Fan Confidence Poll: January 13th, 2014

Yankees sign Robert Coello to minor league deal, continue to add to bullpen stockpile
A-Rod's lawyer confirms they are "requesting federal court intervention" today

2013 Season: 85-77 (637 RS, 671 RA, 77-85 pythag. record), didn’t qualify for playoffs

Top stories from last week:

Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the interactive Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.

Yankees sign Robert Coello to minor league deal, continue to add to bullpen stockpile
A-Rod's lawyer confirms they are "requesting federal court intervention" today
  • Farewell Mo

    Signing Tanaka would move me to a 6 but as of today, the infield is awful, the bullpen and starting rotation are both average at best.

    • Algernon Blackwood

      As you said, average at best. I think both the rotation and bullpen have a chance to be terrible, and the infield almost certainly will be.

  • Big John Stud

    3 – Sadly, this org is stuck in the middle. Not willing to spend enough to overcome their inability to develop young players and not good enough to contend for a title. With all of the dredge signings happening now, I have no hope for 2014. It’s another year they’ll punt and with no budgetary room to even make a move mid-season.

    They’ve run the numbers and know they’ll clear another $50M in 2014.

    Here’s hoping the wallets open again next off-season. The farm certainly isn’t producing much of anything this year.

    • lightSABR

      Agree completely. This is not a playoff team today, and the team’s unwillingness to sign another MLB infielder means it is unlikely to become one.

      For all the big moves, losing Cano means that all we’ve done this offseason is tread water when we were already drowning.

  • Big John Stud

    Meanwhile, how sad is it that this org was rooting for their most expensive player to be suspended?

    • I’m One

      Have you ever made a mistake in your life and wished it hadn’t happened or adjusted what you’re doing to have it cause as little harm to you going forward? While this isn’t exactly the same thing, corporations do this all the time. You need to adjust after mistakes.

      Also, what are you basing your comment on? I haven’t read anything to lead me to believe the Yankees were publicly rooting for this suspension. I have no insight to what they are doing privately.

      • CS Yankee

        well said.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

        He’s making it up.

    • TWTR

      From a baseball perspective (and leaving the Selig stench out of it), he is not worth the money. Being captive fans we can only hope they use it more productively while making the team younger and better.

      • CS Yankee

        Yeah, the 25M$ or so could buy Tanaka and a MRP…was hoping for a Tanaka and a Arod 50-75 game timeout. This would have blown away the 189 and might even of let them sign balfour for 1/10M as well.

        However, if they could cancel his contract, that would be the best outcome possible as he isn’t worth 15m$ per these days.

  • I’m One

    A-Rod is gone and that’s bad for the short term, but might be good long-term, depending on how the Yankees decide to proceed. If they don’t land Tanaka (and I’d like to see them get him) and they are able to get below the $189M celery cap, then this might be good long term.

    I’ll remain at a 6. Still too much up in the air to go higher or lower. I don’t want them standing in the middle. Either go all in and spend (starting with landing Tanaka), or take the season off, go with what they’ve got, and stay below $189M, setting themselves up for a spending spree next season or whenever the best available FAs become available.

    • TheEvilUmpire

      It’s money in the Steinbrenners’ pockets, doesn’t affect how I feel as a fan. The current roster as constructed would be lucky to have a .500 record, which doesn’t make for fun baseball this summer.

      To paraphrase big oil, “Spend Baby, Spend!”

  • The Great Gonzo

    The Great Gonzo has been moved off his baseline 7 down to a 6 on account of this weeks movements, particularly the gaping hole in the infield left by one Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez, and the teams reluctance to (and inability to, considering whats left in the scrap bin) sign another infielder to a guaranteed contract.

    In the grand scheme of things, another hole in the lineup still keeps us above board from 2013, but we are getting to a point right now where we are going to see ALOT of ABs from a combination of Nunez/Ryan/Johnson/Dean Anna. That kinda worries me.

  • TheOneWhoKnocks

    I’m currently at a 4, and a Tanaka signing would move me to a 5.
    I think they are on the fringes of contention now but need at least a quality SP and bullpen arm to put them legitimately in the mix.

    Our infield is a disaster with question marks at 3B, SS, 2B and Tex is inching closer every year to being a league average player.

    They player development has been brutal, and if you are going to overcome that you need to be willing to outspend the competition. It’s our biggest organizational strength, and for the past few years they have shown restraint in the one area we should be exploiting.

    They passed on all the recent international stars like Cespedes, Chapman, Puig, etc and continue to try to plug holes with old players who have little to nothing left in the tank like Ichiro, wells, Roberts etc.

    While I think the Yankees will be competitive in 2014, I do think the organization continues to be stuck in the middle. They want to operate like the Red Sox or cardinals yet they can’t help themselves from making decisions those organizations would never make. It feels like the organization doesn’t have an identity. They are no longer the team that will spare no expense but they also aren’t a team that makes smart moves and operates under the luxury tax. They are just dangerously stuck in the middle.

    • Kosmo

      Stealers Wheel ?

    • CS Yankee

      Cespedes…where would he play?
      Puig…bread is still baking and the NYY OF is quite good.
      Chapman…a closer with some issues, meh.

      None of those three were exactly cheap either.

      Yu in hindsight was a big miss, but hardly anyone would have done that stupid posting fee. Darvish is the one that hurts.

      • Farewell Mo

        Yeah, who needs a 25 year old closer who’s been worth 4.9 WAR the last 2 years with a K/9 of over 15 making only $5 million per year.

        Same for Puig. It’s better to give 38 year old Beltran 3/$45 million than spend 7/$42 million for a 23 year old budding superstar.

        • CS Yankee

          You’re correct on Chapman…I was thinking 6/40 for a penciled in 100+ MPH starter with iffy location would be a disappointment as a closer, but his 6/30.25 in hindsight looks like solid value.

          Cespedes at 4/36 looked great in 2012 with the 136 OPS+, but the 2013’s 105 isn’t getting the return on the investment.

          Puig’s bread is still baking, he has been a surprise to quite a few and recall a Fansgraph article in May that questioned his MLB readiness. Beltran is proven, not the same upside but also not the issues.

          Hindsight is always 20-20, I expect the NYY to be on more than their fair share but do not rip them for guessing wrong.

      • Ahk

        Cespedes and Puig could have both played in the outfield and would have been younger options with way more upside than an ancient Beltran. Chapman didn’t have to be a closer, he could have been set-up for Robertson or just a really, really filthy lefty out of the pen. I was pulling for Yu Darvish since 08 and yeah he was expensive, but we all pretty much knew he was going to be this good and a one time payment like that doesn’t count out of the Yankees’ 189 plan and should have been very easy to swallow with the team rolling in money from YES.

        My point is yes, they were extremely expensive, yes they were risks, no they aren’t worth that much. But are Elsbury and Beltran not risks too? What about Soriano, Ichiro, Wells etc? Maybe not as much, but still, you get old players at the end of their careers and they are just as risky, just a bit cheaper and have name recognition. IMO, they should be using their money to sign these young international guys to rebuild the youth. If you finish above .500 every year, you will not get a top ten draft pick to sign a superstar, therefore, sign the international guys who are the equivalent. The Yankees have the money to spend on these guys, but they aren’t happy with the risks involved. So instead they sit in the middle, like a lot of people have said and stick with cheap scrap heap pickups, hoping and praying that somebody will have a good year, until they do it all over again next offseason. That strategy will only hold for so long, they need to rebuild the core, but they aren’t interested in taking the risk necessary to do so. Maybe I’ll change my tune in a few weeks if they get Tanaka, but we’ll see. Even with Tanaka, you still need to have a few good young core players and they do not, he’d just be a start, assuming he’s as good as we think. And yes, I agree not having Arod makes this team worse.

        • The Great Gonzo

          OR… Cespedes & Puig could have become Justin Maxwell, and you’d be bitching about guys not being what they actually became, and being committed to Justin Maxwell for $40M over the next 6 years (or whatever).

          And we like to go out and say that Darvish was a ‘YUUUUGE MISS’, but do we know the Yankees were not in on him? We assume they weren’t since they didnt win, but maybe they only bid merely $45M on Darvish. How much of a miss was that?

          Revisionist History and bold assumptions on what happened in our minds makes us look pretty dumb when you take a step back.

          • Ahk

            According to several sources I’ve seen over the last few years, the Yankees submitted a $15MM bid.

            As for Puig and Cespedes… nothing risked nothing gained. If you want good players, you need to overpay. Yeah, there’s a chance they could become Justin Maxwell, but there’s also a chance they could become Carlos Gonzalez. They just spent $45MM on a soon to be 37 year old outfielder. I’d say that’s an equal risk. I’d rather the 24 year old phenom with high upside than the 37 year old coming off a good season. Idk, maybe it’s just me, but I’d prefer the young guys that come with risk, than the old guys you need to pray stay healthy.

            • Ahk

              Also, I understand your point Gonzo, but I just want to say that this is not hindsight bias for me when I was pushing for the Yankees to bid high on Darvish since first watching him in 2008. I don’t rip them for guessing wrong when they take the plunge on these guys, because it shows me that they are trying. But bidding just $15MM on Darvish just didn’t make sense to me.

    • The Great Gonzo

      Ironically, the Red Sox have been modeling themselves after the Yankees for years and have failed miserably. The first time in memory that they decide to do something different (which was essentially to overpay six of the same guy), all of the sudden the Yankees want to be THEM? Yikes

  • Dars

    I said it all along. The Yankees will stay below 189M. That was their plan all the time. They knew they had to reenergize the fan base so that is why they signed Ellsbury, McAnn and Beltran but they never intended to go beyond 189M and to have a championship caliber team they needed more pieces – a 3B, an additional set-up man, one more starter.

    What they misjudged is that the Yankee fan base is the smartest fan base of all, and we see their plans and we will punish them by not spending on their product. They will end losing more money than they will save.

    • I’m One

      Don’t agree. They couldn’t foresee A-Rod’s suspension. Without it, they had no chance of getting below $189M after signing McCann, Ellsbury and Beltran. Even with suspension, they’re probably pretty close to going over (don’t have the exact numbers to date).

  • TWTR

    Things are in hold until the Tanaka signing takes place, but finally facing reality with Wells is worth something.

  • Betty Lizard

    Down to 7. Something bad happened.

  • Paco Dooley

    Dropped my score in the face of the A-Rod ruling. The team is clearly worse off without him as at least a partial season option at 3B. Plus, this ruling threatens to jump-start the plan 189, and therefore might threaten further FA signings (like Tanaka and even the remote chance of Drew)

  • Algernon Blackwood

    Hard to be too confident when 189 is back on the table. Hard to believe they have already said no more infielders on major league contracts when there are two open positions.

    • lightSABR

      I know. I mean, not even Mark Reynolds? That news screams “$189 is back.”

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Mark Reynolds is now a difference-maker, apparently.

        There’s nothing out there. Yes, they’d apparently rather have an open competition that give the job, and a roster spot, to a completely one-dimensional player. He can join the competition if he likes.

        • Brian Strawman

          How about a statue of Graig Nettles at 3B?

        • lightSABR

          Okay, I guess now that I look into it, Kelly Johnson isn’t as awful as I thought, so Reynolds would be a smaller improvement than I expected. I’m just having memories of last year’s musical chairs infield, and looking at the prospect of an infield without Cano, and thinking we just can’t make the playoffs as is.

  • TheEvilUmpire

    Unfortunately, I think they’re going to take a wait-and-see approach going into this season with their mixture of big ticket players and scrubs. If they’re contending, maybe they’ll consider making some trades that will put them over the $189mm mark. If they stink, they’ll trade enough parts to get them below $189mm. Either way, I’ve got a feeling 2014 could be a more pitiful version of 2013.

    • I’m One

      This is quite possible and agree it would stink for 2014. But it could set them up for strong seasons in 2015 and beyond. If they save money this year, it needs to be spent wisely going forward.

  • Darren

    We needed Alex’s leadership in the clubhouse with young players and his bat in the lineup. Remember what last July was like? The total drought of homeruns by a righty? Get ready to see that all year.

    If you’re a Yankees fan, you should start praying for an injunction and a reduction. Or let Alex and MLB settle on an admission of guilt, a 100 game ban and we can all move on.

    • lightSABR

      Alex’s lawsuit has no prayer, and he has no bargaining power to get MLB to reduce his sentence by one game, much less sixty-two.

      Anything Alex and his lawyers do about his suspension from here on out – ANYTHING – is pure PR. He wants to persuade as many people as possible that he’s been treated unfairly, with the end goal of improving his personal brand and thereby his earning capacity after he retires.

  • CS Yankee

    I dropped to a 6 (from 7) with the Arod decision as they may be back to the 189 BS.

    Sign Tanaka and add Balfour and add some decent food and I’ll be an 8.

    • Mykey

      What kind of food are we talking about here?

  • LK

    From the moment they lost Cano, it was difficult to see how this team contends in 2014. The OF is strong, but the bullpen is uncertain, the rotation is thin, and the IF is abysmal.

    As others have noted, this team is dangerously caught in the middle. While I don’t see a contender here, there are a lot of pieces on this roster that will be worse (and yet just as expensive) in 2015. 2B, SS, and 3B look like problems for years to come with few good FAs and no prospects knocking on the door.

    They’re really trying to walk a tightrope here. They want to make smarter decisions and avoid big contracts while simultaneously the other teams are spending more and more and those contracts are becoming more common. At the same time, the team is aging and requires big additions if they want to maintain the “win every year” philosophy. It will be great if they can pull this off, but I’m extremely worried that they’re headed for the worst possible kind of roster – old, expensive, inflexible, and worst of all, not very good.

    • dalelama

      The atrocious farm system compounds the problems.

  • dalelama

    The recent decision begin the 2014 season without a major league third baseman in conjunction with the recent increase in velocity of bush league pitching talent signings has solidified my 3 rating.

    • lightSABR

      It’s awful, isn’t it? It seems to me like $189m and another lost season this year and then a spending spree next year is about the best case scenario at this point.

      Which it shouldn’t be. If the team had been better managed the last few years – if they’d extended Cano! – a playoff run this year should be possible.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner


        Where do you get this from?

        There has been zero indication that they’re not in on Tanaka. The most direct statement on him we’ve heard is “we’re ready to rock and roll.”

        If they lose out, they’ll examine the options. They don’t need to give pitchers they don’t like multi year deals in order to make folks feel like they’ve finished the job. All the pieces that they’d want, and we’d want, may not be in place in 2014, and it’ll be because you can’t create them out of thin air at some positions.

        • lightSABR

          Even with Tanaka, we aren’t going to make the playoffs this year. We just haven’t added enough offense, and the rotation will still be questionable.

          If the front office is going to avoid signings that would improve the team’s playoff chances this year, in order to save money, then I’d rather have $189m accomplished so they can move on from it than still hanging out there for them to try in 2015.

          But you may be right: really attractive options aren’t available, and so maybe they really are fielding the best team they can this year and getting ready to sign some more solid free agents next year. If they put in a serious bid for Tanaka, then I’ll agree with you completely. Until then, I’m agnostic.

  • BK2ATL

    I can’t go beyond a 6 at this point.

    Too much uncertainty in the rotation at this point, and in the bullpen. Now that $25 million more is available, we need to spend that explicitly on SP (Tanaka) and back-end bullpen help (Balfour), as well as a RH 3B option (Baker).

    I’d be okay with a battle for the 5th spot between Pineda, Phelps, Nuno, Warren and Banuelos. But not both a 4th and 5th spot. esp. if CC doesn’t bounce back from a rough 2013, and Kuroda possibly fading again down the back stretch. We need 4 solid SP, at least.

    I’m not comfortable going into the season with question marks at 2B, SS and 3B. That’s downright crazy. We know Jeter will be the SS, but should he be. Perhaps a move to 3B would be in the best interest for the team’s up the middle defense, but we know that ain’t happening. I’m not sold on retreads like Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts at 2B/3B.

    I see that Kung-Fu Panda (Sandoval) is apparently on the radar, but I hope we give the Jagielo kid a true shot at 3B in 2015/2016 if he progresses rapidly.

    Love the Yankees, but not sold on this current iteration.

  • Grover

    Forever the contrarian I am up to an eight. Though I am not yet convinced they will stay under $189M and reset the tax in 2014, if they do I expect them to look to sign two of the premier starting pitchers and maybe Headley in 2015. They took what the market gave them in outfielders and a catcher. Short of Tanaka, who is a huge unproven and question mark, none of the top end starters are anywhere near number ones. My biggest fear has been committing too much money before the season and not having the wiggle room to alter the roster in the event of positive results. I also do not believe they are quite done before heading North. The overall future is bright as shit as they can compete in 2014 and dominate as early as 2015. As an old fart I can live with a couple of years to having to fight for a playoff berth.

  • stuckey

    I genuinely hold hope that on some level, some of you all realize that after 17 of 19 seasons qualifying of the post season (and credible season the two they did not), 5 WS titles and a Mariano Rivera error away from a sixth, what’s driving you to whine about the NY Yankees organization being greedy… is, of course, greed.

    That’s not a pejorative statement, it’s an observation of fact.

    None of us are pining for more spending as some measure to improve the game of baseball, or some social good.

    We personally COVET another winning season, another championship… for our own selfish satisfaction. There is no inherent good to what we desire.

    That’s fine, but more and more many of my fellow Yankees fans appear to be utterly joyless. The Yankees winning and “competing” seems to be more of an issue of relief for them, than appreciation.

    The unprecedented success of the last two decades seems dependent upon the string never being broken in the future, as of 2009 is dependent on 2014 to have any meaning.

    Of ALL the fandom in all of pro sports, for so many of US to be so bitter is inexplicable and unseemly.

    The NY Yankees are now and always has been a private commercial enterprise. Lacking any understanding of this dynamic is on you. Every ticket I’ve ever bought, every hour I’ve spent watching YES has been paid back to me in the form of the product I purchased.

    I’m owed nothing, and have fond memories of the last 20 years that won’t ever change.

    Is there valid debate to be had about how best for the Yankees to compete for another championship, how close they may or may not be, and who best to engineer that? Absolutely.

    But the bitterness and anger isn’t helping and only hindering anyone’s point. The hypocrisy of arguing the Steinbrenner’s “greed” is somehow more insidious than your own dynamites any credibility your argument may have.

    Just sayin…

    • lightSABR

      I’m a Yankees fan = I want the Yankees to win championships.

      Is this logic so hard to understand?

      • stuckey

        Not in the least.

        I do too.

        My how I go about getting the things I want, or expressing the things I want, or conducting myself in the light of not getting things I want, and being self-aware of my own selfishness all count for something.

        This is not a manifesto for NOT wanting the Yankees to do well.

        It’s a call for some perspective, and better quality discourse on the topic.

        When did wanting something justify any and all behavior?

        We reprimand our children for the SAME THINGS adults justify on fan communities as due to “passion.”

  • Doug

    I’m a 4 for all of the reasons stated above by other people who voted 4.

    I have a question about something I haven’t really read about. Let’s say the Yankees exceed the 189 and go to… let’s say 200 because they sign Tanaka and (this is wishful thinking but since they’re not signing Reynolds perhaps Cashman is trying to quietly work out a trade for a good third baseman (cough) Headly (cough.

    But back to my question if they get to 200 then they’re only paying luxury tax on the 11 million which is not too bad yes?

    So they pay the tax and take a shot at getting below next year. a 5-6 million dollar tax hit is much much lower than what they’ve been paying and they get to field a more competitive team with corresponding ticket and viewership increases.

  • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead


    Sizemore will save us.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Current baseline 6. Tanaka, or a solid mid-rotation option, gets us to 6.5. Anything beyond that depends on how the infield plays out. Don’t see that changing before Opening Day.

    I’m pretty bullish on Sizemore and Coello.

  • MartinRanger

    6 here as well. If they sign Tanaka and another infielder (I still wonder if the minor league contract thing was before they knew they’d be without Alex the whole year), and maybe another solid bullpen arm (not expecting Balfour, though he’d be nice), I’ll get to a 7.

    I think with Tanaka or Garza, this team is on the fringe of contention. Meaning that, if more things break right that wrong, they are right in the thick of the playoff race. If the worst case scenario (basically, last season) happens, they are pretty much screwed.

    Short of re-signing Cano to an absurd deal, I’m not sure that the front office hasn’t done as good as job as they can. Choo vs. Ellsbury is very much an argument, but they got the one they wanted.

    I’m pretty bullish on the horde of young pitchers this team has competing for roles – I see at least two or three being major contributors, maybe even more. None are can’t miss talent, but all have some promise and just need to take another step or two. I’m comfortable filling the fifth starter role from within. And I think that the bullpen will actually be fine. If Girardi’s good at one thing, it’s managing bullpens.