Oct
19

Marchand: Yankees could go on $300M spending spree this offseason

By
(AP)

(AP)

Depending on how you work the math and whether Alex Rodriguez gets suspended for part or all of next season, the Yankees will have something like $65-90M to work with under that $189M luxury tax threshold this offseason. Derek Jeter‘s player option and various arbitration raises will change things as well. Either way, the Bombers are going to have some money to spend this offseason, and Andrew Marchand reports a massive shopping spree may in the works. To the block text:

[The] front office is devising a plan that could have the team going on a $300 million shopping spree, sources have told ESPNNewYork.com.

The Yankees will begin their organization meetings Monday where they will settle on a strategy that they believe can cut payroll to $189 million while spending big on free agents.

The Yankees’ initial main targets are expected to include their own Robinson Cano, Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka, Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann and St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran, according to sources.

The Yankees think they can add at least two top free agents this winter and remain under team owner Hal Steinbrenner’s goal of reducing total salaries to less than $189 million. Steinbrenner has said he would like to reduce the team’s luxury tax and revenue sharing numbers so that he can reinvest the money instead of paying out to smaller markets.

Just spitballing some average annual values/luxury tax hits, I think those four will wind up around $23M (Cano), $15M (McCann), $14M (Beltran), and $12M (Tanaka) next year. I think those are in the ballpark. The market is kinda crazy though — teams have a lot of money to spend and nowhere to spend it, so free agents are making huge bucks — meaning all four guys could wind up with more. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that’s what they get.

In that case, those four will combine for $64M next year, taking a huge bite out of that $65-90M pool of leftover cash. There is no doubt in my mind adding Tanaka, Beltran, and McCann to Cano and everyone else under contract/team control improves the team, but the Yankees would still have a lot of holes to fill. They’d need another starting pitcher (unless you’re particularly high on Vidal Nuno, Michael Pineda, and/or Adam Warren), a left-side-of-the-infielder, a DH, at least one and preferably two (ideally three) relievers, and a bench. On top of all of that, the team would need to set some cash aside for midseason additions, both call-ups and help at the trade deadline. They can’t have a $188.9M payroll on Opening Day. It won’t work.

If the Yankees do go on a huge spending spree this winter, I have very little doubt it would be about improving attendance and ratings as much as it would improving the team’s chances of contention. Given their 2013 Pythag. record (79-83) and the players they’re presumably losing this winter (Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera, specifically), the Yankees need to add about 20 wins worth of talent to the roster this offseason even after re-signing Cano. Beltran, McCann, and Tanaka won’t add that themselves — I’d be happy if they got 12 wins out of the trio next year — so the team either needs to blow past the $189M threshold to contend or hope guys like Jeter, CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Mark Teixeira, David Phelps, and Alfonso Soriano improve their performance in 2014.

Handing out $300M worth of contracts this winter would absolutely qualify as a huge splash and almost certainly improve the team, but it’s probably not enough to get the Yankees back in the postseason if the money goes to those four players and those four players alone. The Bombers are not one, two, or even four players away right now. They need a lot of help.

Categories : Hot Stove League
  • Kosmo

    if Arod is suspended for the season and let´s say NY re-signs Kuroda for 12-15 million in addition to the 4 mentioned above that would leave about 10-13 million to add bullpen and bench.
    Sabathia
    Tanaka
    Kuroda
    Nova
    w/Phelps, Nuno and ?

    that would be a solid starting staff.

    Sign Crain to bolster the pen. NY would still have several million left over to either add another BP arm or a bat.

  • mt

    I posted ths in gameday thread and Mike’ analysis is better but the “the Yankees have x to play with” analysis is unsatisfying because it is not clear what is being included or not (arb raises, benefits, the last 15 men on 40 man roster, etc., Jeter at $8 million salary or $15.5 mm AAV, etc) – From the ground up is the way to go.

    Someone needs to do an article from ground up to say how much Yankees really have – for example, the (ESPN) article mentioned that Jeter’s salary goes from $17 million to $9.5 million but didn’t explain that his AAV (if he takes the option) will actually go up from $14 million to $15.5 million (because the 4 years at $56 million is $14 million AAV plus add in $1.5 million of achieved incentives).

    Also the ARod suspension is huge – not just for the $27.5 million AAV swing but also will Yanks have to leave $6 million room for the 660 HR incentive payment – even if Arod gets suspended for 100 games, saving approximate $17 million in AAV, Arod still playing 62 games in 2014 would mean they would have to leave room for the possibility that he hits 6 HRs and gets paid the $6 million.

    The analysis that build ground up with better numbers (including real AAVs as opposed to annual 2014 salaries, full 40 man roster, the benefits cost, the arb raises, range of Arod suspension savings balanced by possibility of the home run bonus, higher Free agent prices than what this article shows) would literally be the real home run. Suffice it to say, Yanks keeping to $189 million goal will mean they cannot sign all these players mentioned in the ESPN article.

    Also Pence contract means a Granderson FA long-term contract may be more than we thought and Abreu contract means Tanaka may cost a little more on any contrcat than we thought. Also I don’t care what Magic Johnson said – if Dodgers can dump Ethier (or maybe Kemp), I can see them trying to re-sign Kershaw and also sign Cano. Tigers losing one of next 2 ALCS games will also help Cano market (Tigers should be interesting since there is now such negativity on Fielder (whether jusified or not) – will team then turn around and try to add another big, long-term contract like Cano (I keep seeing that Tigers may trade one year of Boras client Scherzer to lower their payroll).

    • mt

      When you say 20 wins needs to be added, isnn’t there some value from subtracting Hughes and Chamberlain and replacing them even with “average” players? The Yankees gave a lot of innings to bottom of the barrel performers who I assume added “negative” value.

      On the must improve list if we add FAs and still try to add 20 wins, the only one that I can see definitely improving is Phelps (still young and possibility of being injury free). Jeter, Tex, Sabathia are all question marks for different reasons. In a full year 2014 it will be extremely hard (if not impossible) for Alfonso Soriano to match his 2013 out-of-this-world Yankee stint rate of production. Similarly Nova can probably pitch somewhat worse than his 2013 level but pitch more games and still improve his annual value.)

      • Preston

        Chamberlain was worth -.6 wins, Hughes was worth 1.3.

        • JGYank

          BR has Hughes at -0.7 wins. Seems more accurate. A 2 win difference is pretty big. It also has Joba at 0.

          • Preston

            The only reason I use fwar instead of bwar is because I already frequent the site for the content. I don’t really have an opinion on which calculation is more accurate.

            • RetroRob

              Projection wise, fWAR is probably the better tool. For what they actually did, then I would lean toward
              B-R.

              Bottom line, there is certainly room for improvement from their replacements. Yet every year there will be players in the Hughes and Joba camp.

        • Ryan D

          WAR != wins. The Boston Red Sox posted a league high 36.6 WAR (fangraphs) and won 97 games. If you wanted to add 20 WAR you would be adding twenty wins above replacement level talent, which means 20 more wins than a team comprised of replacement level players, of which there is only really one I can think of (Marlins, who posted -.7 WAR based on fangraphs).

      • JGYank

        We’ll also gain some wins just from not giving playing time to guys like Brignac, Lillibridge, Gonzalez, Cruz, Adams, Nix, Nunez, etc. Hopefully guys like Ichiro, Wells, and Stewart will be off the team (Stewart, maybe Wells) or at least have less playing time than last year (Ichiro). Plus losing Hughes and Joba actually helps like you said. CC can’t be much worse than last year so he should improve at least a little bit. Nova, Jeter, Granderson, and Teixeira should all help add value. Arod could as well if he isn’t suspended. But we are losing Mo, Pettitte, and Soriano and probably Kuroda won’t be as good. But overall that’s already added value just by giving scrubs less playing time, and adding in more playing time for guys like Nova, Grandy, and Tex. We haven’t even gotten to the FAs and possible trade additions yet so the 2014 team definitely could have 10 more wins (according to run differential) if the offseason goes as planned and injuries don’t screw everything up again.

      • Mike HC

        It doesn’t look the Yanks will have that massive talent cushion that they enjoyed for the past 20 years, where the post season is a foregone conclusion. Now it seems like they will be in the mix, and need things to go relatively well (see the Red Sox) for them to rise to the top. Which is pretty good considering the core of the dynasty is all but gone.

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

        Average players aren’t cheap.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        Seems like the biggest potential place to add wins next year would be left side of the IF.
        Nix, Ryan, ARod, Cruz, AG, Adams, Youk, Nelson, Lillibridge, Brignac, Jeter, and Nunez managed to combine for a stellar -2.0 bWAR, -2.3 fWAR.

        As far as position players go, addressing the left side of the IF has the chance for the biggest potential impact, and should be a priority.
        Obviously, the uncertainty around ARod and Jeter and lack of many compelling options will make this difficult.

        • Mick rivers

          Hear hear, JG. this the right attitude. By default yanks are up 10 wins at least next year. If Luck now swings in NYs direction maybe more (Pineda, Nuno, Nunez, Musty, Banueles, plenty of low cost high upside latent potential). Imagine that!

  • JGYank

    Considering CC is now a question mark I’d put a big emphasis on improving the rotation. I like McCann but IMO catching is not a big priority right now considering we have 3 holes in the rotation, an expensive 2B FA, and need a corner outfielder. Not to mention we need bullpen help and bench guys especially for the left side of the infield. Kuroda and Tanaka would cover 2 of the 3 holes in the rotation. Unless one of Phelps/Warren/Pineda/Nuno step up we might even have to cover the 5th spot with a cheap FA as well.

    As a 6 win player, Cano should be able to justify his salary at least in 2014. So with Cano, Kuroda, and Tanaka I’ll guess and say that’s already $50M right there. Then we need a corner outfielder which will probably be Beltran or Grandy so that’s probably another $14M. So without spending on a C, the bullpen, or bench that would already use up $64M. If Arod isn’t suspended we might have to cut one of those 4 guys out, probably Kuroda. If he is suspended we would then have to spend on a replacement at third (maybe $5M-$10M) and then could use then rest on the pen, bench, and maybe a 5th starter. Still probably couldn’t squeeze in McCann unless we really find cheap options in the spots I just mentioned or one the FAs above took a considerable discount. So I don’t think we can afford more than 3 good FAs this offseason if we want to stick to $189M. Too many holes to fill.

    • CtKaiser

      Agree. Signing a catcher might not fit with the 189 salary plan. Also with McCann where did the power go? Doubles production down. Do we expect the HR numbers go up with the RF porch? A veteran set up/closer type is probably a bigger need than a catcher at this point.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        If they address the rest, catcher is honestly at the bottom of my list. If I sat through a year of Stewie already, I’m willing to sit through whatever I have to sit through in order to see if we’ve really got something with the young guys.

        • Dick M

          Gotta admit, I actually agree with this guy on this one.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Takes a big man to admit that.

            I would have disagreed with the dumbass. Oh, wait…

    • OhioYanks

      I think that you could argue either way. They have some C options, but they also have some SP options. Pineda and Phelps at spots 4 and 5 with a bunch of depth (Warren, Banuelos, Ramirez, Nuno, Marshall, Turley…) isn’t a bad situation at all.

    • Mick rivers

      Hear hear, JG. this the right attitude. By default yanks are up 10 wins at least next year. If Luck now swings in NYs direction maybe more (Pineda, Nuno, Nunez, Musty, Banueles, plenty of low cost high upside latent potential).

  • Bavarian Yankee

    $300M sounds like a lot … but it isn’t. When you think about it about 2/3 of that money will be needed to resign Cano. Then you have about $100M left to sign free agents, for resigning your other own guys and arbitration raises.

    • Bavarian Yankee

      that’s meant to be re-sign of course. Ugh.

    • mt

      Agreed that it is not a lot – I was really surprised at this title until i read the article and saw that ESPN was counting re-signing Cano as part of this “spending spree”.

  • Farewell Mo

    Agree with Mike.

    If they’re serious about contending in 2014, $189 needs to shown to the curb.

    • Mike M

      And if they’re serious about the $189 million, I’m ok with going into full rebuild mode if it means they can become competitive five years from now. Remember 2005-08 when they were good enough to make the playoffs but had no chance to actually win the whole thing?

  • Mike HC

    I definitely get your point Mike, but I wouldn’t complain too much if we did manage to land those four guys. The rest would then be up to Jeter, Teix and CC.

  • HateMclouth (formerly I’mVernon)

    This sounds promising. I do wish they would have spent last offseason though, to make one last run with Mo and Andy. The team is being reactive rather than proactive.

    Although, who they would have signed (aside from Martin – a clear upgrade) to make get the team playoff bound, I have no idea. Hamilton stunk, Swisher was “eh”. And I forget all of the other names available.

  • mt

    Mike,

    Do Yanks in an ideal world really need 3 FA relievers? I will be shocked if Yanks add 3 experienced FA relievers (unless said relievers are really cheap or coming off 2013 injuries that reduce value) – as I have said before, with so many holes in starting piching, line-up, bench to fill, if we can’t count on some relief pitchers from our farm system (from pool of Betances, Daley, Cabral, Herndon, Whitley, Montgomery, Burawa, Kahnle) to take up bullpen spots cheaply AND contribute, we have absolutely no shot at competing under the $189 million goal.

    I see bullpen right now as Robertson, Kelley, lefty Cabral, loser of Warren/Phelps/Nuno/whoever competition for 5th starter spot, Betances, one young player from list above who serves in old Noesi/Phelps/Warren role, and a free agent (Crain?).

    Side note: is Boone Logan surgery (removal of bone spurs, I believe) and projected recovery serious enogh that he might take a one year contract with yankees to rebuild value or will he still get good three year offers from other teams?

    • Mike HC

      It seems like Mike is always calling for more bullpen help, and I have always fell in line with an opinion like yours. But then a couple weeks later, I find myself thinking that, gosh darn it, we really could use some more bullpen help! So while I agree with you, Mike is probably going to be right when there is nobody to really trust in those middle innings.

      • Preston

        If there is one thing I trust Cashman to do it’s scour the waiver wire for middle relievers and R/L-OOGYs. I would like to add one bullpen piece, a proven set up guy to complement Robertson. I think one of Kelly, Claiborne, Betances and Montgomery could do the job solidly, but I don’t want to go into the season counting on it.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      There more likely to be able to fill the bullpen cheaply than rotation or starting lineup.
      But at the same time, if you’re going to spend a lot for position players and SP do you really want to go into the season hoping a bunch of guys who have never proven anything at the MLB level can be major contributors in the bullpen?
      Personally, I think adding 2 high leverage capable relievers could be enough. Anything less than that I think would be a major gamble – though a gamble they’ll almost definitely have to make if they’re intent on trying to compete and get under $189M.

  • Dicka24

    To back to a previous post by Mike, I think the Yankees would absolutely take Either from the Dodgers if the number was 4 years and $28 million. The Yankees are paying Ichiro $6 million, and a part time JAG like Jonny Gomes is getting $5 million per here in Boston. $7 million is peanuts for a productive player in todays MLB. Either in Yankee Stadium, short porch, small RF, would be a good fit, money not withstanding. Either has his flaws for sure, but he’s still a productive player. Plus, he’d be a great LH veteran bat to have around while trying to break in some of the young RH hitting OF’s the Yanks have in the high minors.

    While I like Beltran, 4 years in age, bad knees, and losing the 18th pick in a deep draft (for a pick in the 30’s yes), tell me it’s more wise to resign Grandy. Grandy can still play all 3 OF positions too. Beltran is arguably the better hitter, but considering all the rest, I’d prefer Grandy.

    Please no McCann. Not if it means losing a draft pick. This team needs to develop high end minor league talent. High draft picks are key to that. The Redsox have developed a ton of their early picks over the years, and look at the NLCS, where Wacha (19th pick I think 2012) is dominating. He was the compensation pick for losing none other than Albert Pujols. Now, more than ever, these high picks need to be protected, hoarded, and amassed as much as is humanly possible.

    • Will

      This plan sounds so dumb and shortsighted. I believe the Yankees need to bite the bullet and not concentrate on the false hope of winning it all in 14 but build a club in a smart way. With the center coming like in the Jeter era from within.

      • OhioYanks

        Are the two really mutually exclusive? Obviously they’ll cost themselves a couple of picks, but those guys aren’t likely to be ready for 3-6 years if ever anyway. Ideally the plan would be to have the veterans keep the team in contention in the short-term while the prospects finish developing.

  • OhioYanks

    I think that people around here are too low on Pineda. Possibly because they are just lumping all guys with any shoulder injury together into one group. Something like 3 out of the 4 guys I’ve read had injuries/surgeries that were actually similar to his came back just as good afterwards. Anibal Sanchez being the most often cited example of a similar injury. I absolutely feel comfortable with him as a back-end SP option for next season based on what I know, though the Yankees obviously know a ton more than I do.
    I don’t think we have any business lumping him in with Vidal Nuno or Adam Warren. Those guys aren’t worthless, but I don’t expect nearly as much from them as Pineda.

    Not surprisingly, I think Mike’s WAR estimation is on the pessimistic side. Yes, any reasonable person would expect Tex to contribute more in 2014 than 2013. No, it is not guaranteed. Neither is any player staying healthy. He’s also decided to double-screw the Yankees on A-Rod by not giving them either salary relief or his production in the analysis… they have to get one or the other. Is building a bench, a bullpen, or getting a DH really all that expensive? .

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      something like $65-90M to work with under that $189M luxury tax threshold this offseason.

      This range includes the potential salary relief with ARod. They won’t have anywhere near $90M to work with if ARod’s full AAV counts. They won’t even have $65M to work with if ARod’s full AAV counts, assuming Jeter picks up his option, and factoring in Arb and pre-arb players.

      • OhioYanks

        Not to be rude, but I read the article.

        He then counts up to $64 million in added AAV and basically implies that the Yankees cannot spend anything else once they get there. At that point he goes into the WAR counting neither what they might add with $25 million or A-Rod’s expected production over a full-season (injury and decline concerns being counted into expected production) vs. a fraction of a season.

        So, as I said, he is giving them credit for neither the salary relief nor the production.

        Overall, I think that the WAR counting is probably a futile exercise. I do it too, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t know if it’s an accurate way to project a team’s improvement. The Yankees went through much of 2013 with, what, two hitters who were above league average? They might field a much deeper and more competitive lineup next year.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          In that case, those four will combine for $64M next year, taking a huge bite out of that $65-90M pool of leftover cash.

          I’d say that implies that if they spend that $64M AAV, they’d have $1M-$26M left to spend.
          If ARod counted in full, or close to it, they’d have nothing left to spend (and realistically would probably have to cut salary elsewhere to fit under the cap), while still having several needs to fill.
          If ARod didn’t count at all, they’d have more to spend (though realistically probably closer to $16M than $26M), and have one additional need.
          Either way, it’d take an awful lot of luck, ingenuity, and a borderline miracle to make the math work.

          • OhioYanks

            Again, I read the article. My point is that he neither gives them credit for the salary relief or A-Rod’s production. Do you actually want to argue against that or keep showing me things we’ve both read?

            You’re missing my point. It is not one more hole to fill, because Mike did not count A-Rod in the first place.

            The math is not really anything legitimate. It’s just back of the envelope stuff, and a half-ass attempt even at that. He doesn’t even give them credit for Tex (2.7 2012 fWAR) replacing Overbay (0 fWAR in 2013). 20 wins is pretty arbitrary. They would have needed 92 wins for a WC spot this season, 93 last season. Are the Red Sox a 97 win team in 2014? Who knows? Between everything that went right for them in 2013 and playing a theoretically better Yankees team a bunch of times they might not be.

            I do absolutely think that $25 million, a good starting 3B, or a combo of the two (if suspension is shortened… is that possible?) changes the math. This is a team that went through most of the season with about 2 above average hitters.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting

              My point is that he neither gives them credit for the salary relief or A-Rod’s production.

              Except where I showed repeatedly that ARod salary relief has to be included in that $65-$90M range.

              Of course it’s just back of the envelope stuff. That’s the point. That’s why there aren’t detailed breakdowns of every possible scenario.
              Their Pythag was 13 wins short of a WC tie. They lost about 9 bWAR with Pettitte, Mo, and Kuroda. That’s 22 wins short. It seems like 20 is giving some credit for Tex replacing Overbay. You also have to account for the fact that their will be injuries next year, just as they always are. Adding 20 wins of talent doesn’t necessarily equal an extra 20 wins over current talent level. It’s probably less than that. A 92-win likely needs at least 95-wins of talent to begin with to account for injuries.
              But yes, some of those 20 wins could potentially come internally. An internal option might be a big upgrade over Hughes at 5th starter. Jeter might be able to bounce back. CC might be able to bounce back.

              • OhioYanks

                No. The $95 mill was not used in adding up the WARs. $64 mill was. Nor was A-Rod’s production counted. They necessarily get one or the other. How many ways can I say this before you understand it? We both agree that $95 million was mentioned early in the article. I’ve said as much two or three times. Where I am disagreeing is whether it came into play in the arbitrary WAR adding. You still haven’t even addressed that yet. It’s like typing to a wall.

                Again, dude, you can’t just add up individual WAR to reach team wins. It’s not a perfect metric, nor is it comparable to Pythag W/L. Especially not when you’re taking last season’s WARs to project next season. Check out team fWAR on fangraphs and you’ll see that there isn’t a perfect relationship with team wins. Pythagorean W/L is based on team runs, WAR is based on an imperfect composite of underlying performance indicators.

                Again, you want to be using expected WAR not last season’s WARs. And expectations include injury expectations. This is not my thinking, this is how statistics works.

                Overall, are the Yankees in a great position? No. They absolutely can put a contender on the field next season with all the money they have to spend and talent they have in-house, though. It’s kind of ironic to use the Red Sox as the team the Yankees are chasing. Remember when the Blue Jays were going to win the division and the Red Sox were going to finish in last? You can’t just add up historic WAR to get to any meaningful insight. But if you insist on doing so, the Yankees absolutely can add a bunch of WAR using $25 million in AAV, whether on the free agent market or through trade.

                • Need Pitching & Hitting

                  1st paragraph:
                  He said about 20 Wins. It’s necessarily arbitrary because there are so many unknowns.
                  And they don’t necessarily get $25M or ARod’s production. The salary relief of a partial season suspension would be at least partially offset by the HR bonus. And there is no guarantee that ARod can stay healthy enough to produce at any predictable level. Basically he’s a complete wildcard for next year.

                  2nd paragraph:
                  Never said you could. It’s a rough estimate. You’re the one criticizing it for not being detailed enough, when it couldn’t possibly ever be, because it’s not necessarily a direct correlation. The 20 wins is an estimate. And imo, it’s probably not very far off from reality.

                  3rd paragraph:
                  That is what I’m using. What is the expected WAR for Tex? Already declining player coming off major injury? My point was that some players are likely to fall well short of “expected WAR” because of injuries. See 2012 Jeter, Granderson, Tex, Youkilis…

                  4th paragraph:
                  Of course they can get a lot for $25M. Or they can get Vernon Wells and Kevin Youkilis.
                  Yes they can put a contender on the field next year. I think it’s highly unlikely they can put a playoff team on the field for under $189M.
                  With the hypothetical 4 players being signed, and having the additional money of ARod hypothetically being suspended for the full season, would realistically leave them with about $15M or so to spend. And ideally they’d still need/want another top half of the rotation starter, bullpen help, a 3B, a SS or DH, and maybe some bench help. That’s an awful lot to fill for about $15M. Sign Kuroda and you can cross off the starter but leave everything else to internal options. If ARod somehow manages to escape with a 50-ish game suspension or less, you can cross 3B off that list, but you’d have no money for the other holes, and would likely have to cut salary elsewhere.
                  Either way, the math doesn’t really work, which I believe is the point of the article which you seem to be missing in your obsession with the lack of explicitly detailed scenarios.

                  • Need Pitching & Hitting

                    *2013 Jeter, Granderson, Tex, Youkilis…

                  • OhioYanks

                    Come on, man, give it up. You’re missing all my actual points and just trying to trip me up on details. Address the points I am making or lets stop wasting our time here.

                    You still have not once directly addressed my point that Mike’s analysis was wrong. Now you are spitting all over logic to say that because A-Rod might get hurt next season we should just expect nothing from him. Look into stats/decision sciences a little. I can’t teach you the entire science, but your expectations take into account the chances of injury.

                    My points is that they don’t need to add 20 WAR. It’s only a loose proxy for team wins, as is Pythag W-L.
                    You say it’s not far from reality, but provide no evidence at all. I have urged you to look around the league at the relationship between individual fWAR, pythag w-l, and team wins. If you do that, you’ll see that the Orioles and Angels were basically tied for 5th in fWAR, the Giants were 8th, the Cards were outside the top 10, and the Rangers were in the bottom half of the league. There is definitely a relationship, but it’s loose.

                    “My point was that some players are likely to fall well short of “expected WAR” because of injuries”

                    And that can happen to any and every team. And some will exceed it.
                    You are not using expected WAR, though. You are arbitrarily guessing at what you expect. Expectations need to be based on some analytical framework to be worth anything. That framework would take injury risk into account in giving you your expectations. This is what several people do before every season and list it on fangraphs.
                    If you don’t know much about a subject, why would you assume you are right instead of trying to learn about the subject? I have never understood this part of human nature. You clearly have no formal training in stats, yet you are bull-headedly engaged in a discussion on stats in which you refuse to entertain the possibility that you are wrong.

                    “Of course they can get a lot for $25M. Or they can get Vernon Wells and Kevin Youkilis.”

                    This is a red herring… Any team can get nothing from any player or way more than expected. That works in either direction and for any team. This is why I keep telling you that we need to deal with expected outcomes, not just assume everything will go wrong for the Yankees and everything will go right for other teams.

                    The larger point is that Mike ignored that $25 million in adding WAR. You can’t do that. The WAR expected from $25 million invested is a significant chunk of the 20 you’re arbitrarily aiming for.

                    “And ideally they’d still need/want another top half of the rotation starter, bullpen help, a 3B, a SS or DH, and maybe some bench help.”

                    You are assuming both that basically nothing goes right internally and that a team must have zero holes to make the playoffs. Do you really think those are realistic assumptions?

                    “Either way, the math doesn’t really work”

                    Again, dude, the math doesn’t have to work the way you think it does.
                    1) 20 WAR is a totally arbitrary number. They could be at ~20 WAR and be a playoff team (Rangers) or be at ~27 WAR and not make the playoffs by a wide margin (Orioles or Angels) or be at ~10 WAR and not make the playoffs my the same margin (Yankees).
                    2) A few things could also go unexpectedly well. You point out everything that could possibly go wrong. Teams that win a lot of games have a lot of things go crazy right and exceed their expectations. Red Sox, just for a recent example, had historically injury prone guys healthy all season (Pedroia and Ellsbury) or at least a chunk (Clay), had their ace bounce back from looking dead in the water, and got career years or at least best recent years from a good chunk of their roster. They didn’t build a team people expected to win 97 games.
                    3) You’re ignoring the negative WAR.
                    4) You’re poo-pooing a 4 WAR player coming back, Kuroda, when that’s 1/5 of the goal you’ve set right there.

                    “I believe is the point of the article which you seem to be missing in your obsession with the lack of explicitly detailed scenarios.”

                    Again, you’re not actually responding to my points. You’ve made up what you think I am saying.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting

                      This is way too long and way too dumb an argument to begin with.
                      I’ll just sum up with a few basic points at the end, I’m not going to bother reading the rest.
                      1) Yes it’s somewhat arbitrary. I’ve already said as much. It’s an opinion. Based loosely, but not entirely, on things such as Pythag and expected WAR. And you seem to be completely ignoring pitching value. For example, combine both position player and position fWAR and of the 11 teams to make it to at least a play-in game, 10 finished in the top 11 combined fWAR. The lone outliers were KC (8th) and Cleveland (13th).
                      2) Yes. I’m not talking about building a team that’s expecting to win 97 games. I’m talking about building a team that is more likely than not to make the playoffs, and if a lot of things go well, can win the division.
                      3) I’m not ignoring anything. My perception of the Yankees current talent level (no ARod, with Jeter and Cano) would be that they need to find about 20 more wins somewhere. I’m including in that assessment that while the Yankees had an inordinate amount of playing time from below replacement level players this season, the reality is, at least some playing time will go to below replacement level players as well. I think most of the 20-ish wins will have to come from trade/free agency. Some of that can certainly come from players rebounding, exceeding my expectations, etc, as I’ve already said.
                      4) I’m not poo-pooing anything. I think adding Kuroda is very significant. I also think in this scenario, it would leave too many remaining holes for the Yankees to be likely to make the playoffs.

                      And for the final point. Your point seems to be that while Mike gives a range of $$ available reflective of ARod/noARod, he doesn’t change the WAR needed. That’s true, essentially. But given that as we’ve agreed, the about 20 Wins is essentially just a rough, back of the envelope, estimate, is it really necessary? Would estimating needing 19 wins with ARod or 21 wins without make you feel better? Doesn’t “about 20″ cover both, for such a rough estimate?
                      It’s also an extremely minor and inconsequential point. There are a range of possibilities of how the ARod situation plays out. There’s not a lot of point in giving a detailed description of each one, imo. They could save the all of the money, some of the money, or none of the money. They may get no production, some production, or a lot of production. You think they don’t need to add 20 WAR. You may be right, but it’s just an opinion. My opinion is they need something in that range, probably at least 80% from free agency/trade.

                    • OhioYanks

                      LOL

                      Yes, saying that you have an extra $25 million to replace only one win is extremely important. You should be able to go out and add on average, what, 5 wins with $25 million? That’s 1/4 of the total you are shooting for.

                      Add 5 wins to the ~10 you might added with the 3 signings and you get to 15 wins. Add Tex at even 2 wins. Jeter and Pineda at even a combined 2 wins. Add a win from a full season of Soriano. You’re at 20 wins.

                      Have you actually considered what it would take to get there? Or just pessimistically deterministic?

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

                      Yes, saying that you have an extra $25 million to replace only one win is extremely important. You should be able to go out and add on average, what, 5 wins with $25 million? That’s 1/4 of the total you are shooting for.

                      I’d like to see how exactly you could turn $25M into five wins without getting insanely lucky. You’re talking about a team that saved $12M through Tex’s WBC injury and turned it into -1 wins (Wells).

                      Jeter and Pineda at even a combined 2 wins

                      That seems awfully generous.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting

                      Imo, they need about 20 wins to supplement current talent level. That’s already including my expected contributions from Tex, Soriano, Jeter, Pineda, and the rest of the roster.
                      Signing Cano, Kuroda, Tanake, Beltran, an McCann still leaves a weak bullpen, no starting 3B, and major question marks at SS. Those are issues that can drag down the WAR that you are adding.

                    • OhioYanks

                      “I’d like to see how exactly you could turn $25M into five wins without getting insanely lucky. You’re talking about a team that saved $12M through Tex’s WBC injury and turned it into -1 wins (Wells).”

                      Seriously? They were looking to add talent at the end of training camp. That’s not at all a good example. If A-Rod’s trial stretches through ST, it will be a lot harder. If it’s settled in the off-season they should be able to add some talent. Spending a full $65-95 mill I’d guess you’ll probably have one flop, but you just hope you make up for it elsewhere.

                      Kuroda would be a good start. 3.8 fWAR in 2013. 3.7 in 2012. Maybe $15 million. You want me to go into detail about how I would get 1.3 fWAR for $10 million? I could probably go on for days.

                      I would also consider looking at a salary dump like Braun, Kemp, or Ethier. There are a lot of risks with three and I have no idea what the teams would be willing to eat or accept, but it could be an instant ~5 WAR with Braun, depending on how much PEDs helped him. I don’t have any reason to believe Kemp is healthy, but I have no idea. Either could be a quick 3 WAR if the Dodgers are willing to eat some salary. Not perfect solutions, but a good way to 5 WAR.

                      This is a lot more nuanced, but you could also spread the money around. If you really believe Wells and Nunez are worth -2 WAR or more combined you could add 5 WAR just by replacing them with 1.5 WAR players and adding 2 WAR somewhere else (3B would be great, but easier said than done).

                      “Jeter and Pineda at even a combined 2 wins
                      That seems awfully generous.”

                      I’d argue it is very, very conservative. 1 WAR each. Phelps, for example, had 1 WAR in less than 100 IP this year. Jeter had 3 WAR in 2012, so I am cutting his most recent production by 66%… that’s crazy conservative unless you have some solid evidence about his health (I have no idea either way).

                      The larger point is that you and Need Pitching both assume that nothing will go right. No internal improvement. Certainly we can’t pinpoint whether it’s going to be Jeter getting 2 fWAR, Pineda or Banuelos breaking out, Adams improving and getting 1 fWAR, Tanaka or Nova having a 405 fWAR season, a good trade that we never saw coming (I’m hoping for Espinosa on the cheap), or the Yankees signing Jamey Carroll to a MiLB deal to see him have a solid season. Who knows?
                      I would argue, though, that the 2013 WAR baseline we are using included an unusual amount of bad luck. That with normal luck a few things will go somewhat right. That might only mean Nunez and Wells combining for replacement level (nothing huge going right), but that could mean a nice 2 WAR bump.

                    • OhioYanks

                      My math was off at one point there… Could literally just replace Nunez and Wells with two 1.4 fWAR players and that would be a 5 fWAR increase from 2013. So $15 mill to Peralta and then $10 mill to just find a replacement level cOF.

                      “Imo, they need about 20 wins to supplement current talent level. That’s already including my expected contributions from Tex, Soriano, Jeter, Pineda, and the rest of the roster.
                      Signing Cano, Kuroda, Tanake, Beltran, an McCann still leaves a weak bullpen, no starting 3B, and major question marks at SS. Those are issues that can drag down the WAR that you are adding.”

                      We can go back and forth with our opinions all day and get no where. I am trying to back my points up with actual evidence. You seem unwilling to do that. I could just as easily say that in my opinion the Yankees need to add no one to their current roster, and we’d have no idea who was wrong or what points we disagree on.

                      What is your opinion based on? What are your expectations for their current players?

                      Your argument is entirely “because I say so and nothing that you can tell me or show me will change that.” Unless you want to have a real discussion, let’s end this.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting

                      I’d just like to add 1 more point, and then I’m done.
                      I think the $65M-$90M range we’ve been using in this debate is wrong to begin with.
                      I think if Jeter picks up his option, and factoring Arb/Pre-Arb salaries, the range would actually be in the $55M – $80M area, meaning Beltran, Tanaka, McCann and Cano wouldn’t all fit with ARod anyways to begin with, and without ARod, you’d only be able to add Kuroda, and wouldn’t actually have much of anything left to add any more wins, or fill bullpen, 3B, SS, etc.
                      I think using that more realistic range makes it easier to see how the math is a very tough fit. They can get close, but I don’t think they can get all the way to a likely playoff team, at least not using the Cano/Beltran/Tanaka/McCann assumption. They’d need to find more high value/$ players either through trade, or through better than likely contributions from the farm.
                      Or they can forget about 189, and add left side of the IF help and bullpen help to 4-5 major signings and have a strong team that should realistically be expected to not only just contend, but also to realistically be likely to make the playoffs.

                    • OhioYanks

                      I don’t know exactly what the math is, but I still think you are being narrow minded in terms of how they can improve their team using what is however you slice it a boatload of cash plus going from what I consider an abnormally unlucky season to what I think we have to expect is a normal luck year going into it.

                      The Red Sox got Peavy later in the season, but they only spent something that I think is in the low $50 millions in AAV last off-season to turn their team around.

                      I don’t know if I would sign either Beltran or McCann. If you actually look for value on the market I think you have a much better chance of getting there on a budget. Whoever it is coming from the leaked plan sounds very Dynasty Yankees style: target the top guys on the market who are coming off strong seasons and at best getting market value but probably being overpaid. It allowed them less volatility over the years because they got consistent performers who they wanted, but I hope that if they are serious about a budget someone in power is smart enough to change their approach. I think there’s actually a deep market for both cOFs and Cs, so waiting to see who is undervalued might be the best move. Maybe you end up with Ruiz/Soto and Hart/Granderson/Cruz instead of the first two, but maybe you also save enough to bring in a Peralta. Then again, maybe McCann and Beltran are the right guy. Who knows? I have a feeling they will be overpaid, but maybe the certainty they provide relative to the alternatives is worth it.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting

                      Expectations for current players (no ARod, including Beltran, Cano, McCann, Tanaka, Kuroda) by position totals.
                      I expect they’d need about 40-45 fWAR to be considered likely to make the playoffs out of the AL East.
                      Position, primary, my total expected WAR for all players at that position
                      1B Tex/?: 2.3
                      2B Cano/?: 5.9
                      SS Jeter/others: no idea, conservatively 0.8
                      3B: ? don’t have one. Might be lucky to get 0.5.
                      C McCann: 3
                      RF: Beltran/Ichiro: 2.3
                      CF: Gardner: 4
                      LF: Soriano: 2.4
                      DH: Beltran/Various: 1.5
                      Total Position player exp. fWAR: 22.7
                      SP CC: 2.6
                      Tanaka: 2.6
                      Kuroda: 3.4
                      Nova: 2.5
                      Pineda, etc: 1.7
                      Total rotation: 12.8
                      Bullpen: DRob 1.7
                      rest of pen: 1.2
                      Total pen: 2.9

                      Positions: 22.7
                      Pitching: 15.8
                      Total 38.5 (without any significant injuries, or any significant positive surprises)

                      38.5 likely puts them at least a couple of wins short of the playoffs.
                      Another $15m or so to strengthen the bullpen and left side of the IF and they move into likely playoff territory, imo.

                    • OhioYanks

                      Also, there’s a lot to consider in going over the cap.

                      Maybe you only want to spend an extra $20 million, but that’s going to cost them something like $100+ mill from estimates I’ve seen. Even if you think they increase their playoff odds by 20% with those few marginal signings (doubt it, but who knows), that is 20% of what? $50 mill for a playoff appearance? So $10 million. If that math is legit (no idea if the assumptions are right), you wash out half the salary with the improved playoff chances but you cost yourself over $100 million.

                      It’s debatable whether we should care as fans: it’s not our money, but they might be able to spend more later if they get under now.

                      If you are really a “realist,” though, you should probably appreciate that the Yankees are probably going to cross their fingers that David Adams pulls a Brian Dozier, K-Mar or Betances or Cabral or whoever can take the 7th, Wells bounces back to replacement level or an OF prospect steps up, Pineda is at least close to who he was, Phelps, Banuelos, Nunez, Cervelli/Romine/Murphy, or someone else does something good. Rather than paying the $20 million to get ok veterans who are more likely to be decent.

                      They may also be able to get creative with a couple of BP and bench players via trades. Get a cost controlled guy making the minimum for a prospect who has a higher upside but is a couple of years away or simply at a position where they have depth.

                    • OhioYanks

                      “38.5 likely puts them at least a couple of wins short of the playoffs.”

                      I still don’t see why you insist on projecting down to the win. There are so many variables that could cause a one or two win swing in 162 games it’s not even worth considering. If you are right that they need 40 WAR and you have them at 38.5… I’d take that in a heartbeat. It’s not ideal, but they’re right there. If our numbers where exactly right, they’d just need a little more good luck than bad luck to get there. I mean… 1.5 WAR could come from anywhere. K-Mark is the new D-Rob? Boom 1.5 WAR. Adams adjusts and is a 2 WAR 3B (similar to Brian Dozier going from -0.5 2012 fWAR to 2.8 2013 fWAR)? Boom 1.5 fWAR. You haven’t counted the bench that I see, so an average of ~0.4 fWAR from the bench? Boom 1.5 fWAR.

                      Look no further than the Blue Jays / Red Sox stuff from last season to see that arguing over a couple of wins in the off-season isn’t worth it.

                      “Another $15m or so to strengthen the bullpen and left side of the IF and they move into likely playoff territory, imo.”

                      Was responding to your earlier comment, but my last comment hits on this. Basically, that $15 million would be a nice security blanket, but probably not worth it for the Yankees to spend. Might end up costing them something like $100 million or something.

                  • OhioYanks

                    Let’s try actually adding the fWAR rather than arguing. I don’t think it’s the way to do it, but let’s see where he get and compare that to other teams around the league in recent years.

                    It’s not correct, but since I have no projections in front of me I will use 2013 or most recent healthy season. If you have projections somewhere I am fine with using them.

                    I get 17.2 fWAR for Ps. Down slightly from 18.5 last season when they were 5th in MLB in P fWAR. It would be a top 10 finish. A lot of variability, of course.

                    I get 20.2 fWAR for hitters, which is about double 2013 (10.4) when they were 24th in MLB. It would have put the Yankees middle of the league in 2013, between the Rangers and Nats. 4 more fWAR and they’d be in the top 10. One thing that happened to them in 2013 is that all the injuries caused them to trot out a bunch of sub replacement players who combined for -6.8 fWAR. Just some more health and replacing Nunez with Nix could go a long way.

                    Ps
                    Kuroda: 3.8
                    Tanaka???: 3???
                    Sabathia: 2.7
                    Nova: 2.5
                    Robertson: 1.6
                    Pineda???: 1.5
                    Phelps: 1.1
                    Kelley: 0.5
                    That’s 8 Ps, so I’ll just randomly guess 0.5 for the rest of the pen and any rotation fill-ins. I think that’s pretty conservative.

                    Hitters
                    Cano: 6.0
                    Gardner: 3.2
                    Soriano: 2.9
                    McCann: 2.7
                    Beltran/Grandy: 2/2.3
                    Jeter???: 1.5???
                    Ichiro: 1.1
                    Cervelli/BUC: 0.8
                    Nix: 0.5 (average of 2013 and 2012… 0.7 in 2013, 0.3 in 2012)
                    I’ll just assume that the rest of the roster washes out at replacement level, which seems very conservative to me.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting

                      I would say assuming the rest of the roster washes out at replacement level is unrealistic, imo, considering a)there will be injuries, b) they will have basically spent all of their cap space, and c) essentially every bench, bullpen, and injury replacement option will have to come from within or the waiver wire. I doubt that would be as much of a disaster as it was this year, but replacement level is probably not remotely conservative. They had a whole lot of trouble finding replacement level players this year.

                      Regardless, a quick add brings that to about 38.2 fWAR, which would be lower than every playoff team this year except Cleveland, which means that team most likely misses the playoffs.

                    • OhioYanks

                      You’re a really, really pessimistic person, huh? I was providing a baseline. If you can’t see that I was very conservative in not projecting a single person to exceed expectations, I don’t know what to tell you. I’ve got Jeter and Pineda both at literally 1/2 their last healthy season’s fWAR. I have assumed that any lightning in a bottle they catch is washed out with below replacement performance. It takes next to no creativity to see where some extra wins might come from.

                      What are you basing this on besides last season? I think it is quite conservative because last season was extreme and there’s a chance some things actually go right.

                      They only had trouble last season getting at least replacement because of the shear volume of holes. They had or found plenty of Overbays, Stewarts, Cruzs, Ryans, Reynolds, Almontes, or David Adams who were around replacement. They just couldn’t plug 4 or 5 holes on the waiver wire at once. Their injury replacements were literally injured… it wasn’t until Youk, Jeter, Nix, Nunez (who stink himself, I know), and CoJo got hurt that they started reaching for the Lillibridges and Breingacs. A lot of the negative value last season actually came from injured guys trying to play: Jeter, Youk, Hafner. A whole lot of it came from Nunez and Wells, who are capable of getting to replacement but hopefully have much diminished roles if they can’t.

                      I am assuming that some of the guys they sign or promote actually outperform expectations. Whether that’s a Dwayne Wise catching fire or a prospect who is one year older finding his groove (Almonte, Adams, Romine, Murphy, and Joseph are all possibilities plus Austin, Heathcott, Flores, Segedin, etc.). Most years on most teams you get an unexpectedly good contribution from somewhere. Not sure the Yankees had any significant case of that in 2013. Shawn Kelley, maybe, but he was a RP worth 1/2 a win.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting

                      I’d say you’re projections for Soriano, Jeter, and unnamed bullpen filler are likely optimistic. There is good reason to expect less from Jeter and Pineda than their last healthy season.
                      I’m not saying it’s impossible to contend with that team. I think it comes close to closing the gap, but fall short. I think they would contend until late in the season but then fall short.
                      You say you’re not predicting any unexpected contributions, but you’re also not predicting any disasters. They had several last year, none is also unrealistic. More likely significant disappointments would at least cancel out significantly any unexpected contributions, which would make your baseline more of a realistic expectation.
                      And I’m not really pessimistic, just realistic. I thought they’d win about 89 games this year even after the Tex and Granderson spring training injuries and Jeter’s initial setback.
                      As for the replacements, they likely wouldn’t even be able to afford guys like Ryan and Overbay in this construct.

                    • OhioYanks

                      I am expecting literally 1/2 the production from Jeter and Pineda as their last healthy season. 50%. Yes, we can agree that if no one on the team is healthy or plays well the Yankees will not be a good team.

                      You’re going with 100% arbitrary opinions. I can’t argue against that. You think that they’ll contend all season and then fall short based on what? Your gut? I can’t argue with your gut.

                      Remember last off-season? How many commenters on here were sure that the Blue Jays were #1 and the Red Sox #5? You can’t get anything out of adding WARs up. All I am trying to do is show you that your arbitrary 20 WAR goal is not that hard to achieve. I am not Kazaam. I can’t tell you if or how the Yankees will get there in 2014. I am trying to show you that there are a number of ways they could get there. That it’s very much attainable.

                      Soriano, by the way, was at 3.6 fWAR in 2012 and 2.9 in 2013. He was down at 1.1 in 2011, but 2.8 and 3.9 the seasons before that. I told you I was using historical numbers (outside of the ??? ones). He could fall off a cliff, but so could anyone. He’s been a ~3 WAR player fairly consistently for a while now.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting

                      He’ll also be 38. Projecting some decline for old players isn’t exactly rocket science. And fwiw, you left out the -0.2 between the 3.9 and 2.8.
                      This is all based on opinion. Whether it’s the 20 wins needed, or how much each player can contribute to that. That’s the point. It isn’t meant to be exact. And I’m not going to do a player by player breakdown of why I think they will perform at a certain level for you. I don’t have the time for that. None of it is factual because it’s all based on opinions of future performance.
                      I don’t care about WAR totals or any of that. 20 WAR is just a rough estimate. I went with it because it was in the article, and seems roughly in the ballpark of what they need.
                      My concern is whether the Yankees are likely to be a playoff team or not. Using the amount of money likely to be available and the players and their likely costs (Cano, Beltran, McCann, Tanaka, Kuroda), I see the left side of the IF and the bullpen as likely being too weak to get the Yankees into the playoffs.

                    • OhioYanks

                      You say here that 20 WAR is a rough estimate, then above say that 1.5 WAR difference is a big deal? I don’t think an exact number is necessary, you seem to be the one who does. I don’t think we should be counting WAR at all. I did so to illustrate that 20 isn’t as hard to get to as you guys implied.

    • Rod

      “I think that people around here are too low on Pineda.”

      . . . and Banuelos.

      • Mike HC

        The Yanks lack of success in developing pitchers is definitely a reason why nobody is exactly counting on anything from these guys. Kennedy/Hughes/Joba into Brackman/Betances/Banuelos. I mean, none of the hype has turned out yet. I hope Banuelos and Pineda turn out different.

        • OhioYanks

          I think that’s dubious logic for a few reasons, but even if you want to believe that Pineda was not developed by the Yankees. He was already a successful MLB SP for the Mariners. Even the Yankees P development staff has turned over, so I don’t know how you can count what the previous regime did against them.

          I’m not sure that you can count Banuelos. He is the guy we’re talking about, is only 23 next season, and hasn’t even debuted yet. It’s hard to count him as an example of someone who failed when he hasn’t even tried yet.

          Overall the first group certainly missed expectations, but has had some MLB success and is still just entering their theoretical primes. One SP, one RP, and one flameout is often cited as the expectations for 3 top P prospects, and the second group might still be on track for that outcome.

          • Mike HC

            You definitely make a lot of sense. I’m hoping for the same outcomes that you are for Pineda and Banuelos. The Yanks are due for one of their young pitchers to break out. Who knows, maybe Nova takes another step forward.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              A step forward for Nova is going to consistency. We’ll see.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          All three of the first group have had significant major league success (stretching it with Joba, but I’ll still roll with that.) None of them reached their ceiling. Not many of us do.

          • Dick M

            You are dreaming.

            • Pat D

              What? He’s right. They haven’t had A LOT of success, but they have had SOME success.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                Well, I did say “significant.” He’s just taking to mean something very different than I am. That’s his first mistake.

                *ducks*

                • Dick M

                  The Yankees bailed on Kennedy, showed no patience. They get no credit for his development at AZ.

                  The other 2 are a joke …… in this very thread the talk is that we should get a bump from having them OFF the roster.

                  Chamberlain and Hughes were dominant minor league pitchers and TOP 5 prospects in all of baseball. Their lack of development at the major league level has to make you wonder about our major league coaching staff. Hughes had 2 plus pitches coming out of the minors with what everyone said was plus command. He now is a 2 pitch pitcher with a straight, hittable fastball and a below average curve ball. Have you been watching any of these games the last 2 weeks; the way the pitchers change speeds, hits spots, and use 3 pitches? Hughes is so far behind some of pitchers it’s not even close.

                  And yet these guys are somehow held up as evidence that we can draft and develop. The fact is the last front of the rotation starter we developed was Andy and that was 20 yrs ago.

                  • OhioYanks

                    Kennedy never pitched in the minors for Arizona, so who do you want to credit his development to? One spring training worth of coaching made him an instantly solid SP? He came out of the gate and had an ERA below 3.4 his first month and at 2 his second. It wasn’t like he got progressively better as the season went on.

                    We should get a bump from having their 2013 production off the roster. That’s not even that nuanced of a point.

                    I don’t expect you to know this, but Eric Milton and CMW were both front-end starters the Yankees developed as was IPK. You’re also ignoring a whole lot of history in terms of trading prospects and losing draft picks.

                    By the way, ever consider that a P might be largely responsible for how he pitches himself? Revolutionary concept, I know, but there just might be something to it.

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

                      If your standard for a front-end starter is Eric Milton, then we’re not even in the same city, nevermind the same ballpark.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      Kennedy never pitched in the minors for Arizona, so who do you want to credit his development to?

                      —————

                      Well Kennedy gives it to the Dbacks. Coming off his big season whenever he’s been interviewed by MLB.com or MLB Network he points toward the changes made by the Dback pitching coach.

                      True a pitcher takes a lot of the blame for how they progress but the Yankees have been so bad when it comes to developing pitchers that what they have produced gets called into question.

                    • OhioYanks

                      Mike, from 1999-2002 Eric Milton was the 17th best SP in MLB according to fWAR. He got hurt the next year and never got it back.
                      I’m not sure we are even in the same universe: I actually try to use evidence to back up my statements.

                      “he points toward the changes made by the Dback pitching coach.”

                      Mechanical tweaks and development aren’t really the same thing. I’m sure Granderson might credit Long for helping him offensively, but that doesn’t mean Long developed him. IPK developed in the Yankees’ system. Maybe he would have been worse had they held him, maybe better, maybe the same, who knows?

                      I’m not arguing that the Yankees have a long and illustrious recent development history. I am arguing that it not being good is no reason to pretend it is worse than it is or to ignore context altogether. People can stick to the facts and still make their points.

                    • Dick M

                      We totally retarded IPK’s growth, yanking him up and down, showing no patience. He was on the road to nowhere when he was here, mostly because we had no confidence in him. So we’ll have to disagree on that one.

                      We bought CMW. He had 2 good years. I’m trying to find someone who we drafted, developed and then had an 8 or 10 year career as a good starting pitcher.

                      Milton never got a real chance to make it here either.

                      If anything, Milton and IPK are examples of how NOT to do it. We need to grow our own in what is a new paradigm. It takes some patience. The current front office is not equipped for the task.

                      Regarding your last comment, why even have coaches? The truth is it takes both — pitchers developing themselves and coaches showing them how. But after 20 years of poor development, the common denominator here is obvious.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      Granderson was already established though. Kennedy was still young enough to be learning his craft as a pitcher.

                      I don’t ppl are making it worse than it is or ignoring context. They haven’t been that good when it comes to developing. They aren’t the worst in baseball but the results have been meh. Even when it comes guys like Joba and Hughes their success doesn’t add up to their failure. One is a back-end 5 guy and the other is a fringe middle reliever.

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

                      We bought CMW.

                      They signed him when he was 20 and he spent more than five years in the farm system before making his debut.

                      Mike, from 1999-2002 Eric Milton was the 17th best SP in MLB according to fWAR. He got hurt the next year and never got it back.
                      I’m not sure we are even in the same universe: I actually try to use evidence to back up my statements.

                      You’re so predictable, Ted. Milton was 82nd in ERA during your cherry-picked three-year period. Frontline starters should actually keep runs off the board, not theoretically FIP them off the board.

                    • OhioYanks

                      Dick,

                      You really think that sending a kid down when he gets absolutely crushed in his MLB debut is retarding his development? All 30 teams in MLB are guilty of this. All 30.

                      You buy draft picks too… That’s how acquiring players works.

                      There is no right answer between trading and keeping prospects. It’s case by case. Yankees won a lot of games after those trades. They weren’t the best, but they weren’t awful either.

                      How many different P coaches do you think the Yankees have had in 20 years? You think that there’s some common thing keeping all of those dozens of guys from being good to 20 years? Maybe, but I think it’s more likely that coaches are somewhat of a commodity outside of some really good and really bad ones. That the distribution is probably pretty normal, with the majority being about the same. Luck and the player themselves having a whole lot more to do with it.

                    • OhioYanks

                      Big Dreams,

                      Granderson was one example. You really think that one spring training was all the development IPK needed and got?

                      I do think that some people are exaggerating to make it worse than it is. I’m not trying to paint every single commenter with the same brush. Just saying that some commenters are exaggerating to make their point.

                    • OhioYanks

                      Mike,

                      1999-2002 is a FOUR year period. It’s also the period before he got hurt and missed basically an entire season. If you really think taking every year from a guy’s rookie year to his career altering injury is arbitrary, I don’t know what to tell you.

                      Come on, man. You know as well as anyone that ERA includes things like the defense behind you, the park you are in, the level of comp you are facing. Things not controlled by the P. The P is not meant to control things he can’t. I’m not saying the guy was an ace, but he was a solid SP.

                      We can argue over “mid-rotation” or “front-end” if you really want to, but who cares? At #83 he was only like 0.2 away from being in the top 60. A #2 SP, a #3 SP… he was a solid SP the Yankees drafted and did a lot to develop.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      IDK it’s it’s just one spring training that he needed but I know he credits them for being the pitcher he has become.

                      Well yea if they say the Yankees have no pitching down on the farm that would be exaggerating. That would be going overboard just to make it seem like the situation is incredibly worse.

                  • Robinson Tilapia

                    “The Yankees bailed on Kennedy, showed no patience. They get no credit for his development at AZ.”

                    The Yankees traded Kennedy as part of a three-team trade which got them Curtis Granderson.

                    They get no credit. Why? Oh, because you say so…..and you wonder why I ridicule commenters like you. You choose to draw the line at the point where you feel you can criticize the team and act like you know better. As if we’re actually able to table out who was what percent responsible for Ian Kennedy’s one 20-game win season.

                    “The other 2 are a joke …… in this very thread the talk is that we should get a bump from having them OFF the roster.”

                    …..which is based on multiple factors, and has nothing to do with Phil Hughes actually making an All-Star team, winning 18 games (yes, WINZ….I know….they still mean something, even if it’s not what others want it to be), and being a dominant reliever on the road to the team winning a championship.

                    “And yet these guys are somehow held up as evidence that we can draft and develop. The fact is the last front of the rotation starter we developed was Andy and that was 20 yrs ago.”

                    Bullshit. Chien-Ming Wang, who we apparently “bought,” per your criteria.

                    They’re not used as evidence that we can draft and develop. They’re much more often used as evidence that we can’t by emotionally-stunted commenters who can only see black and white and judge by whatever the shiny object is in front of them at that moment.

                    They’ve had disappointing careers compared to what was expected. No doubt. They’re not poster boys for jack shit, though.

                    Good night, sir.

      • OhioYanks

        Agreed. He was a top prospect and TJS has a high success rate. Somehow a lot of system rankings bumped him out of the top 10. I don’t get it at all. Think it just shows how “what have you done lately” those rankings are. You can argue that they have to be because prospects are so volatile, but I don’t know that it’s actually the best way to rank ‘em.

        • Preston

          Making a list of top prospects is pretty arbitrary. How do you compare an 18 yo raking in Rookie ball vs. a 23 yo on the verge of MLB play. Guys do the list because it generates interest and debate and it’s the most traffic their site will get all year. It’s tough to differentiate between guys, you have to balance a lot of things. Banuelos has to drop in the rankings because there is something like a ten percent fail rate of TJ surgery, so he went from a guy who had a floor of a fifth starter/back end reliever to somebody who has a ten percent chance of never being anything. That’s a big change. But in the overall scheme it doesn’t really effect what he could be, a front to mid rotation starter. The Yankees are looking really bad on top 100 lists right now, but that’s because 100 is an arbitrary cutoff, I gaurantee when you go out to 150 Mason Williams, Tyler Austin, Banuelos, Campos and Heathcott are all still on the periphery. They have too much talent not to be. And if they have a solid start to next season they’ll all move right back into the rankings.

          • OhioYanks

            I would do it more analytically, using historical results for at least part of my equation. It’s the way that you’d do it theoretically, and I don’t know that any major rankings do. Of course it would still be a very inexact science, but you’d at least have a model behind it and be able to continue to improve that model going forward. I’m not sure that most prospect rankers have the background in statistics to even know that this is the way you’d do it in theory. Someone like Keith Law, with a top 20 MBA, should. It honestly casts a shadow over Carnegie Mellon’s MBA program for me that Law seems to have taken nothing from the program. He seems to use nothing but subjective guesses from himself and actual scouts.

            Anyway… agree on the Yankees’ system and the nature of top 100 lists.

            I just disagree with the dramatic drop for Banuelos. I don’t think that 90% of #1 in the system and a top 30 prospect in all of MLB is somewhere in the 10-15 range in the Yankees’ system. If it is, I’d say that’s a damn great system: whatever WAR one was projecting for him at #1 in the system (I don’t know, 1-2 annually in the most likely case?), I’d imagine that 90% of that is still way more than you should reasonably expect from the #10 guy in the system (where expectations might be pretty close to zero in the most likely case, I’d guess). I think that rankers just arbitrarily list prospects rather than having any sound logic behind their systems.

            • Preston

              The reason they don’t do it the way you suggest is it wouldn’t be sexy. They like ranking big tool SS, C and CF in the lower minors citing them having superstar ceilings. If you did it by actual mathematical likelihood to succeed it would be a list of guys at AA and AAA with far lower ceilings and higher floors. And there would be no reason to follow updated lists, because they wouldn’t change that much year to year.

              • OhioYanks

                I disagree.

                A) You’d still sell it the same “sexy” way. You’d just have some actual evidence behind it besides “my eyes told me so when I watched the kid hit short season Ping” or “some unnamed scout somehow affiliated with some MLB org told me so.”

                B) I would compare guys to their level of development/competition. How good is he got his level and age, and how good is another guy for his level and age? Just like a SS with a .320 wOBA is not compared to 1B but other SS, yet we still compare how good that SS is relative to other SS against how good a 1B is relative to other 1B.

                I still think there would be a ton of turnover year to year.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Out of sight, out of mind. Simple as that, I think.

    • Caballo Sin Nombre

      If you are only concerned with how the Yankees do in 2014, then perhaps these arguments make sense. But looking at the issue strategically– what do the Yankees have to do to reestablish long-term excellence– then I think you need to take a more straight forward approach.

      According to some pieces I’ve seen on Fangraphs, the expected number of wins of an all-replacement level team is 48. I’ve also seen articles claiming the average cost of 1 WAR on the FA market is ~$5M. This year, an AL team needed 92 wins to make the post-season. Therefore, assuming the Fangraph claims are true, a team that had an “all-FA strategy” would need on average a payroll of $220M on average just to make the playoffs.

      I haven’t seen any such analysis, but one should be able to calculate the average cost per WAR of players that were not acquired via ML free-agency (through draft and trades, mainly). Then for any payroll number and targeted number of wins, you could calculate an ideal mix of FA and non-FA WAR. A team could use this target mix to plan out a FA acquisition strategy, as well as the level of risk they would need to assume in their non-FA strategy to make up the short fall.

  • OhioYanks

    Three guys that I’m interested in this off-season as buy-low candidates are Danny Espinosa (via trade) as well as Corey Hart and Tim Hudson (via FA). Geovany Soto intrigues me, too, and I wouldn’t mind a flyer on Youk if he’s cheap enough.

    Not sure what caused Espinosa’s sudden fall off a cliff or what the Nationals would want for him, but the Yankees might match up with their depth at C and P. Nats could arguably use SP and a back-up C as much as anything. They could also use another IF, maybe, to move Zimmerman to 1B, so I don’t know that they move Espinosa. I’d love to have the cheap depth with upside at SS for the Yanks, though.

    People are probably hesitant to add more injury question marks to the Yankees, but you’re talking about a guy who produced on par with Hunter Pence in 2011-12 who might be had on a reasonable, maybe incentive laden, one year deal without giving up a pick.

    I don’t know what he’ll cost or whether he wants to come to NY, but if Kuroda were to leave I might prefer Hudson to just about all of the younger SPs on the market (outside Tanaka, maybe). People are throwing out 1/9 contracts for Hudson. If it’s between that or $100 mill for Garza/Santana or a big multi-year deal for some mediocre P like Feldman/Nolasco, I think I’d take Hudson.

    Not sure what he’ll end up costing, but Soto’s power returned in limited PAs in Texas. I can see getting the relative certainty of McCann in the Yankees position, but Soto might be a good fit both financially and to leave the door open for the homegrown C depth. If it comes down to 6/100 for McCann or 1/5 for Soto, I can easily make an argument for Soto.

    Know this will be unpopular, but Youkilis might also be a good value. I wouldn’t count on anything and obviously don’t know what the medical outlook is going forward, but on a Hafner kind of prove it deal he might end up being a great value even if he only plays half a season.

    This is just pie in the sky, but I wonder if the Yankees could trade Hughes should he accept a QO and for what. Would a team like the Twins or Royals where FAs are unlikely to go willingly give the Yankees a RP or something and take on the whole $14 mill? Duensing sees a lot of RHB for the Twins, but he is death to LHB and could be a replacement for Logan if he’s too expensive to bring back.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Agreed on Espinosa. I do think another starter, other than Tanaka, and, especially if Kuroda does not return, is going to be very important. I’d say Hudson makes for a solid Plan B.

    • CtKaiser

      Youk really? How long before he’s hurt again. Why not try Kei Igawa again!

      • Preston

        Because Kevin Youkilis has MLB talent and Igawa never did…

        • CtKaiser

          Youk is past prime and injury prone. It worked for a month. Agree that Igawa was never an MLB talent and I was joking. Unless you want to pay Youk per AB it would be a bad signing.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Add a “breathing bonus” clause. I like it.

            Youk gets a dollar for every step between the dugout and home plate he gets during game time, with a base salary of…..one dollar.

        • Caballo Sin Nombre

          Even if he were to play well when healthy, signing Youk almost guarantees scrambling to find a mid-season replacement.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Don’t take this is any way as a true endorsement of Youk: The Sequel, but he’d be cheaper this time around and in no way do I bring him back as a potential Alex replacement. He rides the bench and offers DH slop. That’s the only scenario I’d be willing to entertain…..and it’s brief entertainment. I honestly think that goose is cooked.

        • Preston

          The problem is we don’t need a RHB DH we have Jeter, Soriano and maybe Alex to rotate through the DH spot. And I don’t think that Youk can hold up at 3b. As bad as his defensive reputation is, I’d rather keep Reynolds for that role.

          • OhioYanks

            Pretty hard to say without knowing what Youk’s medicals are and what each will cost. There’s a chance that one or both could be looking at MiLB deals. Then again Reynolds made $6 mill and Youk $12 mill last season, so they might get some guaranteed money or a nice incentive laden deal from someone.

      • OhioYanks

        I knew this was inevitable, but I tried very hard to qualify my Youk remarks. I am not counting on him, but he might represent good value for a team on a budget. He might be forced to take a very low base salary if no one is willing to bet on his health. Which is the scenario I was referring to. Not running out and signing him up, but looking for where some value might be to stretch that $65-95 million as far as possible.

        What 3B would you like to get? Serious question. If A-Rod is out someone has to play 3B and there’s next to nothing on the free agent market. You’re looking at Juan Uribe, Jamey Carroll, Betemit… Between Youk and David Adams at least one might give you above replacement production. Jeter could be a possibility should they find a SS, but SS are generally harder to find than 3B.

        Last season’s results are not a perfect predictor of next season’s. That Youk got hurt this season doesn’t mean he will or won’t next season. I have no idea how long until he’s hurt. No one really does, but at least people looking at his medicals and consulting top Drs have better info to go on.

        • Preston

          Honestly, I’d just rather have A-Rod. Hoping he gets it down to 50 and is the starting 3b for the majority of the season. We need a backup plan for both Alex and Jeter, but barring trading multiple top prospects we aren’t getting anything that’s better on the left side then hoping those two can play a significant amount of games and produce.

          • OhioYanks

            I’d rather not. I like him, but I think you can get better production cheaper. Maybe not a 3B, but elsewhere. I know this is not a liquid market, but I’d still take the $25 million to spend over paying it to a player who is at best worth maybe $15 million on the market.

            • Preston

              I guess the hope is that A-Rod not being suspended means they scrap the 189, I guess I’m just a dreamer.

  • http://twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec 100

    The only one of the 4 that is short sighted is Beltran. While adding those guys would help for next season, but I think it only moves them in wild card contenders, not real players for the division.

    After the luxury tax resets and they can make more improvements in 2015, that’s the last year of Beltran…and his age 38 season.

    That being said, I think it’s worth it. Cano and Tanaka are good long term fits, McCann would be manageable for 4 years (even 5) and Beltran at 2 is perfect in the AL.

    • http://twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec 100

      type: Sec 110, haha…I know it’s noon, but it’s too early.

  • Joe

    Is Jeter’s AAV $9.5m or $15.5m?

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      I believe for luxury tax purposes, it would be about $15.5M if he picks up his option.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        It’s a new contract for luxury tax purposes, so it’s $9.5 million.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          Player options are treated the same as guaranteed years for luxury tax purposes, unless the buyout is for over half of the option amount (which Jeter’s isn’t).
          So for luxury tax purposes, Jeter’s contract would have been treated as 4/56M, or $14M AAV, instead of 3/$51M.
          His AAV in every year would have been $14M (actually slightly less, about $13.9M I think, because some of the money was deferred). His $14M AAV for 2014 would increase to $15.5M because of the $1.5M Silver Slugger bonus that increased the option amount for 2014.

          • jim p

            Hmmm. So there’d be a retroactive feature regarding an option year. If the Yanks have been paying $17M per for the 3 year, and it’s 14M for the four year, do we get credit for the 3 years of $3M overpay on the average?

            Not sure how that works.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting

              They would have been charged $14M AAV all along.
              If Jeter declines the option, they would have to make up the difference between what was taxed and what was payed in 2014.
              So if Jeter declines the option, he’ll still count against the luxury tax in 2014, even if he doesn’t re-sign with the Yankees (for as much as $9M)

  • mt

    Maybe we can sign Jesse Crain and he can turn into the next Koji Uehara:-)

    That being said, I knew Koji was lights out this year but did not realize he had the best WHIP performance in MLB history for a pitcher over 50 innings (better than Mariano, Eckersley, and Kimbrel’s best years).

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I said this in another thread already, but I’ll repeat it here. This is all fine and dandy, and I’d rather read this than some dumbass article about Scott Boras, proving yourself, etc.

    Signing four high-end FA’s in one off-season would be a pretty difficult heist for any franchise, even the New York Yankees. I’m sure there’s numbers and charts that make this all look great. Actually getting to the finish line, where the actual players and every other team in baseball have ambitions of their own, is another thing.

    But, yes, bring hopeful articles on.

    • OhioYanks

      Getting exactly who you want is tough, but they have a ton of money to spend and should be able to add at least four good guys (two or three of them might be re-signings, of course). Marchand says that “their initial main targets” are those guys, which pretty directly implies there would be backup plans after the initial plan.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Agreed.

  • Hornets686

    Here’s my off-season… SP Masahiro Tanaka, SP Matt Garza, C Dioner Navarro, and trade for RF Matt Kemp

  • Frank

    And TB and Oakland will still field better teams with less than half the Yankees payroll.

    • OhioYanks

      I believe that 2013 was the first time that has happened in history.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I’m not even going to say it. Just pretend I did.

  • kibbles ‘n vicks

    CF-Gardner
    SS-Jeter
    2B-Cano
    RF-Beltran
    C-Mccann
    LF-Soriano
    1B-Teixeira
    3B-Peralta
    DH-Anyone
    That lineup could make it to the world series with a piss poor rotation and bullpen.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      With a “piss-poor” rotation? You’d need insane firepower offensively to contend. No, thank you. Make sure the pitching is there as well.

      • kibbles ‘n vicks

        That’s a pretty legit offense. Not to mention the fact that a rotation of Sabathia-Nova-Tanaka-Pineda-Phelps,isn’t piss poor.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I wouldn’t call that a piss-poor rotation. I would call it one in which you had better hope everything breaks right, though. I’d want to see an additional starter added to that.

          • kibbles ‘n vicks

            Well, I don’t disagree with you on that. I’m just saying that I would love to have that offense. That’s a pretty beast lineup. Beltran-Cano-Soriano, in the same lineup? I’d be in heaven. But yes… It would be nice to add another starter.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Get yourself a solid Jeter caddy and rotate everyone around the DH slot. You can then keep Vernon around for the DH slop ABs, and even Ichiro as your 4th outfielder.

              It’s a nice lineup. I hope something which resembles it happens. I’d still rather bring back Curtis, but I’m certainly not knocking your idea.

              • kibbles ‘n vicks

                Would you be interested in Omar Infante? and What are your thoughts on trying to sign Peralta for third?

                • Robinson Tilapia

                  I’d be interested in Infante if Robbie actually leaves, which I doubt is happening. I think Infante is far above the caliber of player you keep around as a Jeter caddy, though.

                  Peralta’s pretty defensively challenged, and I do think the Yanks stay away from the Biogenesis Bunch. Honestly, I have zero clue who plays third if Alex is out for the season. My only thought is that the trade market will reveal itself more as the off-season rolls on.

                  • kibbles ‘n vicks

                    Wonder if Jeter would be okay with a more full time Dh role? Then it might make sense to bring Infante in. I doubt this would be the case though.

                    Any other ideas about the third base void?

                    • Robinson Tilapia

                      Derek may not have a choice there. His body may make him have to be OK with DHing.

    • Preston

      Honestly, that lineup wouldn’t be that good. Jeter, Beltran and Teixeira are all in pretty steep decline. McCann’s best years seem behind him and Peralta has a careera wRC+ of 102, if he’s not playing SS his offense isn’t that big of a plus. Not that this team wouldn’t be a huge upgrade over what we had last year. But it probably puts our offense into the top 5, not so good that pitching doesn’t matter.

      • kibbles ‘n vicks

        Yeah, the more I think about it, you guys are right. I’m just so desperate to see something that resembles a true offense after watching the debacle that was this season. I might have exaggerated a tad bit. Haha.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          It’s not a bad offense. It’s a win-now offense, and it all has to go right. It’s not super-elite.

          I don’t think McCann/Beltran are far-fetched ideas. I prefer Curtis to Beltran as I simply think it’s smarter to go with the player that doesn’t cost you the draft pick (and is younger, and you know already, and…..)

          McCann, while certainly solidifying the catcher position, seems born more of exasperation with the 2013 catching corps than actually looking forward with the team. There are three young players who could conceivably become MLB starting-caliber catchers within 0-3 seasons. Why tie up that position with someone who only has downhill to go for the next five? Strengthen the rest of what you need to strengthen first. I can live with trial and error again at catcher. Really. I can.

          Competing AND building at the same time can be done. It just means some smart decision-making not based on desperation.

          • Preston

            I think Ruiz might be a nice compromise between doing nothing and spending big and blocking youngsters at C. He might accept a 2 year deal. Plus he probably doesn’t cost a pick.

            • OhioYanks

              I don’t really feel the love for McCann, myself. I know that people don’t like Chris Stewart, but McCann is not really an elite player but looks like he might be paid like one. Hasn’t really been elite since 2010 and I don’t know that he gets back there as he gets older. Hope these leaks are from the business side of things and the baseball people talk some sense into them. I wouldn’t be upset if they added McCann, but I wouldn’t think it was the brightest move if he costs them 6/100 or something.

              I don’t know what the market will bring, but there is actually solid depth at C in free agency this season and there might be much better value than McCann.

              • Preston

                It depends with McCann, If he’s getting 3/39 he’s a great add, if he gets 6/100 I think it’s a terrible move. I think I could deal with 4/60, but I think that with Cervelli and Romine in house, Murphy in AAA and Sanchez in AA, we have more pressing needs than C.

                • OhioYanks

                  Agreed.

                  I hope that the Yankees go out and play the market a little rather than rushing out and signing their top choices on the first day, personally. I really can’t tell you which they’ll do.

  • Dick M

    Here we go again.

    When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn.

    How old is Beltran? And why pay thru the nose for McCann when we have 2 young, ready catchers?

    Not enough fannies in the seats, so throw money at the problem. Here we go again.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      Stupid team trying to get better players.

      • Dick M

        The stupid team part …….. it’s probably fair to question the intelligence of an org that acquires Wells, Youkilis, Hafner, and Ichiro.

        I’m all for getting better players. I like them to be a little younger though.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Agreed on Wells, as well as the second year of Ichiro. I didn’t like sticking with Youk by himself after Alex went down. I thought Youk needed his own strong caddy behind him for when the inevitable happened.

          I had no issue with Hafner. He simply played way more than he should have. Hafner should have been the power-hitting Eric Chavez, a very good hitter which you have the luxury of having on your bench because injury has limited him to that. Hafner full-time? No one would have signed up for that.

          You’re going to agree with me again. What will your friends think? It’s like screwing the fat chick.

          • Dick M

            I can live with it. If you keep apologizing for Cashman, then the agreeing with you stuff won’t happen all that often anyway.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              On behalf of Brian Cashman, I apologize.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          Fair enough.
          Especially for Wells. That was awful all around.
          I thought Youkilis was a reasonable chance, but an overpay in guaranteed $.
          Hafner I didn’t think was a terrible signing for the cost, although I thought somebody who could actually play a position would have made a lot more sense.
          Ichiro still has some usefulness. Just not for the role they tried to use him in. And giving him 2 years was dumb.

    • Pat D

      That depends on your definition of “ready.” I’m not sure that either Romine or Murphy truly are “ready” to be an average everyday catcher.

      • Dick M

        I’m not sure either, but they have both shown signs and they deserve a shot. You can’t develop prospects without patience and that involves living with them when they hit .240 that first year.

        Giving Romine 8 at bats a week is a sure way to ensure that he doesn’t make it.

        Putting resources into a free agent catcher makes no sense to me when we have young, internal options like we have. Particularly when we have 2 nearly-40 yr olds on the left side of the infield with no internal options any where close to ready.

        • Preston

          It’s a good idea to fill the C spot internally for multiple reasons. One, the C position is probably the strength of our farm system right now, we have a legit prospect who showed some good signs of progress in the second half last season (Romine), another who had a breakout year last year between AA and AAA (Murphy), and a third who is considered one of the elite prospects in the game at AA (Gary Sanchez). Second, with the beating that catchers take behind the plate, by the time they reach FA they are already damaged goods, and so signing them to long term deals is an even more dubious proposition than other positions and third, there just aren’t that many good catchers in baseball let alone available every year in FA or the trade market, driving up their price.

        • OhioYanks

          “Giving Romine 8 at bats a week is a sure way to ensure that he doesn’t make it.”

          You might want to tell Jorge Posada that theory. He played once or twice a week in 1997.

          “left side of the infield with no internal options any where close to ready”

          I wouldn’t write Adams off because of an awful debut. I’m not counting on him, but he’s an internal option who is potentially ready. You’re preaching patience with the Cs and then writing off a decent 3B prospect after 150 PAs. I don’t know if he’ll figure it out or not, but the guy tore up the minors at every stop even before his injury made him old for the level. He could at least be a solid backup or passable starter. At worst he appears to be a strong 4A player.

  • Ethan

    As far as adding wins if you get 12 from those 3 guys I think you’re in a pretty good position. Gotta figure Teix will add 2 wins over what Overbay did this year. Jeter has got to be good for at least 1, probably 2, over what we had at SS last year. If Arod gets suspended, you have a lot more money to spend but if he doesn’t he’s still gotta be good for 2 wins over 3rd basemen production last year. That’s an additional 5 wins so now you’re up to ~17 wins added. At that point I think the team could contend.

  • Doug

    If A-Rod gets suspended the Yanks should try and sign Tanaka and Nolasco first. After that I would sign Beltran to DH and outfield, Drew for SS, either McCann, Ruiz, or Peirzynski. Add Reynolds. Line-up Gardner, Beltran, Cano, Tex, Soriano, McCann, Jeter, Reynolds, and Ichiro or Wells. Pitchers CC, Tanaka, Nova, Nolasco, and Pineda or Phelps. I might even sign Balfour or Benoit if the money is there.

  • Zack D

    I’m confused with all the Yankee narratives.

    Are the Yankees ownership cheap or willing to spend $300m?
    Do we need FA relievers or are relievers replaceable and shouldn’t waste money on them?
    Do draft picks and prospects suck or is that how you build a team long term?
    Should we sign productive 35 yo players or are the Yankees too old?

    • RetroRob

      Yes.

  • RetroRob

    If the Cardinals don’t extend a QO to Beltran, I wonder if that will push his price up higher. With a short-term commit (two years), no QO and cash to burn by teams, Beltran could get a 2/36.

    Really have to wonder what MLB/Selig was thinking when they crafted the recent CBA. In an effort to control the amount of money being spent on amateurs, they created a system that is driving up prices of MLB players. The Player’s Union, once again, one that round. To save a couple million on amateurs, they probably will increase their MLB costs by ten million or two.

    • RetroRob

      “won” not “one”

      • Preston

        While the new compensation system is flawed, it’s better than the old type A, type B FA system.

    • OhioYanks

      Do you have any season to believe that no QO is worth $12 million to Beltran? Seems like you completely pulled that out of the sky. Have any examples of non-QO free agents who got way more than a comparable QO FA? From what I’ve seen QO FAs still get paid.

      The pick has some value, but I am skeptical that it is $12 million. I don’t know what it is worth exactly, but I would just say that the median pick from 16-30 has 0 career WAR.

    • CashmanNinja

      I agree that the MLB Players Union seems to always win because Selig and co. don’t do things the smart way. I do think it’s good, to some extent, to have a cap with the draft pool…although it does hurt teams with deep pockets. The reason I think it’s a good thing is because I’m one of those that doesn’t think a guy who just gets picked should be making an insane amount more than a player who has been in the league for 5-10 years (albeit a player who isn’t a super star or anywhere close to being one). If you start an entry level job you don’t automatically get the same pay as someone in management; it takes time and hard work to get the big pay check…the same should go with sports. Although it does hurt the Yankees from being able to spend big money on a player who drops because of contract issues. But screw it. It’s not like those players have really done anything for us anyway. Andrew Brackman says hello.

      As for the part of the Yankees intending to spend the money…I want Tanaka in the worst way. Come on, Steinbrenners, do this!

      • RetroRob

        Understood, although I think the cap restricts any team that wants to focus its resources on trying to get better through development. The KC Royals and the Pittsburgh Pirates, two teams that have been quite bad in recent years until they put greater focus on development, did much better this year. They will be restricted more than they should be when it comes to the amateur draft. So it’s not just high-revenue teams that this hurts. It can be any market. Once the team starts to become better they are restricted. It actually could encourage teams like the Astros to remain as god-awful bad as possible to keep collecting top draft picks.

  • 2015 World Champion Yankees

    Let Cano leave and sign no new free agents. Come n last place and get the first pick in the draft and then next year go out and rebuild and rattle off three or four world series wins in the next ten years and cal it a day.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      *checks sarcasm meter*

      *checks ID*

    • Richard Hayden

      I like her idea.

  • CtKaiser

    If Yanks are going to overpay for one player it should be Cano! Can’t see the 3yrs for $39 mil that folks are talking for McCann. Beltran is interesting though to get a power hitter without the excessive strikeouts would be nice. Girardi is good at getting older players rest.

    • CashmanNinja

      Cano is going to get paid no matter what. There’s NO way he deserves $200 mil or more though. I believe they’re very serious about the $161 mil (CC contract). It’s very fair and it’s not like Cano is young. He’s not 26 years old anymore. He’s now going to be on the wrong side of 30 on Opening Day. McCann is also going to get paid because catchers are a premium. It’s like a stud pitcher hitting the market. The problem with McCann is that he’s already 30 and is going to be positioning for his last big pay day. He’s going to want a contract where he could play catcher for a few years and then transition to 1st. I absolutely hate clogging up 1st base when we’ve got older players who could be plugged in there in an emergency as is. So $39 mil is a pipe dream for McCann. I’m thinking more like $60 mil. Then there’s Beltran. Sure he’s older, sure he’ll most likely cost a pick, and sure he’s got injuries…but it really is hard to not like the guy. He’s a professional, he produces when healthy, he is one of the best post-season players there’s been in a while, and he’s actually WANTED to be a Yankee in the worst way for years. We missed out on him because of Randy Johnson a few years ago. I actually wish we had gone after both, but Beltran was getting paid after a *huge* post season with the Astros.

      So if our off-season mainly consists of re-signing Cano, signing Beltran, and getting Tanaka then I think that would pay dividends. We could fill in the other holes relatively easily *knock on wood*. We’ll need more bullpen help, but luckily Cashman seems to be a master at filling the pen at an affordable price. Plus no more Joba or Hughes. Addition by subtraction!

  • Eselquetodolosabe

    Pretty bleak out-look Mr. Axisa. A team that had numerous key injuries and fought until the last week of the season ? Hmmm, I see it a little more optimistically. Injury returns alone should be good enough for 5/6 wins. Of course there’s Rivera and Pettite gone, and Granderson’s impending free agency…,but to say that we’ll add 4 good to very good players (including Cano) and still be off from being a play-off team ? Hmmm, don’t know about that. Pitching is the biggest concern (starters, relievers), but that’s big for everyone. The Red-sox went from train-wreck to contention (yes,I know, starting pitching). They still had to rely on tenuous FA signings and players coming back to form. “If” NY adds those players mentioned, and “if” injured players come back to their recent production, then I honestly, I do see this team as a legitimate contender.

    • CashmanNinja

      I think some people are overlooking just how huge the injuries were. We literally didn’t have Jeter, Tex, A-Rod, Granderson, Youkilis, etc. for the longest time. CC’s entire season was a crap shoot because he couldn’t even get his off-season stuff together because of a surgery (which I believe made his decline a bit faster than it would have been under normal circumstances). The point is that this team had scrubs playing and still fought until the last few weeks of the season. They could have easily folded in July and only won a handful of starts. For crying out loud our 1st baseman was Lyle Overbay, our outfield consisted of Ichiro and Vernon Wells, and 3rd base was a revolving door of Nunez, Nix, A-Rod, Reynolds, and even Vernon Wells once. It was bad. It will suck to lose Andy, but let’s not act like this was the old version of Pettitte. He was good and ate up some innings, but he wasn’t exactly a Cy Young candidate at this point of his career. I’ll still miss him though. Losing Mo really does suck, but I think Robertson is capable of getting 40 saves. If we actually had an offense then I think we’ll be in a position where we won’t even have nearly as many save chances as is because let’s face it…we had a lot of close games. So I do think that the guys who are coming back will do better than those that they’re replacing, in most cases.

      SS: Jeter > Nunez/Nix/Ryna
      1B: Tex > Overbay
      OF: Beltran = Granderson > Gardner > Soriano > Ichiro > Wells
      SP: Tanaka > Pettitte (this is based on age and talent)

      The rest of the rotation needs some work, but if they could somehow get Kuroda to come back then who knows. It may wind up being a solid rotation is they manage to get Tanaka AND he pitches well in the majors. The ‘pen is easy enough to fill so I have no worries about that AND we’re losing Joba so we’ll be better off in that aspect as well.

      There are really only 2 main concerns and that would be catcher and 3rd. I really have no idea what they plan to do for a 3rd baseman. I’m thinking maybe they’ll go some utility guy, but they usually can’t hit worth a damn and the defense probably wouldn’t be stellar either. Sadly I wouldn’t even be surprised if they went after Michael Young. Yeah, it’s pretty much going to suck; very possible a small trade could be in the works there.

      The point I’m trying to make is that at the end of the day the overall team that the Yankees will field will be drastically better than the injury riddled team that was thrown out this season. We got decent production out of guys that wouldn’t have made other teams. Lyle Overbay played well all things considering, but he’s no Teixeira. A 5-7 game improvement is not impossible — especially if CC resembles anything better than a #5 pitcher and they have Nova keep doing what he’s been doing. Oh yeah, and if they actually have some offense now.

  • Fin

    Sounds like putting lip stick on a pig to me. The fact is there isn’t enough or any help coming from the minor leagues. Signing a few 30 plus year old guys will keep them competitive, but without some solid young players, its really just not exciting. These guys would all be outstanding to fill holes in a strong roster, but not very exciting to start building a team around. That includes Cano, as the team will most likely not be very good for the year or two he has left as the best second basemen in the game.

    • OhioYanks

      Thank you Miss Cleo for letting us know how the Yankees prospects will do in the future! What would we do without your psychic powers?

  • Grver

    “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

    Winston Churchill

    • OhioYanks

      Eh… what history are you referring to exactly? The Yankees made the playoffs in 17 of the last 19 seasons.

      It’s not enough to just stare at history. You have to look at the right things. Taking one bad season with a ton of bad luck and deciding that trumps 17 strong seasons is very odd.

      There’s also a very mixed history in terms of signing FAs and drafting in the mid-to-late first, so I don’t think you’ll draw any conclusive lessons there. Look at the LCSs this season. You have 3 teams that largely imported their talent through FA and trades, one team that largely developed their talent. I don’t think you should draw any sweeping conclusions, but if you had to you might conclude the exact opposite of what you seem to be implying.

  • Junior

    Getting Teixeira, Jeter, and Granderson (Any RF we sign or resign) is a major upgrade from last season in itself. Yes we have to assume injury with this roster but absolutely not as much as last year. Even Jayson Nix got seriously injured last year! If we are able to sign Tanaka and Kuroda and able to sign an outfielder like Beltran or bring back Granderson would be the route to go. Having Ichiro and Vernon Wells on the bench and spot starting is the best way to go and keep them fresh. Catcher should not be as much as a concern as we can always use Jr Murphy, Austin Romine, and Cervelli.

  • ClusterDuck

    Sign Cano, Kuroda, Beltran and Tanaka.

    Let Grandy go.

    Offer Hughes and Joba only setup RP money. They’ll probably get better offers elsewhere to start.

    Don’t sign McCann. Let Romine, Cervelli, Murphy and Sanchez catch.

    Reynolds and Nunez at third.

    Would have been nice if they had signed the Cuban for DH.