Dec
18

Thoughts following the Roberts and Thornton pickups

By
(Patrick Smith/Getty)

(Patrick Smith/Getty)

I was planning to write one of these thoughts posts this week anyway, but at least yesterday’s activity gives me a decent title. The Yankees agreed to sign both second baseman Brian Roberts (one-year, $2M) and left-hander Matt Thornton (two years, $7M), two moves that put a small dent in a lengthy offseason wish list. They still need a third baseman, a starting pitcher, another reliever (preferably two), and general depth. Here are some nuggets for the time being.

1. The Roberts signing really doesn’t accomplish much in my opinion. You can’t count on him to stay healthy and even if he does manage to stay healthy, there’s no guarantee he’ll be any good. Gotta hope his .284/.327/.441 (109 wRC+) line against left-handers this past season was legit and not just noise from a 110 plate appearance sample because his .249/.312/.392 (90 wRC+) overall line was pretty mediocre. Everyone loves those high-risk, high-reward signings, but I think Roberts is better described as low-risk, low-reward. The Yankees are said to be seeking more infield help and that’s a good thing. I’m not sure they actually added any yesterday.

2. Thornton, on the other hand, is a real nice pickup as long as Joe Girardi uses him as a true lefty specialist and doesn’t force him out there against righties. He was one of the most dominant relievers in baseball once upon a time but that is no longer the case. Thornton has been better than Boone Logan against same-side hitters these last few years (doesn’t strike out as many but also gives up fewer extra-base hits) and the Yankees landed him for less than half the total cost. Heck, they got him for less than J.P. Howell (two years, $11.5M). Everyone wants a lefty reliever who can handle both lefties and righties, but there aren’t many of those guys around. As long as Girardi keeps him away from righties, Thornton should be very useful.

3. At some point soon, the Yankees will need to open 40-man roster spots for Roberts, Thornton, and the still not officially signed Carlos Beltran. Vernon Wells and David Huff stand out as obvious candidates to be taken off the roster, but after them? I have no idea. Ramon Flores and Nik Turley could end up going, but the latter would surely get plucked off waivers since he has minor league options remaining and is both left-handed and breathing. It seems unlikely Eduardo Nunez will go because the team isn’t in the position to give away middle infield depth. Maybe they’re working on dumping Ichiro Suzuki for some salary relief, which would also clear a spot. Either way, the Yankees have a serious roster crunch at the moment.

(Leon Halip/Getty Images)

(Leon Halip/Getty Images)

4. Grant Balfour (two years, $15M with the Orioles) and Jose Veras (one year, $4M with the Cubs) signed with new teams yesterday and both guys made a ton of sense for the Yankees, especially on those terms. Those are pretty sweet contracts, more than reasonable in this market. Both guys were handed the closer’s role by their new teams though, so this isn’t a simple “they should have matched the offers” situation. David Robertson should get the ninth inning next season for reasons Joe outlined over the weekend, but damn, I would have loved to see the Yankees add Balfour and/or Veras on those deals.

5. The Yankees have committed just under $231M to five outfielders over the last calendar year (Ichiro, Wells, Alfonso Soriano, Jacoby Ellsbury, Beltran), which is mind-blowing. Only one of them is younger than 35 and only one (Beltran) feels like a lock to post an .800+ OPS next year as well. Sure, Soriano could do it, but he needed that huge finish with New York to finish with a .791 OPS this past season. He turns 38 next month and, as Ichiro and David Justice showed, big finishes following a midseason trade don’t always carry over to the next season. The point of this is … I dunno. I guess that the team has spent a ton of money on outfield help over the last year and didn’t get a whole lot of offensive help in return.

6. This crossed my mind the other day and I figured I’d bring it up here: how long will it be before another homegrown Yankee tops a .900 OPS while playing a full season/qualifying for the batting title? The last five guys to do it were Robinson Cano (2010 and 2012), Jorge Posada (2003 and 2007), Derek Jeter (1999 and 2006), Bernie Williams (1996-2002), and Don Mattingly (1984-1987), so it’s not exactly a common occurrence. Gary Sanchez is a possibility but the kid is 21 with only 23 games of experience above Single-A. Hard to pin it on him. There’s no obvious candidate. Could it be another ten years (the gap between Mattingly and Bernie) before it happens again? Fifteen? Five?

Categories : Musings

172 Comments»

  1. I'm One says:

    I think Roberts is better described as low high-risk, low-reward.

    Fixed.

  2. Rick says:

    Mike Axisa, future President. I become more impressed with this guy’s knowledge of baseball and ability to crank out article after article. You are better man than I, good sir.

  3. Slugger27 says:

    wouldnt the gap between mattingly and bernie be 9 years?

    i think the orioles swung a slick deal for balfour but i dont get why theyd trade 1 year of jim johnson just to sign a free agent closer. i dont think balfour is significantly better and they couldnt have predicted theyd get him on that good of a deal. i just dont understand the strategy.

    • Rick says:

      Balfour really wasn’t “significantly better” than Johnson. They’re arguably the same pitcher. Balfour has some serious home/road splits.

    • The Great Gonzo says:

      Johnson was getting extremely expensive. Welcome to ACTUAL mid-market baseball, folks.

      • Slugger27 says:

        the difference in AAV is only $2.5M though, right? and balfour required a 2nd year. i mean i cant say it didnt work out, but it just makes me wonder what the strategy was going into the offseason. “lets trade our solid closer who is under control at a fair price for 1 year, and once thats done, lets test the free agent market for a quality reliever at roughly the same cost”

        • Jeter's Parting Gift Basket says:

          That’s more of a strategy than anything the Yankees are tossing out there.

          Johnson was getting expensive and likely to get an arb-raise. So they traded him and saved a few million with an equivalent closer.

          http://mlb.si.com/2013/12/17/g.....cs-closer/

          • I'm One says:

            And they got that closer for 2 years. If Johnson had earned~$10M this season (as was suggested by MLBTR if I recall correctly), what would he have cost next year? even if they agreed to 2 years at $10M per year, they save $5M. Yes, it was a gamble that they could replace him, but it did work out for them.

            Now the Yankees just need to be able to beat Balfour like they did Johnson. (Do the facts back up my narative?)

  4. TWTR says:

    6. This crossed my mind the other day and I figured I’d bring it up here: how long will it be before another homegrown Yankee tops a .900 OPS while playing a full season/qualifying for the batting title?

    Whenever it is, it would be beyond great.

    I view Roberts as a placeholder. Someone cheap who they hope is a viable option, and who gives them the flexibility under the Hal Rules to get Tanaka. Infante’s deal didn’t appear to be that bad, but it’s not my money.

  5. BeanTooth says:

    Takeaway from this post was that Bernie was freaking awesome.

    • jsbrendog says:

      ops+ by year:
      91
      114
      100
      120
      129
      131
      147
      160
      149
      140
      139
      141
      107
      108
      85
      96

      GOD I MISS BERNIE!

      • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

        Yeah he had an amazing 9-10 year run. He was my favorite player through the dynasty years. I had brief love affairs with Cone, El Duque, Paullie, and a few others but Bernie was just phenomenal. Amazing how great he was.

      • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

        Crazy thing too is that his last couple years, after which we wouldn’t bring him back with the assurances he wanted, were better than Wells and Ichiro *before* we brought them in.

      • qwerty says:

        Bernie was a very good hitting centerfielder,and an all around good guy, but I hated his defense and baserunning.

  6. mike says:

    Lets hope a platoon at 2b of Johnson/Roberts (keeping Roberts from batting lefty as much as possible)and Reyonlds/Johnson at 3B can get the best of both worlds, and Jeter/Ryan/Nunez making the best of SS.

    not a bad infield if can use platoon splits, and could use roberts/ryan in late games to really shore up the infield defense up the middle.

    if/when Arod comes back, the worse of Reyonlds/Nunez gets sent home to make room for him

    • Conor in China says:

      That’s still a bad infield. But more serviceable.

    • Jeter's Parting Gift Basket says:

      Platoon a 2B? That’s idiocy, esp since good options were out there.

      • Rick says:

        But it’s all relative. I’m sorry, but I’d much prefer Roberts and the risk at $2M than Infante at 4/30 or Brandon Phillips. As Mike said, we have no idea what the Ellis negotiations were like. The guy could’ve wanted to play in St. Louis. Not everyone wants to be a Yankee, despite what we think.

        • Jeter's Parting Gift Basket says:

          “Not everyone wants to be a Yankee, despite what we think.”

          What *we* think? I have no illusions that a good player wants to play for a contender, not a below average club going nowhere.

          Problem is, Ellis went so cheap they could have paid him $7-8M and still seen value.

  7. The Great Gonzo says:

    If Roberts is on the roster on July 1 (non-DL division, of course) I will be extremely surprised

  8. Conor in China says:

    The Yankees are in too weak a position to be bottom feeding already aren’t they? They need to add at least two impact players. Tanaka is the obvious one, but there isn’t an impact third baseman on the free agent market. Trading Gardner is more shifting value around. The prospects mostly took big steps back last season.

    So doesn’t this logically lead to signing Shin-Soo Choo? (assuming the team realizes that winning is the fuel of the revenue engine) Choo would take at bats from 38 year-old Soriano (in the outfield), Jeter (as Choo’s presence makes Beltran a full time DH), but neither is a good bet to be effective, particularly against right handed pitching. Choo’s presence also guards against injuries to Beltran, Soriano, Ellsbury and Gardner (none of the good picks to play 150 games).

  9. Jeter's Parting Gift Basket says:

    This article needs to be read before anyone comments on this board. http://www.grantland.com/story.....rk-yankees

    It succinctly summarizes everything worth understanding about this current club.

    But I digress, on topic:

    Couldn’t agree more on Roberts. For the cost:

    Mark Ellis >>>> Brian Roberts

    And yet, the Yankees have slide so far that the Cardinals are clearly the better destination now in baseball. Still, Ellis is worth more than $5M. He’s a steal at that price.

    • mitch says:

      people read grantland?

    • Rick says:

      It’s actually entirely off base. I thought that garbage was total trash. The only baseball writer worth reading on that blog is Keri. We can disagree here, but if you think that “succinctly summarizes everything… about this club” then that’s silly. What guy writes an article with two months left in the offseason already declaring a team got worse? There are many many valid arguments of how we’ve already gotten better. Yea, we lost Cano. Oh well, there are studies that show when teams lose a “star player” they don’t lose more than 2 wins in a year, even without replacing him. The Yankees are building up the middle. Sorry they couldn’t plug every hole at once. Good thing the season doesn’t start tomorrow, amiright?

    • Grover says:

      Interesting read. Without a complete understanding of the financials and metrics of the income stream outside of ticket sales and concessions, we are all assuming far too much and this author is among us. When Cashman retires and writes his book we may learn some of the inner workings of the management team and the egos and emotions involved. I have a hunch that Hal, fueled by Randy, spends outside the organizational meeting’s agreed upon box and Cashman is charged with cleaning up the mess while taking the proverbial hit when the team is unsuccessful. Sounds like King George’s method of madness.

      It is also far too early in the offseason to get specific on the results. It’s a work in progress. What we can ascertain is Anna and the potential lefty specialists on the roster a couple of days ago did not have the complete confidence of the management team. I tend to think we would all agree.

    • Craig says:

      I usually like Rany’s stuff, but he is far less objective when it comes to the Yankees. He probably had to clean off his keyboard after writing this article.

      It’s an opinion piece by a guy with a deep and seething hatred of the Yankees. There isn’t any real analysis done and he contradicts himself throughout (Yanks should have signed Cano to a 10 year deal / Yanks shouldn’t sign guys to long-term deals).

      I strongly disagree with the “article” and actually think our farm system is well on the way to being a top system.

      That said, this is a hatchet piece railing against the Yankees that makes every Yankee-hater get a boner…just like every hack was writing how record-breakingly historically awesome the 2012 Red Sox were going to be.

      I seem to remember Rany (and other RS lovers going pretty limp that year).

      This article doesn’t concern me one bit.

    • Cuso says:

      I feel bad for you.

  10. Batsman says:

    Roberts is a low risk, HIGH reward. When healthy he is a .280/.350 hitter. That’s the high reward! The low risk is 1 yr 2 mil.

  11. John C says:

    I was really hoping they’d sign Veras. With Benoit likely heading to SD, the only one left with closing experience is Rodney. Currently,he wants 10 mill per on at least a 2 year deal but he’ll have to come down from that obviously. Right now, looks like Yanks are in a holding pattern with any more big signings til the Tanaka situation is resolved once and for all.

    • The Tenth Inning Stretch says:

      Rodney would also have to straighten his stupid hat.

      • gageagainstthemachine says:

        There should be a ruler based CC’s hat position and no Yankee can go past that measurement in twisting their cap. I hate that look in MLB and I think CC is right at the cusp of about to go passed acceptable into Rodney territory.

  12. Chris says:

    No homegrown Yankees will ever post an OPS that high as long as the front office continues its current philosophy. Or maybe that’s a little extreme, so let me put it this way, I do not believe we will see another great Yankee, the likes of Derek Jeter, Mattingly etc, with the current philosphy. Too many free agents taking away the spots of possible young guys, draft picks that are too low and a seemingly general inability of the minor league system to develop players properly. With the current philosphy, the team can be good and maybe even win, but the days of great homegrown players is gone, or at least far less likely.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Define “current philosophy.”

      • MartinRanger says:

        Draft picks that are too low? Would you prefer they tank a few seasons to get top 10 picks?

        Who exactly is getting blocked? Montero, who can’t hit breaking balls or high fastballs? Jackson, who looked like a K-prone fourth outfielder with upside and will never match his rookie year?

        Also, can we PLEASE ban the troll?

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

          I’ve never not seen a veteran-driven philosophy with the New York Yankees, and I was definitely toilet-trained by the time ’77 and ’78 came around.

  13. Jeter's Parting Gift Basket says:

    “I guess that the team has spent a ton of money on outfield help over the last year and didn’t get a whole lot of offensive help in return.”

    So disgustingly awful in context and especially since their infield offense has declined to below average.

    Ooof. What a joke.

  14. Jeter's Parting Gift Basket says:

    “Either way, the Yankees have a serious roster crunch at the moment.”

    At the moment? They have a full 40-man, just signed three more players, and still need to fill 3-5 more roster slots. They couldn’t field a team right now with a 50-man roster.

    • Rick says:

      You’re always so positive!

    • pinch hitter says:

      So you don’t think they have a single player worth keeping, but you’re worried they won’t be able to keep them all?

      • Jeter's Parting Gift Basket says:

        WHen did I say they don’t “have a single player worth keeping”?

        • Macho Man "Randy Levine" says:

          Gonna guess the statement “They couldn’t field a team right now with a 50-man roster” was interpreted that way.

        • pinch hitter says:

          You don’t like McCann, Texeira, Roberts, Johnson, Jeter or any of the other ss, ellsbury, beltran, ichiro, wells, anyone in the bullpen other than Robertson, and I’m pretty sure you’ve bashed everyone in the rotation. So finding 5 players to cut shouldn’t be very hard.

  15. RetroRob says:

    The addition of Ellsbury, Soriano and Beltran has bettered the Yankees offense in the OF.

    Wells and Ichiro, no.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      Well, Wells definitely no.

      But Ichiro may very well be better than any of the potential AAA filler over the course of the year.

      • Jeter's Parting Gift Basket says:

        And there’s the farm in a nutshell. A 40 yo guy making $6.5M and producing at 25% below average is a better option than any random kid making league minimum.

        Ninja!

      • MartinRanger says:

        It’s time to stop pretending that the Yankees ever though Vernon Wells was worth his salary. He got paid Teixera’s money, and they were desperate.

        Ichiro is one thing, because they thought he was worth signing as a free agent. Wells was a roll of the dice with free money. He’ll almost certainly be DFA’d.

    • Jeter's Parting Gift Basket says:

      Not much more than simply keeping Greanderson and Swisher and Gardner. And they would have saved $110M.

      Isn’t that something? The Yankee OF of 2012 would have been an improvement and cheaper than the OF of 2014. And that’s if they let Granderson and Swisher hit the open market.

      • nyyankfan_7 says:

        Damn I already missed the 2014 season? That sucks, I was looking forward to seeing how Ellsbury and Beltran performed but apparently it’s already written in stone. And hell those monster numbers that Swisher and Granderson put up in 2013 would have definitely put the Yankees in the World Series – can’t believe they didn’t resign those guys for life.

        You’re okay with locking up Granderson and Swisher until they are 38 & 36 years old but you’re not okay with locking up Ellbury till he’s 37 and Beltran till he’s 39?

    • Scully says:

      We need speed! DEMON SPEED! #ichirobalboa

  16. wallypip says:

    I’m fairly optimistic about Roberts. His injury history isn’t a chronic condition like Youkilis and Hafner brought with them. He has had baserunning issues and concussions. He lost significant time because he hit himself on the head with his bat after a strikeout. I doubt he’ll be stealing bases, so there is a good chance that he can avoid the hamstring issues. He also hit the ball better last year once he got healthy. I’m not expecting Roberts 2008, but we don’t need him to be that.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      The problem is concussions can cause recurring symptoms, and Roberts had a few setbacks over the last couple of years.

      • wallypip says:

        That does concern me. His second concussion came from getting hit in the head sliding into 1st. Maybe he had a concussion earlier in his career and didn’t know. The guy could get hurt again. I don’t know. I just see his injury history as different from guys who have bad backs or chronic knees and hurt themselves swinging the bat. I’m hoping for 400 ABs, .330 OBP, and a few more dingers than the average 2B. I’ll take him as an adequate platoon parner.

    • mitch says:

      If Roberts is the everyday 2B, it would be a minor miracle if he doesn’t get hurt at some point. If he plays 2 or 3 times a week i could definitely see him staying healthy and productive.

  17. I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

    Have to say that these ticky tacky signings of scrap heap or near scrap heap guys, which in turn point to a continued plan to get under $189mm, have me trending back toward a 4 from my newly minted 5.

    We spend a gazillion dollars on a few guys. Nice. But then we round things out with poo. Worse, we’re not close to being done yet, and now we’re counting shekels for the remaining pieces.

    Yeesh.

    • Jeter's Parting Gift Basket says:

      Not hard to understand the Greedy thinking. The big splashes get the headlines and make up for losing Cano. They get just enough fans to show up at the park to stem the sliding attendance and YES numbers. If they get lucky in one-run games again maybe they have a puncher’s chance at 90 wins. That keeps attendance and rating strong through to September.

      Still, signing Roberts and Thorton makes little sense if they still think they have a shot at 189. Joseph and Cabral could offer half the value, at least, at 1/5 the cost.

      • The Great Gonzo says:

        Its worth mentioning that the ticky tacky signings have yielded good to very good to tremendous benefits over the past 3-5 years, in the forms of guys like Raul Ibanez, Andruw Jones, Pronk’s April 2013, Jayson Nix, Brenden Ryan, Mark Reynolds, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, amongst others…

        But you’ll tell me I am an idiot now, or inform me that I am wrong, so to hell with it.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

          Polyanna sorority girl slut homer.

        • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

          Too early to say but there’s a huge difference between bench players, role players, and 4-5 starter types on generally strong rosters and the current starting infield (for example). But if our 3B is roughly equivalent to our current 2B/SS situation we are not a playoff team. Made worse by the fact that there were better options on the board.

        • radnom says:

          You’re not wrong, but it doesn’t exactly prove him wrong either. Sure, low risk signings can pay off, but the current holes in the roster are too numerous to be filled entirely with such players. Also, it looks great when you list all the successes but for each one that worked out there is another that provided nothing, or next to it.

          Its not possible to sufficiently improve this roster through free agency enough to get the team into real contention and stay under 189.

  18. Tim says:

    I for one, as a 50+ year Yankee fan love the Roberts deal. I think he and Kelly Johnson will make a great combo at 2nd base. As for a .900 OPS from a homegrown Yankee, does it really matter? If the Yankees are winning and getting to the playoffs. We may not see a .900 OPS from a hg Yankee for years, but if the Yankees win a WS, I could care less.

  19. Dr. Grenaldine says:

    The Yankees had SERIOUS injury problems last year and are incredibly old. So the obvious solution was to go out and get old perennially injured players. Naturally…

  20. Vern Sneaker says:

    Looks as though they left the anti-depressants out of Mike’s breakfast cereal this morning. I mean, we’re not doing so bad this winter. I like the team that’s building, though there’s more to go. Sure it could implode down the road (injuries, natural decline, etc.) but why obsess now?

    • Jeter's Parting Gift Basket says:

      Clearly you need to read more widely:
      http://www.grantland.com/story.....rk-yankees

      • Vern Sneaker says:

        I love that site. Thanks for the link, which I just read. For me the bottom line on it is the opinion is a maybe. Let’s see how they finish ST. I think we’ve got a chance to surprise this year if Cashman finishes the winter the right way.

      • Macho Man "Randy Levine" says:

        Hey, could you link to that article one more time? I may have missed it the first two times you linked to it (one of those being this time, of course), and because ESPN/Grantland isn’t a site I visit every fucking day or anything.

        Thanks!

  21. Matt DiBari says:

    I just don’t have it in me to get excited for a LOOGY.

  22. HectorLopez says:

    Some people think this is fantasy baseball, we already have too many outfielders but people want to sign Choo. This rebuilding/retooling process is going to take more than a year. This team with the addition of Tanaka will compete for the playoffs. You can complain all day but Cano is gone because 175mil is disrespect in his world. He can go F himself. These kids in the minors develop at different points in their career I have not given up on Heathcott. I talked to a scout that told me if this kid gets a hit to left field its an accident, the Yankees have not worked at all with him going the opposite way. Maybe that changes this year.

    • chris says:

      NOPE! Because all the Yankees care about is “driving the ball”.

      Haven’t you spoken to Kevin Long recently Hector? Heathcott will never be taught that for the same reason we have an all-star 1st baseman being paid millions who can’t figure out how to hit the freakin ball to the opposite field.

  23. stuckey says:

    I have to admit there is perverse entertainment value in watching fans who have only been fans since 1995-on struggle with processing the idea that sports franchises just don’t post .590 win percentages in per perpetuity.

    The success of ’95 (’94 really) to now is unprecedented, and reliant on a number of factors, one of the major ones being the reasonably unreplicatable churning out of 5 to perhaps 6 sure-fire to borderline Hall-of-Famers from one system within a decade of one another.

    This is not to endorse every decision this team has made in the last few years. Signing the Arod extension was one of the biggest blunders in sports history, but the MINOR struggle of last year and the presumed struggles of this season and beyond has a different effect on different people.

    For ME, it makes me appreciate this 20 year run ALL the more. Makes me recognize how rare and extraordinary it was. Last thing is does is makes me bitter that I can’t take it for granted another year.

    Mega-contracts have a statistical leaning towards coming back and haunting teams, and it never occurred to me, even in November 2009, that the bill the Yankees amassed as it further leaned on spending wouldn’t eventually come due.

    In thread after thread here I continually see fans not fully comprehend how incredibly lucky the Yankees were to turn out what the did from their farm system from ’92 to ’2002. Even the lauded Cards and Rays haven’t done anything anywhere resembling that.

    I also see fans not comprehend the game has changed. Spending is changing and OF COURSE impacting those who rely on it as their main roster building tool.

    I’m frankly surprised I don’t see MORE fans advocating tearing it all down, living through a few down years and starting over with a more balanced focus on roster development.

    But instead what I see is people that just want to keep spending, spending, spending, clearly not seeing the flaw in that reasoning.

    • Scully says:

      Sir you are using baseball to describe the problems in the American capitalist philosophy.

      #NATIONALPASTIMED

    • chris says:

      I agree with everything you have said stuckey. I’ve said much the same myself over the last couple years. Unfortunately, the front office is dedicated to spending and signing rather than rebuilding. So what we’re stuck with as long as Randy Levine is the real guy in charge and Hal listens to him, is a team that is a bit over .500 and has a shot at the post season. Past that point however it is a complete crapshoot. These Yankee teams are not built to win the WS, they are build to get into the playoffs, keep profits up and put money in the shareholders pockets. The Steinbrenners will never get rid of Levine and Hal isn’t interested in taking a hit in his wallet for a few seasons, so this is what we’re going to get for the foreseeable future unfortunately.

      Thing is, when your team is over .500 and has a shot at the post season every year, it does a nice job of covering up the real organizational flaws, so that arguments like yours and mine sound ridiculous to the average fan. Maybe we’re just old school? I don’t know anymore. We’ll get to see what Cash really thinks at least next year when his contract is up.

    • camilo says:

      I missed a lot of Yankee watching in 2013, so, naturally, I thought they should have rebuilt/firesaled. It is not going to be possible in one offseason with all of the no trade clauses and whatnot, but it is fun to imagine the possibilities.

      with ells, Tex, cc, Alex, McCann signed longterm, they really shouldn’t give out any more big, long term contracts, meaning no Kershaw, Hanley, Harper, et al

      the first round of the 13 draft was very productive, but we can’t expect players like that next draft, at least..

      one of the morals I would have come to recognize this offseason if I was gm or managing partner, or whoever makes these decisions.. You got to extend guys like Cano and Robertson. Cano could have been ours for 7 yrs 150 million two years ago and should locked hi-socks last offseason for a good deal

      sent by windows phone

    • Fin says:

      I agree with most of your points. However, advocating for the Yankees to “tear it all down” and start again is pretty silly. At this point there is no reason to believe that the Yankees are capable of rebuilding through the farm, at all. Gardner was brought into the system, what 15yrs ago, and he is the only position player that is going to contribute this year. If they tore it all down and tried to rebuild it through the farm, without spending, it could be a decade or more before they could compete. The system is fairly barren at this point. Say what you want about potential in the lower minors, but we’ve been hearing that for years, and those guys don’t seem to even make it to the high minors before burning out or getting injured.

      Scouts are saying that the Yankees top 10 prospects are Sanchez and a bunch of middle relief, 4th outfielders. Its not like the Yankees just graduated a couple good prospects and now waiting for new ones to arrive from the low minors. They haven’t graduated shit and no help anytime soon. Spending is the only way this franchise can have a competitive team at this point. The current organization, for whatever reason has shown absolutely no ability to develop players outside of middle relief. They have also seemingly made minimal changes to address it or to address a medical staff that has watched an inordinate amount of players not only get hurt but not be able to get them back on the field. I’ll take them spending money all day long over some rebuild that could last a decade or more before they got it right.

      • stuckey says:

        “At this point there is no reason to believe that the Yankees are capable of rebuilding through the farm, at all.”

        Of course, the idea of tearing it down includes a tearing down of their current scouting and minor league evaluation machine.

        “and those guys don’t seem to even make it to the high minors before burning out or getting injured.”

        I see you blame the medical staff later on in your post, but I have seriously issues with the idea that any medical staff could have prevented Manny Banuelos (for example) from blowing out his elbow.

        I don’t think how good fortune and luck play a role in MiLB development gets the proper attention.

        And that isn’t to say the Yankees can’t do a better job at drafting, identifying international prospects, etc. They certainly can.

        They can ALSO be going to a utterly random string of touch luck.

        • Fin says:

          Hey, if you want to fire everyone and tear the whole franchise down and loose 90 plus games a year, I’m not going to be able to talk you out of it. I think that’s just insane for a franchise that’s considered to be worth 3 or 4 billion dollars to even consider. Like I said it could take a decade or more to do. I think what they are doing now is without a doubt the right move. If the farm sucks again this year, then fire everyone in the FO and bring in people they think can build a farm system, while they are winning at the MLB level.

          As far as the medical staff its not just the injuries, its the amount of injuries and the setbacks virtually every player who gets injured suffers through. I don’t expect the Yankees system to be injury free.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      I agree with most of what you said here, but as for the last sentence, I definitely see a flaw in the reasoning of keeping spending.
      The problem is they’ve already spent huge in lon contracts forwin now moves this year. But they still have quite a ways to go to be a win now team.
      If they hadn’t spent what they already have, I’d have no problem with starting a rebuild.
      But to spend big on those guys only to get to a mid-80′s win team just makes no sense, short term or long term.
      Once they made the decision to go for it this year by signing McCann, Ellsbury, Beltran, etc…, they really needed to be all in. It doesn’t appear that they are.

      • MartinRanger says:

        None of the top starters have come off the board yet. Sure, they passed on Infante and Cano at those deals, but that ensure they aren’t carrying a half-dozen overpaid declining players in a few years. It’s a lot easier to deal with two or three than six, when their cost means upgrades are prohibitive.

      • Fin says:

        I don’t think the Yankees aren’t all in. I think people are over reacting to the Yankees deciding not to give Omar Infante a 4yr deal and Ellis ending up in STL. Not signing Infante or Ellis does not condemn the Yankees to some sort of second teir team. Its very possible Roberts/Johnson or whoever ends up at second base produce roughly the same numbers as Infante or ellis, the bar isn’t real high. Just because they need a second baseman doesn’t make tying up second base, a roster spot and $30m for 4 yrs with Infante the right move.

        There are reasons the Yankees may not make the playoffs this year, but I don’t think its because they aren’t all in this offseason. I think its a) because the minor leagues are producing nothing and b) they punted last offseason, causing a talent drain and are trying to fix all of their problems with the FA’s available during one offseason.

        If they don’t make a very serious run at Tanaka, then we know they are all in and still trying to get under $189. For now, I think they’ve done a ton and its hard to say they aren’t all in.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

          It’s not just 2B I’m worried about. Most of the top relievers are dropping off the board as well (some on very reasonable contracts).
          I don’t think just adding Tanaka represents them being all-in either. They still have a lot of improvement needed to become a likely playoff team, and there aren’t many-if any- realistic ways left to bridge that gap, imo.
          They came into the offseason with a ton of major holes to fill. 6/9 of the starting position players. 3/5 rotation spots. Half the bullpen.
          And it’s not like the remaining players they had to build around were Cabrera, Trout, and Kershaw.
          Going all-in for 2014 and building a roster likely to make the playoffs was going to require major free agent commitments beyond the major commitments they’ve already made.
          It seems like they’re lining up to be just aggressive enough to be a mid-80′s win team, in which case what was the point of signing win now players?
          The a) and b) reasons you gave, especially a), are why they needed to spend like crazy to be all-in this year (and also why it probably didn’t make sense to be in this year at all – just too much ground to make up and too much needed talent to reasonably and responsibly acquire in one offseason. They probably should have focused more on signings that made as much sense for 2015-16 as they would for 2014, which at the very least would probably leave Beltran out, as well as maybe McCann).

          • Fin says:

            I don’t buy it. Trying to fix all the holes the Yankees had via a small group of FA’s in any given year is probably not possible without creating serious issues in the very near future ie..signing players the team doesn’t believe in. You really seem to have no faith in McCann, since you think the Yankees need to win in 14 to make his deal worth it. The only signing so far that I think was a win in 14 is Beltran. I cant see the Beltran signing hindering them in the future anyway. He is a right fielder that can move to DH, having an overpaid DH wont hurt the Yankees future ability to contend but he could help make a push for the playoffs this year if things go right.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      I agree with 90% of this. I don’t agree with tearing it all down because I don’t think it guarantees you anything. I do believe the team can re-tool. Is what we’re seeing now that? Not really.

      • stuckey says:

        Looking for a “guarantee” of anything in professional sports is a losing proposition, and this goes back to my OP.

        Yankees fans have gotten USED to the idea that winning 96 games EVERY year is usual. There are NO guarantees. The criteria has to be eliminated from the evaluation process.

        • Fin says:

          The way the Yankees are trying to win right now is much more of a guarantee then what you are advocating. You want the Yankees to rebuild from scratch, which in the best case scenario would take 5 years, but odds are it would take significantly longer. Again, no thanks to any chance of becoming the next Mets, Royals, Astros, Dbacks, Jays, ect.

          • stuckey says:

            As opposed to becoming the next Angels, Marlins, Blue Jays, and likely the Mariners?

            And to be clear, LESS of advocating the Yankees tear it down and build from scratch, I’d advocating fans realizing stacking spending upon spending is likely to leave the Yankees short of the goal and the frustrations rising.

            Anyone who witnessed ’83 to ’94 firsthand knows the free agent market only leaves you a limited opportunity. ’95 to 2012 would NEVER have happened if the Yankees hadn’t adjusted their approach, and even THEN Steinbrenner was at times VERY close to tearing it down before it started by wanting to trade SEVERAL members of the core 4, plus Williams.

            Fans don’t appreciate how tenuous the last 19 years have actually been. Anyone convinced the Yankees were never, ever going to struggle again were always mistaken.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

              Of course they were going to struggle again. Frankly, I kind of figured they would struggle around the middle of this decade ten years ago. I did the math. I don’t think I was the only one who figured it either.

              The approach was adjusted during the Chuck Cary years AND there was a rather extraordinary set of circumstances in place AND there was some just plain luck.

              You make some great points. I think it’s rather unfortunate that there are still some aspects of that struggle AND resurgence that you don’t appreciate either.

            • Fin says:

              Ahh, I thought you were advocating a complete tear down. I have no issues with them struggling for a few years. 20yrs of success leads to those struggles. However, with the Yankees financial power and the system MLB has the Yankees shouldn’t be down for long. Its not as friendly to the Yankees as it once was but still far more friendly than any of the other major sports.

              The Yankees have been spending 200m for 10yrs, as their revenues have gone through the roof in that time they really haven’t raised payroll much. For all we know, the Yankees could raise the payroll to 300+m to keep winning. The Yankees spending to keep winning only becomes an issue when they stop spending. IF a $189 turns out to be a goal for not only this year but long term then the way they are going about things this year could be a disaster.

    • OldYanksFan says:

      As a fan since ’65, I agree 100%. However, we don’t need to tear it down, and the formula was simple. Last year, after Teix was out for the year, and Jetes was (again) setback, rebuilding should have started then. I won’t say they should have traded Cano, but that would have helped (hindsight).

      At that point last year, all signings and trades should have been for 2015. This year, they should have done the $189m. They should not have given Jeter a raise. They should not have signed Ellsbury, MCann or Beltran, and kept 3 more picks. The 2014 team would obviously suck, but the Yanks could bring up some kids to take a look, which would at least be some fun for the fans. Finishing 3rd or 4th, we would get a decent pick. They blow away Tanaka with dollars, as he is part of the future. They bring Kuroda back if he fits in the $189m

      Now in 2015, the Tax clock is set back. We spend money and get the best SP possible (there are a bunch they might hit the FA market… especially if the Yanks let it be know they will spend BIG on SP in 2015). We go for the best FA SS (I assume Jeter is retired or a BUINF). We resign Gritner for 5/$55m. By now, if we have a better idea of who on the farm may contribute to the future. We now know what ARod’s situation is, and deal appropriately.

      We have plenty of money and build on:

      Elite FA SP
      Tanaka
      CC
      Nova, Pineda, et al.
      Teix – 1B
      ??? – 2B (We actually have some depth here deep in the farm)
      High end FA SS
      ARod? or ???
      Gritner
      DRob
      … still plenty of money and a 17% tax rate. They spent over $260m last year (including tax), so they could easily have $240m+ in payroll (after having saved a ton in 2014 and the lower Tax rate).

      One year of sacrifice… and we would have been back as a contender.

      ……….

      I feel that between losing 3 picks and Ellsbury’s money, and 3 years of Beltran we have hurt our future and hurt our flexibility.
      2015 may not have been a Winning team, but we would be well positioned for 2016 and beyond, and close to the end of Teix an CC.

      Basically, just having ONE rebuilding year (2014) would have allowed us to reset the clock, have 4 high picks, and a decent pick at years end.

      • Fin says:

        The 2014 one year of loosing sounds good but I don’t believe it. The organization has shown almost 0 ability to draft/develop players. That one year of loosing is really 2 as they only won 85 games in 2013 and would probably lead to a year or 2 of more loosing. As we are seeing its very hard to plug every hole in 1 offseason. Very possible just loosing in 14 might have lead to loosing through 2015/16 as punting 2 offseasons (they did nothing last offseason) would leave the Yankees almost devoid of talent at the MLB level.

        • OldYanksFan says:

          My plan has us getting 4 decent picks (3 this year and one in 2014) as opposed to just the one we have now. We got 3 good kids last year. We have some talent at the lower levels.

          The ‘we can’t develop players’ thing is a meme. We developed Cano, Nova, Wang, Gritner, Ajax, Montero, DRob, IPK and a bunch and modest RPs. It ain’t great, but we have averaged the WORST picks for SEVENTEEN straight years, and punted away numerous other picks signing FAs. By rights, we should have the worst Farm in MLB, but we are right in the middle, and might be higher, as all our talent is at the lower levels.

          Our money gives us a big advantage. In the early days of FA (and with PEDs more prevalent), it was easier to ‘buy’ a Winner. NOT so anymore. The future is player development, and having a bunch of average/above average kids all times, augmented by selected FAs. Everyone knows this. Saying we can’t develop players is a defeatist attitude.

          As long as we keep overpaying (in $$$ and Years) for players and losing picks, we will NEVER have a consistly Winning team.

          And if you think in my scenario that 2014 would have been bad, just wait until 2016. CC, Teix, ARod, Betran and McCann all on the books for huge dollars, and about 8 Wins between them.

          • Fin says:

            McCann should still be productive in 16. CC, Tiex and Arod were all mistakes from the past. They clearly paid an extra year to get Beltran to sign and there is a chance he can be a productive, but overpaid DH in 16. I find it funny people are tying Beltran and McCann in with Arod and company already. First of all, there is no reason not to believe Beltran will be a productive DH (overpaid) in the last year of his deal. Even if hes not its 1 lost year, which certainly the Yankees can work around an overpaid DH for a year. Second, there is no reason to believe that McCann wont be productive throughout his contract its only 5yrs not 10, even if there is a drop off at the end, at the rate contracts are inflating there is a decent chance he will be underpaid. CC, Teix and Arod were all going to be issues not matter what the Yankees do, tying just about every FA the Yankees sign in with those guys, unless one of them blows up next year, is ingenious in an effort to make a point.

          • Fin says:

            Cano came into the system 13 yrs ago. Wang 14yrs ago. They have no relevance to what the team is doing now in my opinion. I might throw Gardner and Ajax in there as well, since they came into the system 9yrs ago. Montero was a huge flop, so no development credit for him. If you blame seattle for that, then you cant claim credit for Ajax as he never played MLB for the Yankees. So what we are really looking at is Drop, Some 4/5 type starters and middle relievers. How bout a guy whos entered the system in the last 4/5/6 years? Nothing at all but relievers.

            Oh I forgot Nova…hes too much of a wild card at this point to say much about. He could be a top of the rotation guy a number 5 or flame out of baseball, who the F knows.

  24. Laz says:

    “249/.312/.392 (90 wRC+) overall line was pretty mediocre.”

    Better than signing a .279/.319/.402(92 wRC+) career hitter to a 4 year deal to play 2b for us.

  25. Yankees need more pitching. Ignoring the issue will not help.

    • stuckey says:

      Its December 18, why are you assuming they’re ignoring it.

      Explain the virtue of having to accomplish something before December 19th?

      You don’t think it’s possible the Yankees are waiting to see what happens with Tanaka?

      Are you that enthralled by Santana or Garza?

  26. Pseudoyanks says:

    6. This crossed my mind the other day and I figured I’d bring it up here: how long will it be before another homegrown Yankee tops a .900 OPS while playing a full season/qualifying for the batting title?

    I’ll go 5-10 years and Aaron Judge.

    • MartinRanger says:

      Eric Jagielo, age 27.

      • RetroRob says:

        He’d have to reach the upper end of his projections, but not a crazy guess.

        Two of the players Mike mentioned — Cano and Posada — would not have projected to be .900+ OPS players. Mattingly did not have much HR power in the minors and never was a high-walk player, so while he did have one full season in the minors where he was over .900, I’m not sure we could have confidently predicted he’d duplicate that on the MLB level without an increase in power, although his hitting skill, BA wise, was so superior to the competition on every level it wouldn’t have been a crazy guess. (BTW How would Mattingly been reviewed if he came along today? A low draft pick, not projected to “fill out”, not much HR power projected to play first base and or/a corner OF position? A bench player? Platoon player? He probably would have been viewed as a tweener. Good hitting skill but not projectable to play first or a corner position.

        Greg Bird?

        • Fin says:

          Not a bad comparison right now. Bird doesn’t quite hit for Mattingly’s average but hits for more power. Overall, hes probably been better than Mattingly to this point in their careers. I would assume if Bird has another year like last year in AA ball, he would have to become the Yankees top prospect. I didn’t really realize how good he has been so far. .292/.426/.511 and a ops of .938. Of course that’s just hitting, I have to assume Mattingly had some fielding prowess even in the minors.

          I think players like Mattingly and Bird don’t get big press because they play first base and the bar for hitting is set so high there. They are also competing against every hitter in the org that cant field their position.

          • RetroRob says:

            To be clear, I wasn’t comparing Mattingly to Bird, although I don’t think that’s what you were saying either. But just in case! They are two very different type of hitters. I tossed Bird’s name out at the end of my note as just one example of a player who might exceed a .900 OPS+ because he’s shown power and the ability to walk.

            Yet Bird is at the low levels still, so can’t get too on board with him until I see him replicate last year again, and do it at a higher level. Yet he does have the skill set that hopefully continues to translate up the ladder.

            Out of the entire group of players Mike mentioned, I would have projected Bernie as the most likely to exceed .900, with Mattingly next if I had to base it on how I would have viewed them coming through the minors and their reputations at the time. Scarily, I am more than old enough to remember all of them, including Mattingly in the minors. I would not have had Cano or Posada on that list as they were coming through the minors, although Cano (like Mattingly) seemed to ramp it up several notches their last partials seasons in AAA, leading to their call-ups.

            Overall, my point was it’s difficult to look at the Yankees farm right now and really guess who will be the next player to post a .900 OPS. He may not be there, and if he is, he may not be who we think.

            • Fin says:

              LOL, I got what you were talking about. I just found the Bird comparison to Mattingly fun. I was glad I looked up what Bird has been doing in the minors to this pt. I knew he was doing well, but was pleasantly surprised at how well. Hey Bryce Haper hasn’t ops’d .900 yet so who knows.

        • Fin says:

          You also have to remember that power numbers were way down when Mattingly played. If I remember right Mattingly won the HR title one year with 32hrs. So while he might have only been a 10hr guy in the minors he had projectable power and the bar wasn’t that high.

          • RetroRob says:

            They were, although as I mentioned above, I was very much aware of Mattingly and his reputation in the minors. The concern was not if he could hit a baseball, but if he would have enough power.

            Interestingly, it was Lou Pinella who helped Mattingly once he reached the majors to use his lower body and specifically drive the ball through his hips. Cano is actually similar in that way, and those type of hitters have a tendency to maintain their hitting skill set into their 30s better than others. Mattingly, unfortunately, developed the back issue early on. Pinella as Mattingly’s power tutor was a bit surprising, because Pinella was a product of the low-HR 70s. He was an upper-body hitter who didn’t use the lower half to drive the ball, developing a swing made for line drives and contact.

  27. Frank says:

    Bottom line, Yanks still need pitching. Many people think Tanaka is a sure thing. I don’t agree. But even if they do sign him (possibly more than 100M is what some are projecting) and even if he’s close to what he’s believed to be in terms of performance, they still need at least another starter and a couple more BP arms. The Yanks seem to have placed all their eggs in the Tanaka basket. For their sake, it better pan out.

    • stuckey says:

      I think it’s pretty clear Sabathia, Kuroda, XXXX, Nova, Phelps/Warren/Nuno/Pineda is the plan.

      If you’re expecting 2 more rotation acquisitions you might as well get on with being disappointed before the holiday rush.

      • Frank says:

        I’m far from disappointed. Honestly, couldn’t give a shit. I’ve suffered through many losing seasons with the Yanks and unlike many here, realize they are not very good despite the expensive toys they just purchased.

        • stuckey says:

          My mistake, I thought your post was advocating acquiring 2 rotations arms.

          I didn’t realize you were taking your time to post solely to express how much you couldn’t give a shit, despite you not actually posting you didn’t give a shit.

  28. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    I don’t personally think Roberts is the answer to anything, but I also see pretty clearly that what some, including me, saw as “answers” at second were opinions not shared by the team at their respective price.

    I’m going to assume Roberts on a 2 mil deal does not stop the team from finding a better answer. The question is whether the current market presents them with one.

    I’ll second Pseudoyanks’s meaningless guess on Judge. Why not. I don’t care. I’ll settle for a player in pinstripes OPS’ing that.

  29. FLYER7 says:

    Yankees won in 1996 with Mariano Duncan at 2B, Charlie Hayes at 3B and Joe Girardi and Jim Leyritz catching…need we say any more…you don’t need $15M plus position players up and down the lineup.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Absolutely true.

      The question is whether this batch measures up to that batch.

      • mitch says:

        It doesn’t yet, but that team is definitely a good illustration of how a deep team can be just as successful as a top heavy team. Bernie led position players with a WAR of 3.9. Mariano Rivera (!) led pitchers with a WAR of 4.3. They just had a bunch of guys with positive contributions.

    • MartinRanger says:

      It’s a very different league than it was in 1996. Role players are great, but the Cardinals got to the World Series with a strong offense and dominating young pitching staff and the Red Sox with dominant offense and bizarrely resurgent group of veterans. Neither one of those describes the 1996 Yankees.

      • The Great Gonzo says:

        BUTBUTBUTBUTBUT TEH REDD SAWX!

      • RetroRob says:

        Not sure what that means. I might even be agreeing with you!

        The 2013 Red Sox and the 2013 Cardinals, as well as the 1996 Yankees, or the 2012 Giants or the 2012 Tigers or (fill in the blank) illustrate that in any given year there are different paths to the World Series. The teams have to be good, but some teams have great pitching, some strong starters, some a lock-down pen, and all a little bit of luck. Nothing has changed.

  30. MartinRanger says:

    Brian Roberts is a decent roll of the dice. Resign Reynolds, get Tanaka or Garza, get at least one more setup-type reliever, get Wells and Ichiro off the roster, and hope that the injuries aren’t catastrophic.

    Will they be the best team in baseball? No. Will they be competitive? I really think they will. And if they get half the luck the BoSox got last year with their veterans (Lackey coming back from the dead, Lester rebounding, Napoli staying healthy despite the hip, Victorino bouncing back) they could well be a World Series contender.

    Of course, it could all go wrong again. But then you deal with it and hope some of the younger guys – the Annas, the Almontes, are able to contribute something. And maybe Pineda makes good on some of that promise or Banuelos comes up in August and pitches his way into the postseason rotation. Maybe Kelley keeps striking out the world, and Betances continues his bullpen dominance in the big leagues, and Claiborne settles in as a useful swingman.

    The Yankees will have one of the best outfielder groups in baseball, four guys all capable of hitting an .800 OPS, and two strong to elite defenders. They’ll almost certainly have the best hitting catcher in the AL.

    It’s a high ceiling, lowish floor team.

    Them’s the breaks. You play 162 games and see what happens. Because who knows, John Lackey might gain 4 mph on his fastball and have a curveball that actually fools people again.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      Lackey’s resurgence was the single most frustrating thing to me about that team last year.

      Where the fuck did that come from?

  31. Tim says:

    You can always count on Mike and this site to be horrifically negative. I don’t see a downside to the Roberts signing. He’s a “gamer”. They will get better options if they have to, but I love the signing.

  32. MartinRanger says:

    The other thing people need to take into account is that our infield wasn’t actually above-average last year. Cano’s exception 6ish fWar season was rather dampened by the hideous -1.9 fWar efforts of the rest of the gang. They can surely do better than that this year.

  33. Oops I Crapped My Pants says:

    I think pitching should be the priority from here on out. I am rather fond of the Brian Roberts signing. He’s not great anymore but i think he can be very solid in a platoon situation as many have stated above.

    I just read from Hardball Talk that the Yankees did offer Choo a 140 mil contract but he turned it down and wanted more money. Yankees signed Beltran instead.

    very interesting

  34. nycsportzfan says:

    I really like the roberts signing and love the Thornton signing. I’ve been advocating for Thornton all offseason and he makes alot of sense. He still can strike guys out and has to a 9.2k’s per 9 clip throughout his career. His worst yrs are mediocre, as compared to some who flat out stink. Meaning, were gonna at least get a solid pitcher if not above avg. Hes a veteran additon to a young bullpen which also helps.

    Roberts on the other hand has always been able to hit. Assuming hes finally healthy, he got his feet wet last yr, which means we should get a guy ready to produce with a full spring training also under his belt. A change of scenery could be very beneficial for him as well, as hes not known as the always injured yankee, but as the always injured Oriole. The potenail of us setting the table for the big hitters in our lineup is very intriuging with Roberts, Gardy, Ells, and Jeets, setting up Beltran, Sori, and Tex.. Thats nuts! Nice little “glue” pickups by Cash.

    • RetroRob says:

      His K rate is dropping, which is cause for some concern, but overall I agree. He’s a lefty who’s fastball averaged 94.2 mph last year. Not what he was at his peak, but still plenty of velocity, especially from a lefty, so a solid addition to the pen at a good price.

      No issues with Roberts. Low cost while they continue looking. Players like Roberts are easy to knock by fans, and even the RAB writers, just like the Colon and Garcia and Ibanez picks were, and on the other side the Hafner and Youkilis picks. Some of them will pay off, some won’t, but at the dollar amount and the need the Yankees currently have, it’s a reasonable pick while they continue to look for other ways to upgrade.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Actually, you had been talking about Thornton for a while.

      What are this week’s Powerball numbers?

  35. Fin says:

    Wow, its hard to believe that Choo turned down a 7yr 140m deal from the Yankees. This market is truly nuts, and with Boris as his agent he will probably end up with Els money like he wants. Even if it is in Houston.

  36. Nathan says:

    Balfour gone, Benoit gone, and Veras gone. I hope the Yankees have a good idea for setup.

  37. qwerty says:

    All I got to say is, eat your heart out Seattle!

  38. Diony says:

    I think this article is too harsh on Brian Roberts. If healthy he can do what Chavez did for us.

    Hes healthy now.

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