted a chance to play everyday somewhere for the entire season.

    • Jim Is Bored

      I think your last point applies to a lot of guys. Reynolds, Drew, etc would have been great, but they knew that if ARod/Jeter were around, they’d be riding the pine more often than not.

      • MannyGeee

        well, maybe not Reynolds. He would have been a nice 3B/1B/DH solution for the entire season. He would have got his at bats.

        • Jim Is Bored

          I guess, but i remember hearing his interviews in Baltimore and he never wanted to DH. So any team offering him a defensive starters role probably had a leg up.

          • MannyGeee

            Yeah, (looking in hindsight, at least) I would have guessed he would have seen alot of ABs as 3B through June July, and shared the 3B/1B/DH load throughout the rest of the season.

            Again, hindsight being 20/20

  • mitch

    If there’s one takeaway from the way the off season was handled it’s that older, injured players on the downside of their careers should only be signed to low-risk contracts as bench players (Hafner, Ibanez, Overbay, Chavez, etc).

    The problems start when you commit more money and rely on them for more than just part time roles (Youk, Ichiro, Wells).

    • Vern Sneaker

      Absolutely right. Can’t imagine what Cashman was thinking with Youk and Wells (Ichiro seems surely to be the cynical idesa that in two seasons with luck he’d have 3,000 hits with a big YS3 promotion, because there’s no other way to explain the contract.) And it’s not 20/20 hindsight. LOTS of people were going wtf.

      • emac2

        You don’t think Ichiro pays for himself?

        I would bet he easily covers his contract and fills some expensive seats that would otherwise be empty.

    • emac2

      Agreed. I think this is directly related to managing the roster with the payroll limit next year in mind. I wouldn’t have signed any big deals but passing on Chavez for money or a second year?

  • Zack D

    So the real lesson is that there were no “no-brainer” options. All the options were throwing mud at the wall and seeing what woul stick.

    Remember the love Keppinger received this offseason? Haven’t seen his name in 6 months

  • MannyGeee

    OK, its off topic slightly, but imma say it….

    Manny Ramirez is hitting the snot out of Taiwanese baseball. He was just granted his release, as his contract allowed him to get his release if there is another opportunity available.

    #NinjaCash

    BOOM

    • Jim Is Bored

      I don’t see how he’d be any worse, defense+offense, than Vernon Wells.

      • MannyGeee

        NEVER EVER say someone is on par with Manny Ramirez defensively.

        That said, he is a great textbook RH DH for the 2005 All Star Team we have going here, Amirite?

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Hey, we all once saw Brennan Boesch run right past a slowly rolling ball in the outfield.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I had resigned myself to thinking what I thought was destiny was never actually going to happen. A flyer on Manny actually makes sense if we actually think the DH glut we’re expecting doesn’t pan out, or if it turns out Travis Hafner actually died in May.

      • MannyGeee

        A Manny Ramirez/Travis Hafner DH Platoon is the thing video games (for your Sega Saturn or PS2) are made of…

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Never owned the Saturn. Did own the Dreamcast, which was part of a long line of my owning the less successful system which included luminaries such as the TurboGrafx-16, Odyssey2, Atari 5200, and skipping the original NES entirely in favor of the Sega Master System and a C-64.

          • I’m One (Because typing all the letters in “The Real Me” is becoming tiresome and might get me confused with “The Real Greg” which is why I dropped the handle originally)

            Anyone want to be an HD-DVD player? Fortunately I never owned a BetaMax.

  • Pasta Stumbling Sojo

    The analysis in this post is great, but I don’t understand the conclusion that’s drawn: “Sure, the actual numbers for some of these outfielders may not have panned out favorably through the first third of the season, but the opportunity for success would have been better heading in, and that’s the real point.”

    Isn’t it the exact opposite? The real point is that while it would have seemed like the GM had gone out and “done something,” the reality is that, as this analysis shows, the Yankees would have been in about the same position they’re in now, or maybe have won 1 or 2 more games so far. 2 more games at this point in the season is nothing to sneeze at, but it’s also the equivalent of a couple more bloop hits falling in (for example in the 18 inning game), and you’d need a similar amount of luck to have signed the right free agents from the above lists.

    And of course this analysis includes the possibility of getting someone like Swisher, which might have been really costly a few years from now.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Of course, which is why I don’t get worked up over half of these. Only Chavez and Schierholz were tough ones to swallow for me, along with Swish for purely sentimental reasons.

    • http://RiverAveBlues.com Matt Warden

      The way I see it, PSS, is that heading into the season the team could have made a few moves (specifically in the OF or 3B) that may have positioned the team better. Assuming the numbers played out as they have, the team could have very well found itself in a similar position though, it’s hard to say.

  • FEED.ME.MORE!

    Good post, good analysis.

    I can’t get mad at the team for the offseason decisions, outside of trading for Wells.

    Russell Martin for most of the season was below .300 OBP. They offered him the extension before the season, he didn’t want to sign then. He has the season he has and he gets $8.5 mil per. No big loss to me.

    I wasn’t crazy about giving Youk the $13 mil, but I wasn’t a fan of signing Chavez to play every day for 4 months either.

    We can diss the moves, but who’s to say the players we would’ve signed (Martin, Chavez, Scheirholtz) wouldn’t have sucked just the same, or gotten hurt?

    Injuries happen. Next man up.

  • ruralbob

    “For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been’” -John Greenleaf Whittier

  • Chasing Headley

    As far as the catching situation goes, it’s the one place I can’t fault Cashman. Martin was beyond lost for most the season, so who would have thought he could come back and produce?

    I’ve always like Chris Stewart and he’s done a pretty admirable job this year, at least for a back up player. Can’t have studs at every position.

  • Laz

    I think we were expecting Jeter/Grandy/Teix to be somewhat healthy.

  • CS Yankee

    Enjoyed your writings, but they usually miss a major point or have an error…but a good read overall.

    This is really, really good.

    I felt they overpaid for Youk and thought that Ichiro would have more than the “dead cat bounce”. They are insane for thinking the catching would be passable…but they are also correct. Russ’ was a better choice, but their choice currently has them above reproach as the SP has done really well overall.

    Incredible challenge ahead and hopefully they get some of the stars back being stars and the pitching holds up.

    Again, good piece!