Dec
05

Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, and increasing value of a win

By
(Ronald Martinez/Getty)

(Ronald Martinez/Getty)

Assuming Jacoby Ellsbury and Kelly Johnson pass their physicals and their contracts become official, how many games would the current Yankees’ roster win right now? I’m talking about the roster as it is today, with no Robinson Cano and a pitching staff that might be one of the worst in the league. Here’s the depth chart in you need a reminder of who slots in where at the moment. How many games would that team win?

Eighty wins seems like a good number to me. The Yankees won 85 games this past season because they outplayed their run differential (by six wins!) thanks to baseball’s very best record in one-run games. That 85-win/really 79-win team lost Cano, Mariano Rivera, Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, Boone Logan, Curtis Granderson, and a bunch of lesser guys, which is somewhere along the lines of 17 wins worth of talent. (If you must know, it’s 16.2 fWAR and 18.5 bWAR.) That baseline 68-win team added about a dozen wins in Ellsbury, Brian McCann, a full season of Alfonso Soriano, and what we hope will be full seasons from Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter. I’m just spitballing here, don’t get too caught up in exact numbers.

There are two points to this little exercise. You might think they’re an 83-win team right now and someone else might think they’re a 76-win team. Strong arguments can be made both ways, but the point is that we should all be able to agree the Yankees are not good enough to get back into the postseason as presently constructed. That’s okay though! The offseason is relatively young and Spring Training is still two months and nine days away according to our handy countdown in the sidebar. The Yankees have plenty of time to re-sign Cano and fix their pitching staff and do whatever else.

That’s the first point I was trying to make, that the team still needs to add pieces to get back to contention. The second and more important point has to do with where the Yankees sit on the win curve and the value of adding those necessary pieces. Forty-eight hours ago the Yankees were a baseline 75-win based on the numbers I just slapped together, but they added Ellsbury and now they’re an 80-win team. That’s a nice upgrade but, at the end of the day, they’re still just an 80-win team and no cares about 80-win teams. They don’t get anything, not even one of those little participation trophies they hand out in Little League. Eighty-win teams are afterthoughts.

Given where the Yankees are on the win curve right now, every move they make and every win they add to the roster going forward has a greater and greater impact on their postseason chances. Going from 75 wins to 80 wins with Ellsbury is nice but it doesn’t really do anything as far as the playoff race is concerned. Re-signing Cano, however, would take them from 80 wins to about 86 wins and that’s a huge, huge move up the win curve. Suddenly they’re on the postseason bubble. Re-sign Kuroda and they’re at 88 or 89 wins, which really puts them in the playoff picture. Add another starter (Masahiro Tanaka?) and a reliever or two on top of that and … well, you get the idea.

As we found out last night, missing the postseason can be very costly for the Yankees. Brian Costa reported the team saw a $58M decline in ticket revenue from 2012 to 2013 and they surely lost concession revenue on top of that. The value of adding wins 80+ to the ledger in the coming weeks is greater to the Yankees than it is any other club because the Yankees’ brand is built on winning, and the brand suffers in a big way financially when they don’t win. The Ellsbury signing (not so much McCann, in my opinion) shows the team is willing to overpay to add the wins they need to get back into the postseason because it will be too financially damaging if they don’t. Remember, at the end of the day, the Yankees are still a for profit business.

“The financial payoff at this juncture, coming off a missed postseason, is way more than any other team stands to gain by improving themselves by three, four, five, six wins — whatever the number might be,” president of SABR and consultant to MLB teams Vince Gennaro said to Costa. “The second-biggest problem the Yankees could have is overpaying for a free agent. The biggest problem is not getting the free agent they need to get back to the postseason and make a deep run into it … Let me tell you: If the Yankees were an 85-win team or an 83-win team for three or four years in a row, they would suffer financially orders of magnitude more than any other franchise.”

The win totals I’ve been using in this post are trivial; don’t get too caught up in the them. The point is that the Yankees were a mediocre team this past season and they got worse this winter because they lost several key players to retirement and potentially free agency. They improved a bit with McCann and Ellsbury but not enough to get back to being a serious contender. To do that, they need to add some pitching and (especially) re-sign Cano in the coming weeks. All the team has done so far this offseason is go from mediocre to bad to back to being mediocre. It’s the next few moves that will be the most important because the value of an individual win and getting back into contention is so high.

Categories : Hot Stove League
  • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

    Yup seems like Cano, Kuroda, Tanaka, a 3B, and a couple BP arms would do the trick. Wouldn’t mind me a Choo too, for giggles.

    • Huh?

      Gardner would have to go to make Choo anywhere near possible … But I agree couple of key pieces and boom…. PLAYOFFS….playofffs?…..PLAYOFFS!

      • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

        Just out of curiosity why would Gardner need to go? I’m assuming $189mm has no relevance.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          The only way I’d behind a Gardner trade is if he presented an opportunity to get a starting pitcher in the trade market rather than jumping into the Matt Garzas and *gulp* Ubaldo Jimenezes of this world.

          Other than that, no, run the two speedsters and Soriano out there every day, with Ichiro as fourth outfielder.

          • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

            I don’t think Gardner gets traded and I really hope he doesn’t. I’ve always enjoyed the speed game, so I’m really looking forward to seeing Ellsbury and Gardner in the same lineup. Should be fun.

          • mike

            I would take Garza as their #3 without question, and if Gardner could be flipped for Ogondo i would be quite happy

            • Robinson Tilapia

              I wonder how much Garza’s market stalls now while teams jockey for position with Tanaka. Does Garza wind up signing in January?

          • Wolfgang’s Fault

            Nope! You sign Ellsbury precisely because (you believe) he’s an upgrade over Gardner. That makes Gardner expendable. Once they knew Ellsbury was on board, they should have immediately turned around & dealt Gardner — perhaps by beating Brewers to KC for young lefty reliever (24 y.o. & team controlled ’til 2019) Will Smith whom they acquired for right fielder Norichika Aok who is more or less what Gardner is.

            Ellsbury AND Gardner in the lineup everyday ARE mutually exclusive. Gardner now has to be dealt for need, which as I see it, they still have plenty of. I hate to say goodbye to Gardner but they’ve now made their bed & it’s inevitable. I can easily see Gardner getting dealt this offseason, & in a year or two, winding up with & playing centerfield for the perennial world series champion Boston Red Sox.

            BTW, I like Ellsbury, & think he’s a better player than Gardner, but how the hell is he worth that kind of dough & those kind of years? I mean really??? So unwise & unjustified.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              You sign Ellsbury because you’re replacing Curtis Granderson.

              • Wolfgang’s Fault

                Don’t agree. Granderson never really was a center fielder to begin with, but both Gardner & Ellsbury are AND both lefthand hitting leadoff hitters. Gardner isn’t a “true” corner outfielder & so he’s superfluous. Way back when, once Gardner was moved to CF, Granderson was redundant. Even with Soriano in left field, they need longer term to parlay Ellsbury into being a cornerstone CF’er to enable them to rebuild longer term for more potentially productive corner outfielders, while additionally rebuilding the infield & pitching rotation/pitching depth (obviously the Cano issue goes a long way toward answering what their infield issues will be). They need some of their farmhands to step up & positively surprise them. Along w/all that, once Texeira “reestablishes” his value, if he can, they should deal him if possible. Any solid month or two or three (or even, should they hold on to him for lack of a decent offer, a decent season) from him should be taken as an opportunity to download him elsewhere if possible. He’s on the ever hastening downside, & they’ll need to be remain alert when opportunities arise to upgrade there to get younger & more productive. Lot of moving parts here. Can they keep them all in flight without dropping them?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I guess Tanaka becomes more a real possibility again now. As the Masahiro turns….

      • Chris Z.

        Or less likely if the 20 mil cap comes into play. Every team will bid 20 mil for the right to talk to him. Problem is (as was pointed out on MLB on XM) is that if the Yanks set aside 100 mil to for this and assumed 50 would be for the bid that leaves 30 left on the table. His agents know this and in turn the cost of the contract will rise. Likely by at least 25 per year. So that 10 mil a year player on a 5 year deal now costs 75 total. 15 a year because 25 mil was taken out of the posting process. It could get high enough that its going to become cost prohibitive for the Yankees and 189.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          If 189 were still in play, I’d rather pay Robbie than the pitcher with no MLB experience as what is pretty much an FA at this point.

          I think they’re blowing through 189, at this point, so I’m not really taking that into account here.

        • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

          I honestly don’t know how important 189 is to them anymore. We all saw the drop in ticket sales revenue. There’s more to be lost in missing the playoffs again than there is to be gained by staying under 189. It would cost more as far as AAV in concerned for Tanaka now, but I don’t think that will stop them from making a monster offer.

        • TheEvilUmpire

          You forget that Tanaka’s asking price will be affected by the fact that he is unproven in MLB. Granted, being a de-facto free agent with 5-10+ teams to negotiate will drive his price up substantially over the old posting system, but I don’t think any team is going to throw $25m per year at an unproven commodity. Especially since Kuroda’s expected settling price will be in the $15-16m range. I’ll call $17-18m aav over a 4-5 year deal due to the competition and the fact that he is younger and potentially better than Kuroda. I can’t see him topping $20m aav.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Yes. He’s also coming into a thin market and, in the land of the blind…

    • lou

      You couldn’t have said it any better! Choo, Ellsbury, Sorianio in the OF that’s a huge upgrade from last year.

      1. Ellsbury – Finally a lead off hitter

      2. Jeter –

      3 Choo – Will give plenty of time for Ells to steal or 3rs if no Cano.

      3. Cano – ??? He just make makes the McCann and Ells pick up better. Choo #3?
      4. Soriano

      5. McCann –
      Wow I left out Jeter ? If they sign Choo Where does jeter bat if they also sign Cano?

      6. Tex – Where he blongs finally lower #6 or 7#

      7. Tex? 3B?

      8. DH? …

      9.

      • TheEvilUmpire

        How about an outfield of Choo, Ellsbury, and Gardner with Soriano as DH? BOOM Baby!

        • lou

          Only if Gardner Bats 9th? You in?

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I thought Gardner was mauled by wolves under your scenario.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      Kuroda’s done! I’d stay away from resigning him. They’ve gotta find innings elsewhere, & likewise, they can use the pick they get if he signs elsewhere. IMO, Kuroda won’t come close to repeating the year he had in ’13. Put the proverbial fork in him!

  • SamVa

    This has a completely different voice than a “normal” Mike Axisa post.

    If Cano signed tomorrow with the Mariners, where do we think they would go?

    Would they go pitching heavy and sign Ubaldo and Tanaka?
    Would they go after Beltran and split time between him and Sori for RF/DH?
    Would they sign Choo and attempt to trade Gardy for a SP or 2B?

    Anyone guess?

    We need Cano and Tanaka. Bottom line (literally)

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Pitching and, for God’s sake, someone else would need to hit some home runs on that team.

    • UncleArgyle

      If Cano leaves Cashman will target Balfour, a third baseman, and then lots of pitching. IMO

      • Wicomico Pinstripes

        So you’re going with Kelly Johnson as your starting 2B?

        • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

          Nothing wrong with that. If they improve the team around him, he’d be adequate in a starting role.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        There’s not a third baseman available good enough on this earth to make up for lost production there.

      • nycsportzfan

        I hope he targets balfour even if he does get Cano back. I think Balfours the perfect fit as are new 8th inning man, and if worst case sceneario, Robertson dosen’t do well saving games, we can move Balfour there. I wonder what it’ll take to get Balfour?

        Balfour, Webb, and Wesley Wright please.

    • TheEvilUmpire

      Saying that we “need” Cano and Tanaka is an overstatement. Could we put together a playoff caliber team without them? Yes, but it will be trickier and take more creativity and outside the box thinking.

      In that case, perhaps they go hard at Garza and Choo and use Gardner as a trade chip for 2B or another SP? Some kind of Cash-ninja move in the works? Should be interesting…

      • Rick

        Wait so outsid ethe box thinking is getting the next best FA in Choo and signing one of the better available FA pitchers? Yes, that’s really outside the box lol.

  • TWTR

    So basically the benefits of $189m are illusory in the larger picture.

    • Wicomico Pinstripes

      Always have been.

    • Rick

      Not entirely. The point still remains that you should be able to field a competitor for 189 or less. The problem is they could never implement the plan immediately with all of the big contracts still on the books.

      • TWTR

        That is where in-house development comes in, but will they ever get good at it?

        • fin

          Yep, when year after year your best prospects continue to be in A ball, you cant contend without a payroll north of $200m.

  • Pasqua

    So, it’s reported that the Yanks lost $58 million in ticket sales. Isn’t the luxury tax savings (for staying at / under a $189 million payroll) projected to be $60 million?

    That, to me, is evidence that the Yanks have already decided to forego their budget plan and go-for-broke. They’ll EASILY make-up that $60 million in revenue if they field a star-studded playoff team.

    I think Cano (and even some high-profile pitching) is still to come; the Evil Empire may be back.

  • Frank

    The new posting system, IMO, significantly decreases the chances the Yanks get Tanaka, not that they were favorites to begin with. I’ve said from the beginning Tanaka winds up with the Dodgers- I believe that’s more likely to happen now. Yanks need to move on starters ASAP. I was hoping they would take a flier on Kazmir. Based on what’s out there, I’d like two of Garza, Ubaldo, Feldman or Hammel. Maybe take a flier on Bailey, who was non tendered, for the BP. Dont see a trade for a pitcher unless their willing to move Sanchez.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Increases, to me. They’ll bid 20 mil, and then it’s just an FA battle like any other. When there’s no limitations in place, I don’t bet against the team getting the guy they want.

      Key word: When.

      • mike

        agreed – while theoretically the Yanks could “win” a blind bid, I’d much rather capitalize on the Yankees winning tradition, opportunities and cultural familiarity offered by NYC, and the ability to offer a huge contract when all the winning bidders are on equal footing.

        I ( as a fan) don’t care about $189 or luxury tax or posting fees… that’s billionaires fighting millionaires, and im still paying $9 a beer irrespective of who is on the field…i just want a winning team that is fun to watch with star players wearing the laundry….so I think the new system works perfectly well for the Yanks

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Agreed. I could care less about 189.

          • Grammar Police

            I couldn’t care less

            You care some if you could care less

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Caught redhanded.

      • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

        I’m not sure it increases or decreases. On one hand, there will be more competition for sure. Tanaka’s actual salary will be higher and it will take a huge offer to sign him. On the other hand, this removes the chance of some team losing their minds and surprising everyone with an insane posting bid.

      • BeanTooth

        That’s only if Plan $189 is truly gone. For all we know, they think that with ARod suspended next year, they can have it all.

      • jsbrendog

        my question, does kuroda coming back or not affect tanaka’s decision in any way? or having ichiro on the team? is it possible that in some way that might add to the allure of already being the yankees? maybe not. just spitballin here.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Can’t hurt…..unless he’s leaving Japan because he’s just sick of Japanese guys.

      • Rick

        This

    • TheEvilUmpire

      The new system gurantees that the Yanks will get a shot at signing him. Their track record with the old system demonstrated that they were either too gun-shy or lacked ability to evaulate what it would take to place a winning bid. Basically, it was a crapshoot for all teams involved.

      • TheEvilUmpire

        Plus it doesn’t do much more than just shift their money from the bid to the player contract.

  • Pseudoyanks

    This is an excellent perspective. Thanks for sharing it. As a previous Economics major (then later Finance MBA), I find this sort of stuff as interesting as a prospect profile. Yanks have more to win and more to lose when they, uh, win and lose…

  • KevinD

    The 189 mil cap savings are peanuts compared to the money they lose not making the playoffs and fielding a sub standard team that fans don’t want to watch.

    I have a hard time believing Cano would sign in all places Seattle. Its like walking into the desert to die compared to playing in NYC. He may get a few more dollars on a Seattle overpay but everything else will change for him.

    Its imperative we step up and up are offer to Cano and get that deal done. Without Cano I cant see this team getting a sniff of the playoffs.

    BTW, if not Tanaka…then who is the primary pitching target?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I’d say Garza’s probably next on anyone’s depth chart and…..yeah.

      This all assumes Kuroda is separate top priority.

      • KevinD

        Kuroda is a good pitcher but I just dont get excited about his pitching. He eats innings up but his W/L isnt exactly setting the world on fire.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          He’s been the best starting pitcher on your favorite team for, arguably, two seasons now, and that’s even with the September slide.

          We all know what most think about W/L records as primary marker.

        • Wicomico Pinstripes

          Since his record is definitive of his talent level and everything.

        • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

          God forbid they sign anyone that doesn’t have a high rate of success in a stat as significant as pitcher W/L.

        • jsbrendog

          sigh.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          It’s pronounced “awful run support”

      • FLYER7

        Does having Kuroda signed and Ichiro on the roster as the 4th OFer enhance the Yankees chances of nabbing Tanaka?

        • Robinson Tilapia

          We’d need to check in with Big Member on that.

  • Conor Gallogly

    They could add Tanaka, Kuroda, Jimenez, Infante, Granderson and Reynolds and get to the playoffs without Cano. It’s easier with Cano of course. Given the state of the rotation, Tanaka might be just as important. He’s going to make crazy money that he’ll almost be a free agent.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Oh, I think they’ll be zero difference now between what he’d make as a true free agent. Zero.

      I still think that, when comparing individual players, Cano is way more important than Tanaka.

  • Darren

    We’re gonna need power. If only there was a way to get it out of one the traditional power positions (the corners). I mean, I would take 20 HRs and a .270 average in a heartbeat, even from an aging slugger, if only we could find one. Maybe at third base? Anyone out there?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I know a second baseman who’ll surpass that.

    • TheEvilUmpire

      I think the days of bargain basement moneyball-type players is over. Everyone’s using advanced stats now and high obp/slg players know their value.

      • Darren

        Rhymes with Shmay Shmod

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Obviously, a 25-man roster consisting of players under contract right now would be spectacularly flawed, and I think the gains would be pretty negated by the holes present. McCann, Ellsbury, and healthy vets wouldn’t save that. It’d be $230 million thrown to the wind if they stood pat, at least for 2014.

    Luckily, there’s no way in hell this is what the roster looks like on Opening Day.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

      The Red Sox current line-up is also flawed. The amount of people complaining about the Yankees current roster drives me nuts. Overheard two dudes at the gym last night.. “Cano’s goin ta Seeyattle! Look at their pitching! They don’t even have a clozah!!” A goddamn closer people are worried about. Took a lot of restraint not to chime in.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        A lot of cherries are going to get popped in the post-Mariano world. This is only the beginning.

        Do what I do: Turn up the headphones at the gym.

        • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

          Oh, they were up during. Just caught these masterminds on the way out. That’s the one and only downside to Mo. It’s given people the idea that the closer is much more valuable than it is. People think you’re a nut when you tell what limited value that position has.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I also think closers aside from about a handful of guys tend to walk the bases loaded at times and throw too many pitches. Just like DRob. No one dies. Some folks need blood pressure meds in the process.

            • TheEvilUmpire

              Check out DRob’s walk numbers from the last 2 seasons. Seems like he’s gotten that part of his game under control, they’re in the low-to-mid 2 range down from the upper 4’s/lower 5’s of his early career. I think he’s our best option, but it would still be nice to have a solid late inning guy with closing experience behind him to back him up.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                I have come to praise David Robertson, not bury him.

          • jsbrendog

            dave dombrowski would like a word….

          • Darren

            I think you’re undervaluing the role. There’s a reason some guys can do it and some guys can’t. Pressure is a real thing. It’s not just one inning. Listen to the way guys in the game talk about it. Having a reliable closer (let alone a once in a lifetime legend like Mo) helps the team relax and gives them confidence, which perhaps allows them to be productive in other ways. And as a fan or as a player, when the team blows it in the 9th because of a shaky closer, it’s pretty disheartening.

  • mike

    I think a lot of people forget the Yanks had a huge payroll last year – adding Soriano, Wells, Ichiro….i’d bet it was north of $225mm when all said and done……then, their revenue falls from both attendance and TV ratings ( not Yankees directly, but the whole Empire). I would assume the Empire is not used to falling that far short in revenue projections…im surprised more heads didn’t roll – especially with the artificial bump from the Farewell Tour really masking what would have been a Flushing-like September

  • Dr. Grenaldine

    Anybody else thinking that we should ask Tony Womack to come back and play 2B?

    Question: Who looks more like Tom Gordon? Tom Gordon? Or Tony Womack?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      This is brilliant. We can then replace him with a young, cost-controlled Robbie Cano in May.

    • TheEvilUmpire

      Tom Gordon? Tony Womack? Same guy? Has anyone seen them on the field at the same time?

      Mind… Blown…

  • Wicomico Pinstripes

    I was thinking about this last night. The recent signings were nice and much needed but with all the subtractions due to free agency and retirement this team is probably not better than the 2013 NYY. There is still a lot of work to be done. Thankfully, we aren’t even to the winter meetings yet.

  • Reggie C.

    Say we lose Cano to the Mariners, all is not lost on the power front.

    I havent lost complete faith in Mark Teixiera’s abilities to deliver another .250/.340/.475 season. Teixiera isn’t a bad bet to return to the 30 homerun plateau. Not a guarantee but close enough. Lets remember that the Yankees got very little from the 1B position last season.

  • LarryM Fl

    I agree with Mike’s assessment of the present Yankee roster and the business side of the team. Do they pay 25-30 million in luxury tax to make 100 million. It is common sense. I’m sure it is way more thought provoking than my example.

    The Yankees need to tell Cano if they have not already done so. 7/175 is it,the limit. Whatever funds are left should be spent on acquiring pitching,sooner rather then later. Cano and quality pitching will bring back the team to playoff contention. Not to keen with Kuroda offer for the obvious reasons that are evident the last two seasons. There has been much written on Cano following the money. If finishing his career as a Yankee has no meaning than the offer of 7/175 has no meaning. The Yankees are correct in not going any further except a team option for year 8 and some cash payout.

    My confidence level is a six with the team ‘s roster. There are pieces of the puzzle missing but we have a clue where they are!

    • TheEvilUmpire

      They’re saying 7/175, but you never pull out your best contract until you make your last ditch effort. I still have a feeling they’ll go 8/200 or slightly higher if Seattle or another team makes a hard push. Especially since the Ellsbury contract.

  • LK

    I hope the Yankees have learned their lesson here that putting an elite team on the field is the only way to continue to make money the way they have, and cannot be sacrificed for cost savings.

    Anyway, this team pretty clearly needs Cano, 2 SPs, and bullpen help at a *minimum*. You’re probably looking at a lineup of McCann, Tex, Cano (assuming he’s re-signed), Ryan, Johnson, Gardner, Ellsbury, Soriano, Jeter on most days right now, so another bat, preferably one that could play a non-1B IF position, would be helpful as well. If they add one more decent hitter in addition to Cano and fill out the bench a little bit that’s an offense that can compete.

    The pitching, on the other hand, is just a disaster right now. CC and Nova provide 2 starters, though of what quality is up for debate. I’d say they can probably put together another spot out of Phelps/Warren/Pineda/Huff/Nuno/etc. for the 5th spot. So that’s 2 pitchers needed, and they have to be at least mid-rotation types. Hopefully the team’s recent moves will help to convince Kuroda to return; despite the age and poor finishes to the last 2 seasons he should be pretty reliable. To me, the only other good option is Tanaka, but I worry that the rumored change might mean he doesn’t get posted – I could see him being worth more than $20M to his current team in Japan.

    At any rate, as much as I’m not necessarily a fan of the Ellsbury contract, it’s pretty great to feel like the team is going balls out to win instead of trying to tread water while cutting payroll.

  • jsbrendog

    Rumor was the Mariners are trying to make a push for david price too. if they get price to go along with king felix and iwakuma….if im cano i have to consider taking their ginormous offer…

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Here’s the thing, though: Apparently, they were in on Ellsbury, and they claim to be in Choo and anything else that moves.

      Hearing about Cano makes us concerned for sure. It’s also possible that they’re just all over the place and wind up with little in the end. These ARE the Mariners and, yes, even a broken clock is right twice a day, but would you really bet on that?

      • jsbrendog

        agreed. free agents have to want to go there. but trading for people…they have no choice. and me, personally, if i am a free agent and seattle right now goes COME ON GUY??!! i would decline.

        but if they add price without subtracting both of hultzen and walker and too much from the ML team then I look at them and go, ok, so youre offering me more than anyone else or at least a top 3 offer, you now have two of the last what, 4 cy young winners? and a guy in iwakuma who could also be a number two….and all you need is offense? ok, where do i sign?

        • Havok9120

          I’d still be reluctant (not opposed, but skittish) about signing on until they put someone else in the lineup with me. Hitting in a cavern + only meaningful offensive play =/= a recipe for success.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            You have such little faith in Smoak, Montero, and Ackley. THIS IS THEIR YEAR.

            • MannyGeee

              Montero would be MUCH less bored if Robbie came over and hung out with him in Seattle. Jus sayin

          • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

            Yeah. Words are pretty meaningless. If I had Price in the room at the same time and we signed together, sure. But if all I hear is “Oh hey we’re signing Price too!”, that doesn’t mean anything.

  • LiterallyFigurative

    This is like driving past a house where they just put up sheetrock and exclaiming ”how can anyone live there?”

    The team isn’t done. It’s still technically fall for crying out loud.

    On a side note, if the Mets get granderson for 3 years and we had to give ellsbury 7, I will be very pissed off. It’s not that I really care abiut 6 years from now on a ballclub. To me granderson and the middle order production is more of a need than the speed game of ellsbury. Maybe they felt the wrist injuries sapped him of his 30 hr potential.

    I hope we can get Kuroda back, add Tanaka and have the Cano issue resolved, one way or another. As much as I would hate to lose him, I can see a very strong offensive team with Beltran instead of Cano. Optimal? No. But being held hostage isn’t the prudent way to proceed either.

    Gardner
    Jeter
    Ellsbury
    Beltran
    McCann
    Soriano
    Tiexiera
    Reynolds
    Johnson

    Cc
    Kuroda
    Tanaka
    Nova
    Pineda.

    I’ll roll with that team. There are no easy outs. You have speed, defense and some power. You don’t have to lead the world in hr to win.

    I’m interested to see what the rest of the offseason brings.

    • jsbrendog

      great analogy

    • SamVa

      Awesome analogy.

      Beltran/Cano would never happen right?

      Gardy
      Ellsbury
      Robbie
      Beltran
      Tex
      Sori
      McCann
      Jeter
      Reynolds

      Man, that would be a dreamy lineup.

      Pick up Anderson somehow (wildcard) Tanaka and a player like Feldman. Go big NYY.

      Brought to you by there is no way this is happening.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Feldman wants his bidding to start at 3/30, BTW. Somehow, one of these fuckers actually does become Anibal Sanchez on the field.

      • LiterallyFigurative

        That would be obscene, in a King of diamonds stripclub sort of way.

    • nycsportzfan

      I love this team. Add Balfour, W.Wright, and Webb to the pen and call it a yr..

      A pen of

      W.Wright
      Webb
      Kelley
      Cabral
      Balfour
      Robertson
      Warren(we need a long man)

  • Avi

    Mike, you’re killing me with your analysis.
    SO DAM SPOT ON..
    It’s like reading Shakespeare, Pure perfection.

    • nycsportzfan

      +1

  • Nathan

    Excellent article. Great way to start my day!

  • MannyGeee

    Its funny, because we keep hearing the words “Character and Makeup Guys”, but what puts asses in the seats is talent. A-Rod, in his prime, was a draw (and, as we’re learning, a very VERY flawed human being). Barry Bonds was an absolute scumbag, but he packed stands.

    I am in NO WAY suggesting that you throw character out the window and go get Delmon Young or AJ Pierzinski (examples of assholes, not of available or even relative upgrades, but you will only see a 2013 Red Sox team once in a lifetime. If you’re going to spend the money, spend it on the players that will get you wins.

  • Dan

    They still have holes. As constructed I think they’re an 82ish win team (I think Tex and Jeter should both rebound, knock on wood). If they sign Cano and get a decent pitcher, they could be a 90 win team. That would give them a pretty good shot at the playoffs (but definitely not a guarantee). This year it went to two 92 win teams in the AL, Cincy got in in the NL at 90 wins.

    If Alex gets suspended they could easily put the pieces together to be a 95 win team. Another starter, a deeper bench (platoon players at third) and a couple of decent bullpen arms.

    The pieces are there. But they need Cano.

  • nycsportzfan

    Welp, Seattle just signed Willie Bloomquist, so you can take them off the list of suitors for Robbie. Hehehe!

  • nycsportzfan

    Kinda bummed sox are about to get Mujica. I was asking Mike about him in a Chat a couple wks back and he liked em as did i. Hes got great command and is still young and is another bigtime bullpen weapon for boston. There bullpen is insane.

  • RetroRob

    That’s why it’s not always a case of overpaying. The value of a win is not consistent from team to team, even though people like to pretend it is. Gennaro summed it up well.

  • fin

    Man, the Yankees really need to start getting some position player help from the minor leagues or in a few years they will be pushing a $300m payroll. I have to think that the minor leagues success this year may play as much a roll in Cashman’s future as the MLB teams success. If I’m Hal I’m not real happy about not being able to fill and spots with young cost controlled players and none close to helping.