Fan Confidence Poll: January 27th, 2014

Weekend Open Thread
Unlike Igawa, Yankees did their homework before going all in on Tanaka

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.

Update: I forgot to reset the poll following last week, so please re-submit your vote if you voted before 10:30am ET. Thanks.

Weekend Open Thread
Unlike Igawa, Yankees did their homework before going all in on Tanaka
  • I’m One

    Moved up to a 7 due to the Tanak signing. There is a definite possibility this team will be in the playoffs (yes, a lot of things need to break right for that to happen, but it’s certainly well within the realm of possibility) and that’s what I look for to vote a 7 or higher.

    Things I’d like to see as the offseason/season progress:
    1) sure up the IF with a real third baseman if Scott Sizemore can’t cut it.
    2) add a bullpen arm. Someone reliable. Doesn’t need to be a closer. I like Robertson in that role.
    3) find a true backup for Teixiera.
    4) determine if the team has 6 viable starters better than Phil Hughes was last season.

    Not sure the need anything more than that. If those are the team’s biggest problems, I’m pretty happy.

    • Nick

      Kill two birds (1 and 3) with one stone by signing Jeff Baker.

      I’m pretty sure we have at least 7 guys better than Hughes was last year – possibly 8. Hughes was very bad.

      • I’m One

        Unfortunately, so was CC. He’ll need to come back as well this season.

      • Preston

        Hughes, 5.01 innings per start, 4.95 ERA, 7.49 k/9 and 2.54 bb/9

        Phelps 5.47 innings per start, 4.93 ERA, 7.26 k/9 and 3.29 bb/9

        I don’t know that he’s a guarantee to be better than Hughes. Although he’ll definitely have a shorter leash than Phil did, so if he sucks they’ll replace him. But that doesn’t guarantee that the replacements will do better.

        • The Great Gonzo

          Where’s the 800 lb gorilla in the room: HR/FB%?

          • lightSABR

            2013 Hughes: 46.5% fly balls, 11.1% HR/FB, 1.48 HR/9.

            2013 Phelps: 35.7% fly balls, 8.9% HR/FB, 0.83 HR/9.

            ERA- and FIP- both liked Phelps better, too. (ERA- was 127 v. 122; The FIP- gap was bigger, at 110 to 94.)

          • Preston

            I agree, Phelps should do a better job keeping the ball in the park because he gets more GBs. But his career HR/FB% is 11.4%, and Phil’s was 11.1% last year. Obviously Phelps gets fewer fly balls so he should be better. But I don’t think it’s a guarantee.

        • lightSABR

          Huh – I didn’t know Phelps’ BB/9 was that high. I mean, it’s not terrible. I just thought it was better than that.

    • Bavarian Yankee

      same here, up from a 6 to a 7 because of Tanaka.

  • Eli

    10. Will always have confidence no matter what

    • Algernon Blackwood

      How objective of you :)

  • Get Phelps Up

    Ten-aka. Just for this week.

  • beantownbosoxh8er

    I moved to a 7 as well. Tanaka takes a little pressure off the farm system, plus Hensley and Banuelos are starting the year healthy . The FS and ML squad couldn’t be as jinxed as last year .Plus Hope springs eternal…every team is still in it in spring.

  • The Great Gonzo

    I am off the rails at a SOLID 8. Shoring up the rotation (we hope) with a pitcher like Tanaka could make alot of difference up and down the pitching staff. Not in an ‘ace caliber’ pitcher perspective, but more along the lines of an ‘above average pitcher eating 200+ innings and taking some of that pressure off the old guys and the fringe guys’ mindset.

    That said, I wish Reynolds woulda decided to sign, I think he’s the stopgap type CIF that would plug a couple of semi-truck sized holes in the infield.

    As far as the future goes: at the risk of being called a Polyanna (enter Jorge Steinbrenner and Jim the Bored Peckerhead…), I would say this Yankees system, the way they are constructed today, is as prepared for the short & mid-term future as any team not named Rex Sox/Rays & Cardinals. We hear so much emphasis on letting ‘teh kidz’ play, but we forget that a team that lets all the kids play (the Astros) can be historically bad. There is a balance, and The Yankees are in the upper half of the league in playing for today AND tomorrow at this point.

    Go ahead, lamb-baste away.

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

      Hey now. I’ll be calling out the pollyannas thankyouverymuch.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Houston has been playing retread prospects. They haven’t put out their top prospects yet. There’s no incentive for them to try and compete. It’s easier for them to lose, get quality picks,loads of IFA money, and bide their time until those prospects are ready to play and pay off. When you have a $24M payroll and then get that back 4X over in TV revenue, why would you try to win?

      • The Great Gonzo

        Valid… However they are failing miserably today and banking lottery tickets for 3-5(?) years from now.

        From the standpoint of what teams are playing to win today and compete tomorrow, who else is doing it better than the Rays, Red Sox, Cardinals and Yankees? That’s where my head is.

    • I’m One

      I would have accepted Reynolds, but I’m certainly not losing sleep over the fact that he signed elsewhere. Those truck-sized holes you mentioned? I think that may be a reference to his defense.

      While the Yankees need someone for 3B, I’d like them to find someone of filling in that gap for more than just one season (and in Reynolds’ case, a platoon player for that one year).

      • lightSABR

        Right. I was originally in the group that was amazed they were only offering Reynolds a MiLB deal.

        Then I looked at his stats. I’m not amazed anymore. He’s just not very good, even in comparison with the crap they’ve currently got in the infield.

      • The Great Gonzo

        Yeah, the semi-truck sized hole I was thinking about was the lack of actual thump in this infield and Tex’s backup happens to be EVERYBODY’S backup.

        Also, I thought he was the best of what was out there for cheap options, as I am expecting an explosive Headley bidding war next December that the Yankees will be knuckle deep into.

        In all honesty, I am not losing sleep mover it either, but I was irrationally attached to the idea of him returning. But ultimately he doesn’t make or break the season.

    • Farewell Mo

      I appreciate your optimism but I think you need to see several prospects stay healthy and take some steps forward before you can make that statement.

      The whole reason this FA spending spree was necessary was because of failures down on the farm and while they do have some interesting players, 2 of the top 100 prospects and none in the top 40 needs to improve significantly IMO.

      • The Great Gonzo

        Sure… One could say that.

        One could also say that the New York Yankees, with a metric shit ton of money to spend and had opportunity to add the highest profile pitcher of the offseason (a position of weakness for the team), 2 of the top outfielders in the crop (a position of relative weakness for the team), and the best catcher in the AL (Do I need to say it?).

        My belief is that they would have done the something similar to the same regardless of if they had one or twenty of the top prospects in the game.

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          Exactly. This offseason (McCann and Tanaka especially) was a huge opportunity that they would have been stupid to pass up.

          • The Great Gonzo

            And one could say that the Beltran signing was a decade in the making, so it was going to happen regardless.

            Some may also say it was a decade too late, but I digress

        • lightSABR

          Right. I think people have an unrealistic idea of what rebuilding the farm is going to look like. A good Yankees farm is going to reliably produce replacements that are actually replacement level or a bit above instead of a good bit worse like last year. A good Yankees farm is also going to produce average to moderately above-average starters on a regular basis – maybe a Brett Gardner-caliber player every two or three years instead of every five or six.

          But stars? How is the Yankees’ farm going to produce stars when we never suck enough for good draft position and we can’t outspend people on international free agents? Occasionally we’re going to get lucky and have bottom-of-the-first-round draft picks turn into something really special. But that’s not going to happen often, and fixing the farm isn’t going to change that.

          Even with a fixed farm, the Yankees are going to need winters like this one to compete for the playoffs every year.

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

    5, trending higher.

    Assuming we’re done with namey FAs, to move up from here will require more things to break our way this season than not. Things like a few guys on our farm taking material steps forward, CC rebounding, Tanaka not sucking, Teix and Jeter staying healthy and performing well, other guys staying healthy, etc.

  • Mike HC

    7 … I’m cautiously optimistic. Major team overhaul this season, so lots of unknowns.

  • TWTR

    My highest rating in well over a year.

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

      The suspense is killing me.

      • Deep Thoughts

        If only.

  • Jay D

    5 up from 4

    Immediate future looks much brighter. We will still need to add FA pieces every year for the conceivable future to maintain the decline of all these old players. We could really use a breakout year from the farm.

  • Jack man Jack

    Still at a 6.
    Need another starter and infield help to be considered World Series material.
    And thats why we play this game, right?

    Were already over 189, sign Jimenez and Drew and lets go to Spring Training!

    • I’m One

      World Series (and playoffs in general) is a crap shoot. If they can make the playoffs and are playing well when they make it, they can run the table. I think they’re just about there as far as being able to make the playoffs (provided CC, Teix and Jeter perform well enough). And with Tanaka, I think they may have the building blocks of a strong rotation for some years to come.

      • lightSABR

        I think we still need one more quality infielder and one more quality bullpen arm before I’ll be confident that we’re in the playoff race. But other than that, I agree with you.

        • I’m One

          Those pieces may come before the season begins or before the trade deadline. I don’t think it’s critical at this point (although I prefer earlier aquisitions to later ones).

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          If Derek Jeter comes back as Derek Jeter, then we’ll have that one more quality infielder.

          • lightSABR

            Well… whether that’s enough, I’ll leave up for debate, but I’m referring to our really awful 2B/3B situation. Roberts at 2B and Johnson at 3B might possibly, if we’re really lucky, put up league-average offensive numbers for their positions – below average for actual starters at their positions, but still better than what we had at third and short for most of last year.

            But Roberts hasn’t played more than 77 games in a year since 2009. So it’s almost certain that we’ll spend half of next season’s games with Johnson at 2B and Sizemore or Anna at 3B. And I have little hope that we’ll get average production out of that.

            And all of that is assuming that Teix plays the whole year. Can you imagine what the infield is going to look like if Teix and Roberts spend a month on the DL at the same time? Yikes.

            • Cool Lester Smooth

              Why do you expect Kelly Johnson to be worse offensively in YSIII than he was in Tropicana (and significantly underperform his career averages)?

              The average wRC+ of an MLB 3B last year was 97. Johnson’s was 101. We’re not getting “lucky” if he produces that.

              We will be very lucky if Brian Roberts plays more than 70 games, though, so I’ll give you that, even if I think you’re selling Sizemore a little short if he manages not to hurt himself getting out of bed in the morning.

  • The Other Sam

    Well I’m up to a 5, not so much because of Tanaka but because Hal seems to have figured out player decisions are best made on what’s good for the team, not comparatively arbitrary financial goals.

    I’m keeping it at 5 though because Tanaka’s not God…yet, and he’d have to be to make up for all the potential problems in the rotation.
    Also thinking that is a starting infield or that it can be made so by dumpster diving doesn’t deserve more than a 5.

    And I’m not convinced effective changes have been made in the farm system so they don’t end up stuck in multi-year contracts with declining players just to remain competitive. Then again, Hal just said NY is for veterans so maybe they don’t intend to fix it, just keep a GM that can convince trade partners it has been.

  • Bobby d

    My vote moved up to a seven. With all these moves finish the deal already if you want a championship caliber team. They are so close it’s a tease. They lost Pettitte and Rivera as well as Hughes Chamberlain and Logan and replaced them with Tanaka and Thornton. They have a weaker bullpen no matter how you slice it, and you are asking a lot from the starting staff. I just don’t see them winning more than 85 to 88 games unless they get bullpen help!! Another starter like Jimenez would definitely help as well .

  • Chip Rodriguez


    Not just because Tanaka’s been signed, but at this point it’s become pretty clear that the FO wants to improve the team and make it competitive into October, regardless of the celery cap.

    And I really like the way they’ve addressed the major problems this season. The catching, outfield and DH situations all needed a lot of fixing, and they tended to that immediately while chasing Tanaka very aggressively.

    No Robbie, but no complaints about them standing ground on a 7 or 8 year deal.

  • FLYER7

    I went from 7 to 8…66% or 2 of 3 in the poll are 7 or better. Curious where we were last year headed to spring training?

  • CS Yankee

    8…rotation might be really good, for sure looks better than 2013 going in…add in the bats, take away the Pronks/Youk/Stewies and they are looking like a 90-plus win team, not too concerned with the MRP but a IF is a band-aid on top of a gauze bandage.

    Compared to YE 13;
    The BoSox…about the same, lost some but rook’s look good.
    The Fish..better OF, pitching about the same.
    The Bird’s…worse in both cases, O’s had a horrible off-season and the Bluebirds are shorter on pitching and lack a few bats.
    NYY…better starters (Hughes alone versus Phelps/Warren/Pineda is far better) overall, the best catcher in the AL versus Stewie (bottom 5 i’m guessing), plus a great OF…Soriano vs. Pronk

  • Dropped Third

    I’m up from a 5 to an 8. This is due to the fact that Hal and Hank are going to spend money on the team and have made it clear they will not settle for a team that does not have a good chance at the post season every year. That is encouraging.

    I still have no idea what to expect from the team this season. They could be anywhere from low 80’s to high 90’s in wins this season IMO. If C.C, Kuroda and Tanaka pitch well and Nova, Phelps, or Pineda steps up, this rotation could be scary. Or C.C and continue his decline, Kuroda gets hurt, Nova relapses, Tanaka is just average and the kids all suck.

    The offense will be good but how good depends on the health of the outfield (Beltran, Ells, Sori) and the ability for one of Tex or Jeter to have a healthy AND good season. The team could have the best offense in baseball or be in the middle of the pack.

    I feel good about the bullpen. I think D-Rob can and will do a good job as the closer, I like Thorton and Kelly but mostly I really like the chances of a prospect stepping up and perforing well in a middle relief role. It could be Betances, Warren, Montgomery or someone else but the Yankees have shown the ability to develop solid bullpen pieces.

    Im so excited for this season because there are so many variables and so much upside. It comes down to health and how the Vets can fend off further declining.

    • Mike HC

      I still feel like Hal has effectively changed the conversation. Our payroll has at best stagnated over the last several years while the rest of the league is awash in cash and increasing payroll. Hal is getting pats on the back simply for not severely slashing the payroll which he had been threatening to do on nobody’s insistence but his own.

      • The Great Gonzo

        The Yankees will, for the FOURTEENTH season in a row, rank in the top two payrolls in the league, but they’re still not spending enough for you?

        • Mike HC

          Your statement would have been true if the Yanks got under 189 too. In 2005, the Yanks payroll was around 206 million. The next highest team, Boston, was at around 122 million. And the Mets were the only other team over 100 coming in at 104.

          The Yanks are not spending nearly as much compared to the rest of the league as they used to. Whether they are spending enough for me or not is meaningless.

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

            Thank you.

      • CS Yankee

        Which, from a purely business standpoint is brillant.

        Doesn’t look like anymore improvements are coming this season but they’re in a better position going into 2014 than they were in 2013 (WTF were they thinking OD 2013?)…not 2009 or 2010 good on paper but much better than 2004 or 2008.

        I’m guessing a possible WC with just one stud, a bunch of health and a little luck from being a lock for WC or possible divison champ.

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

      High 90’s? Please pass me what you’re smoking. I submit that even if literally everything goes right this year (assuming no more meaningful pick ups) we are. 90-92 win team at best.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        If everything goes right, then CC is CC, Jeter is Jeter and Pineda is all the way back. I think you’re really underestimating how valuable that is.

        Everything going right means we have 4-5 WAR from CC, 4-5 from Tanaka, 3.5-4.5 from Kuroda, 3-4 from Pineda and 3-4 from Nova.

        Then we have 3 WAR each from Beltran, Jeter and Tex, 3.5-4.5 from McCann, 4-5 from Gardner, 5-6 from Ellsbury, 2 from Soriano and Johnson and 1.5 from Roberts. Add in 1.5 from the bench and 5 from the bullpen (because everything goes right), and that’s a 55 WAR team, better than the Rays, the A’s or anyone other than the Red Sox and Tigers.

        “Everything” never goes right (even the 2013 Red Sox lost Buchholz for 2 months), but if it does, we’re a 95 win team.

        I think we end up in the 88-92 range, personally.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    I land at about a 7.5 post-Tanaka.

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

      Keep on keepin on!

  • Improbable Island Guy on Another Computer

    I think people are underrating the impact of losing Cano. The dude was an all-word, borderline MVP caliber player well on his way to being one of the best 2b ever if he could keep up those numbers. Getting all of those other players was very nice, no doubt, and Tanaka is big, but without Cano I’m, not sure if it’ll be enough to get over that 85 mark, especially if Jeter doesn’t have a good (not great, good) season or CC doesn’t bounce back.

    I’m not convinced we’re playoff bound as of now. Get a decent – not great, but decent – 2b, and then we might be there.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      Who, exactly, is underrating the impact of losing Cano?

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

        Anyone who thinks we are firmly a 90+ win team as currently composed.

        • Deep Thoughts

          As asserted by exactly nobody in this thread.

          “95 if everything goes right, I’m guessing 88-92”

          “…anywhere from low 80s to high 90s…”

      • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

        CS Yankee, for one. And yeah, a bit of what “I’m a looser” said.

    • CS Yankee

      Cano-lite is playing CF for the NYY this (and the next 6) season as its clear where the money went.

      Jay-Z can get him into the Grammy for a few years but not the postseason.

      I will miss the guy with the sweetest swing in the game, the slickest glove and the casual deadly-accurate heater to first but not so much the guy that didn’t hustle, didn’t want to extend his contract, and when he inked the deal disrespected his new club by complaining about his old club.

      • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

        ELLSBURY is Cano lite?!?!?!?

        Jim, you asked who was underrating the impact of losing Cano…

        Boom. Headshot.

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          Actually, one might reasonably argue that the increase from Wells to Ells (if he stays healthy) is greater than the decrease from Cano to Johnson.

          • Improbable Island Guy on Another Computer

            That’s not what he said, though. And that’s an indictment of Wells, of course, no Cano.