Weekend Open Thread


I’ve only got two links to share with you this week. Blame the holidays. No one was writing anything worthwhile, myself included. As enjoyable as the break is, it’ll be good to really get back into the swing of things next week. Hopefully with a lot less snow. Here are those two links:

  • Spurred on by Robinson Cano‘s mega-deal with the Mariners, former Baseball America staffer Conor Glassey went back through the publication’s rankings to see if there was a common trait shared by players they “missed” on, meaning guys like Cano. Good but not great prospects who turned into high-end big leaguers. The short version: Baseball America tends to overlook college position players without a ton of power and innings-eaters.
  • For the hockey people: Scott Burnside put together a really long (more than 13,000 words) but really in-depth look at how the U.S. Olympic team was selected. NHL players are allowed to play for their countries in the Olympics — MLB players were not allowed — so there’s a temptation to just take an All-Star team. The U.S. staff instead came up with a system/playing style and built the roster around that, eschewing some big name players along the way.

This is your open thread for the night. The Rangers, Devils, and Knicks are all playing tonight, plus there’s some college football bowl game on somewhere. I think. Talk about those games, the links, the video, or anything else right here. Enjoy.

(video h/t: @MatCollis)

Categories : Links, Open Thread


  1. Now Batting says:

    That’s why I love real baseball analysis..an idea that turns into a different conclusion. A national sportswriter would have just jumped on Robbie Cano and said scouts miss on a certain kind of Latin player. Instead Glassey puts in the legwork and provides an actual insight.

    • RetroRob says:

      Credit to some Yankee scout who didn’t miss on Cano and signed him!

      And in fairness to the overall rankings on Cano, it wasn’t just Baseball America. Pretty much all scouts saw the same things (positive and negative) in Cano. They didn’t miss anything. It is not reasonable to project the type of career Cano has had. He elevated his game. Nothing in his minor league career suggested what was to come. He just kept getting better.

    • forensic says:

      I preface this by saying I mostly just skimmed the lists and verdicts, rather than reading it all very closely.

      But, it seems to me that there were many more misses on middle infielders and catchers. So, maybe that means that either there’s not enough positive positional adjustment being given to players in the minors to credit them for playing the harder to produce at positions, or, maybe there’s too much positive positional adjustment being given to the same players once they get to the majors.

      You look at those guys offense, and as a 2B/SS/C it’s great or even better. But, you put them somewhere else and their offense won’t be valued nearly as much, meaning as a player they won’t be valued nearly as much.

      That seems to be one of the big common links here. Too much credit in the majors or not enough credit in the minors? I’m not sure which it is, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a little of both. I also think that people sometimes put too much into defense value, whereas I think offense has much more impact on the game than defense.

      • Ed says:

        There was a line in the article about writing players off as “Just a 2B”.

        Generally speaking, a 2B is a failed shortstop, and shortstops tend to be some of the weakest hitters. So you get this stereotype that all 2Bs are simply bad shortstops, so it’s easy to get stuck on that and not look hard enough to see if there’s something there to make up for the defensive shortcomings.

        • Preston says:

          The majority of 2b in the majors were SS in the minors. So prospectors tend to ignore 2b. Similarly there is always a lot of doubt about weather or not a player will stick at C. A guy who can hit but doesn’t field well may be undervalued if his glove eventually comes around.

  2. Dropped Third says:

    It’s such BS Kyle Okposo wasn’t selected for the Olympic squad. The guy is a work horse and is 2nd in the league for USA born players and 13th overall. Yet Callahan and Stepan combined don’t have as many points as KO and their on the roster. Also how do Bobby Ryan and Keith Yandle get left off the roster!?!? Embarrassing for Team USA.

  3. nsalem says:

    RR geting some well deserved recognition. Hope he is starting the season at Trenton and if he keeps up his .400 OBP ways makes it to Scranton by the end of the year. Save for him supposedly not having any 5 star tools evrything we read about him (work ethic, intelligence, adapting to a new position and plate discipline) has been great. If he keeps on hitting in Trenton I think he maybe on those Yankee top 10 prospect lists soon.

    • OldYanksFan says:

      Sorry….. who is RR?

      • nsalem says:

        Rob Refsnyder. College WS MVP a couple of years back. Yankees 5th round draft pick in 2012. Was mentioned in the BA article. I would imagine he’s starting next season at Trenton.
        Here’s his reference page


        • Preston says:

          He needs to get better at 2b. But he has athleticism (34/41 on SBs in 176 games), and I think his work ethic will lead to improved glove work next season (a .948 fielding percentage isn’t going to cut it). Hopefully he can start to hit for a little more power this season too. But I think he could profile as around league average at 2b even without greater power. If he can maintain the batting average and the walks at the upper levels he looks like a future lead off man.

        • qwerty says:

          Looks like another David Adams, Corban Joseph type.

          • Preston says:

            He’s a much better athlete/baserunner, and has proven better at getting on base than either so far. Although he has also hit for less power than both (especially Adams). But the fact that those guys didn’t work out doesn’t mean anything about Refsnyder. Chase Utley hit .257/.324/.422 as a 22 yo at A+ and Matt Carpenter hit .283/.370/.390 as a 23 yo at A ball, both were worse lines than any of the three Yankee prospects. You can’t make it to the majors without first conquering every level in the minors. Refsnyder is one step closer after last season and I’m excited to see what he can do next year at Trenton.

            • qwerty says:

              I wouldn’t hold my breath with him. Players who develop late like Utley, Carpenter and Cano are rare exceptions.

              • Wicomico Pinstripes says:

                Cano reached AAA by his age 21 season and slashed .297/ .320/ .458 as a 22 year old in the major leagues. Not exactly a late developer.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

                This is a college kid, not a “late bloomer.” He’s a bit older the minors because he was attending college while HS draftees were climbing their way up the ladder.

              • Preston says:

                They didn’t develop late. That’s the development time line for a college player. Year one is in A ball, year two in AA, year three in AAA then the majors. If you look at the 2b leader board in 2013 you’ll find that there are quite a few college players at the position who followed the same path through the minors. In addition to Utley and Carpenter among qualifying 2b in 2013 their is Ben Zobrist, Jason Kipnis, Ian Kinsler, Dan Uggla, Jedd Gyorko and Brian Dozier all guys drafted out of college who did not make their MLB debut until 24 or older. Of course guys who make it to the majors are always the exception and not the rule. But Refsnyder is right on schedule.

                • qwerty says:

                  Yes, but outside of Dan Uggla just about every name you listed was excelling in the minors within their first or second year there. Many would have been top 10 to top 30 prospects if not for their ages. Outside of walking a lot there isn’t anything particularly special about Refsynder’s game to draw comparisons to those players. He’s not doing any more than Joseph did at the same age and level.

                  • Preston says:

                    I get it you’re not impressed. But .293/.413/.413 with 23 SBs is a pretty nice line for your first full year of professional ball. If he does something similar next year he’ll be on plenty of radars as a sleeper prospect. You don’t have to be excited or like him. But I think people who like following the system are right to be. And like most prospects he probably won’t turn into Utley, Carpenter or even Uggla. But he might, and that’s the fun.

              • BFDeal says:

                qwerty always has all the answers. Only problem is they’re always wrong.

            • nsalem says:

              Wouldn’t be surprised if Adams or even Joseph worked out someplace other than New York.

              • Preston says:

                I think Adams will have a career as a bench player, he can played good defense at 3b, 2b and 1b last year and he’ll hit better than he did last year. But CoJo isn’t as versatile, and isn’t even a good defender at 2b, so his usefulness is limited as a bench player and he’s going to have to hit enough to make up for his defensive deficiencies.

  4. RetroRob says:

    So I went through today’s chat and there was an interesting theme that developed regarding Cano and how he will be received by Yankee fans when he first returns. Mike stated (as he has prior) that he will get a standing ovation. Considering he posted a few other responses/questions after that, I can only assume he was hit with a lot of people who disagreed. He even ran a poll with two choices (cheers or boos) that had the cheers winning, but not by much. I think 45% or more said they would boo, and that is a lot, especially from this audience which is more rational than the overall fan base, even if it doesn’t always seem that way!

    I can tell you how I feel. I’m a pretty reasoned and seasoned fan, following the Yankees going back to the 70s. I’ve never booed a Yankee or former Yankee returning for the first time, and Robbie Cano will certainly not be the first one. Yet I have hard time thinking I would stand up and give him an enthusiastic and warm ovation. Light applause while sitting. He’s not a Yankee anymore. I cheered him when he was here. Just as Cano doesn’t owe anything to the Yankees, I owe nothing to him moving forward. He moved on, so am I.

    So what I think will happen is there will be some fans who will give him a very big welcome (good for them and I mean than), but it will not be universal. There will be many fans like me who will go with the light applause, sitting. Some won’t even do the light applause, but they won’t boo either. And fans being fans in NY (fans are fanatics), there will be those who boo him, and that group will be if not as large, certainly more vocal than the people cheering.

    So I think it will be a bit mixed and tepid. I don’t want him booed, and I don’t see Robbie being treated for the next ten years like A-Rod is when he goes to Seattle. I just don’t see a standing ovation for him, but I also could be off base here.

    So what does everyone else think? There was an option I think missing from Mike’s poll. Will Robbie get:

    1) Standing O
    2) Boos
    3) Mixed

    I’m going with choice three. Mixed.

    • JGYank says:

      Mixed for sure IMO. I wouldn’t boo him because of what he’s done for us, but I’m not going to cheer for him in a different uniform either. I hope he doesn’t get booed but some will feel he should be since he chased after the $, but I don’t see that as a reason to boo him. However if he starts insulting the Yanks and criticizing them after he leaves, then there is probably going to be booing from the entire crowd but I doubt Cano would do that.

    • nsalem says:

      If his first game back is a week night game I will probably bethere and give him a standing ovation in thanks for whathe has done in NY. As soon as the first pich is being thrown he will be just another guy another team. If I had a chance I would boo the front office for being short sighted and not estending him after the 2010 season and locking him up through age 34. They could have just tacked on 4 more years (2013-2016) at 20 per and he may very well have accepted it.
      Speaking of rationality I don’t think the people here who called him greedy for taking the Mariners money are at all rational. Besides the money, maybe he didn’t have the love of NYC and Yankee lore that fans and players such as Jeter and even A-Rod have. Also the possibility that he was tired of the circu like atmosphere that follows the Yankees wherever they go. This team and city is not for everybody.
      The most amazing return to NYC I have ever heard about was Eddie Giacomin in the mid 70′s when the crowd chanted his name throughout the entire 60 minutes in his first return to NY.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJeXbfEHVR8 Great stuff if you’re a Ranger fan.

    • forensic says:

      I agree on the mixed reaction. While there will be some standing, like Mike, there will also be plenty booing because he didn’t take some hometown discount and bow to the pinstripes.

      Also, he was a Yankee for nine years, which is a nice length of time but not like he was some very long-term Yankee who finally just left by some confluence of events for both sides. For those more into the extra stuff, his ‘hustle’ on the field (specifically offensively, but periodically defensively too) will hurt many fans views and memories of him.

      He also was never really known as a big time postseason contributor (which I think leads to overblown reactions that players like Matsui get), did almost nothing in the 2009 playoffs that really stand-out, and his couple of good series mostly came in forgettable series that the Yankees lost. And his total invisibility in 2012 (which was his last postseason) will likely be a lasting memory for many. When he was the best player on the team, it was mostly teams that are somewhat forgettable, and especially the 2013 team that he ‘failed’ to lead to the postseason.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      I think I’m a pretty reasoned and seasoned fan as well, but I honestly hope he gets resoundingly booed. That’s not to disrespect what he did for the team, but I honestly feel that I cheered him enough as a Yankee when he was here. I also realized as well, on the final game I saw him play at this year, that there was a chance it may be the last. I cheered him enough.

      Leaving to an organization like Seattle for what was clearly the money, then claiming the team didn’t do enough to keep him when they offered him $25 million over SEVEN seasons, THEN having this “he didn’t like batting second” stuff come out…..this is not how I’d like to see a player leave any team, even if it was a player leaving another team to come to the Yankees. It was immature and bush league. He should be thanking his lucky stars he got to be one of the 27 New York Yankee world championship teams.

      I don’t begrudge anyone who wants to thank him one last time, but he made it clear to me he was done as a Yankee, and I’d like to make it pretty clear that I am done with him as well.

      My answer, though? 3. Mixed.

      • forensic says:

        then claiming the team didn’t do enough to keep him when they offered him $25 million over SEVEN seasons


      • nsalem says:

        I think any ill feelings will be forgotten pretty soon especially if the Mariners do not rise above mediocrity. I’m just happy he didn’t wind up in the AL East where we would be seeing him 18 times a year or a team like the Tigers or the Rangers who would be more likely to be a playoff opponent (assuming we get back there soon).

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

          I think time will heal all wounds, but I can’t imagine I’ll suddenly go back in the other direction again and cheer him. Like you said above, he’ll slowly become another guy on another team.

          • RetroRob says:

            Yup. As said, I never want to see him treated like Mariner fans treat A-Rod, meaning booed every time he shows up for the next decade. We can respect him as a player and what he did as a Yankee, but frankly I think indifference and not booing or cheering is a much better message.

            • BamBamMusings says:

              Agreed. Indifference will be the way to go on Cano. But that first AB, mixed with more passionate boos than cheers!

    • Bob Buttons says:

      Probably mixed. Some people only like players on their team while some people like players regardless of teams (other than maybe a few rival teams)

    • RetroRob says:

      I think all the responses from above are why it will be very mixed. I believe only one clearly said a standing o, while another was applause, a couple others mixed.

      To JG’s point, some will view him as leaving for money, but many (although not all) will understand it since it was a huge gap. Yet he did throw some barbs the Yankees way, including the “batting second” remark, and the leaked stories about the Yankees not respecting him when they offered him a higher AAV than the Mariners, and things like that, which won’t play well. And let’s not forget there were Yankee fans who were upset with Cano and how he would dog it on running to first. While I think that was very minor to those fans, they might now embrace that along with his leaving as a reason to boo him.

      And I do think forensic’s remarks hit on a point. Cano was very much liked by Yankee fans, but I don’t think he was ever loved. Now that could have changed over time. I think Bernie Williams played a large part of his career with the Yankees and didn’t feel the love players like Jeter and Mo and even O’Neill got. Posada, too. Both of them became more popular in the latter years. It maybe that Cano if he had stayed would have increased his popularity, especially as the old guard retired. It’s something we’ll never know and something he’ll never experience. He’ll always be the hired hand, the big free agent signing who is expected to deliver the results. Respected if he delivers, but probably never loved there either.

      • nsalem says:

        RetroRob I think Bernie was loved as much as any Yankee. He did spend his entire career as a Yankee. The Yankee’s signed him as a 16 year old in 1985 and lived with a family in a Connecticut until 1986 when he started in the rookie leagues. He was Ruthian type dominant in the 1995 and 1996 playoffs except for the WS in 1996. When the RedSox offered him a better contract when he was a FA in 1998 he went back to Steinbrenner and told him he hated the thought of being anything but a Yankee and a contract was worked out. My memories of 2006 when fans knew the end near was him receiving an outpouring of love.
        An interesting aside to the Williams signing was that when Bernie knew he was moving to Connecticut (I think it was to finish high school) he asked the Yankee’s if he could bring a baseball playing friend along. The Yankees said no and it turned out the friend was Juan Gonzales who if had remained healthy would have had a career probably superior to that of Bernie’s.

        • RetroRob says:

          I’m a big Bernie fan and I agree that he is a major fan favorite. Yet, I don’t believe for a good part of his career he really was as appreciated as he was later. His popularity grew more the second half of his career. I was trying to make a comparison, perhaps not great, but noting that Cano is very well liked but not loved. He may have achieved even greater acceptance if he continued to play in NY as Bernie did.

    • qwerty says:

      Much like his time with the yankees, I don’t care one way or another about Cano. I don’t know what it is, but of all the good players that have come and gone from the yankees over the years Cano is the one that least sticks in mind. He might as well have played 2 seasons here instead of 10 or so.

    • The Big City of Dreams says:

      I think he’ll get mostly booed. The reaction to him leaving was pretty strong and it was mostly negative. Sure there will be cheers here and there but I think he’s seen a hired gun at this point. Hell when the deal was signed a good number of the comments from the fan base was he won’t be missed, he wasn’t a true Yankee, he never really connected with the Yankees, he didn’t care, he didn’t want to be here, etc.

    • RobO says:

      Booed heartedly, with local media instigating it to a large extent.

  5. JGYank says:

    I’ve thought about this and want to hear others’ opinions. Let’s pretend that injuries won’t happen, players don’t get tired and must play every inning of every game, the 2 players you’re deciding between have to play SS and can’t be DHed, can’t be pinch hit/run for, can’t be swapped out for a defensive replacement, and defensive shifts aren’t allowed so every player has to play where they normally are. The rest of the team would be the current 2014 Yanks without the player you didn’t choose. Would u rather have:

    Brendan Ryan play SS. However if you choose him, no ball put in play from the opposing team will ever be hit in the SS general area (any ball hit outside of the area is impossible for any SS to get to), so his defense is limited to catching throws from other fielders, covering bases and making tags, etc… Basically he has almost no defensive value from not having any chances to field batted balls and he’s not allowed to shift to another area on the field and he has to be the SS. Also he must bat leadoff every game.

    Or Jeter play SS. If you choose him, every single batted ball from the opposing team (excluding HRs and foul balls in the stands) will be in the SS area, so Jeter is the only fielder that the ball will ever be hit to and no other fielder can shift to the SS area and Jeter can’t shift away from that part of the field. He has to play SS (if Jeter can’t get to it and the ball gets by him, other fielders can still go after and field the ball it just won’t be hit at them like Ryan in the previous scenario. Doubles and triples can still be hit if the ball gets by Jeter or is over his head into the gap and the outfielders can go after the ball if it’s past the SS). However, Jeter is guaranteed to put up his 2012 offensive numbers exactly in terms of rate stats (he won’t have the same G and ABs and other counting stats since he’s playing every game).

    • dkidd says:

      i play jeter, because that scenario would be more fun to watch (and i want him to pass tris speaker)

    • forensic says:

      You play Jeter, and it’s not even close. He’ll at least make up for the terrible defense with good offense and be able to contribute on one side of the ball. Ryan won’t get to contribute defensively and his offense will only help the other team and not the Yankees.

      Jeter’s negative defense and positive offense easily out-produce Ryan’s zero defense and negative offense, I think.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:


      • JGYank says:

        I’m not sure about that. If every single ball in the field of play is hit at Jeter, that’s a lot of balls that get by him. The incentive of playing Ryan is to not have to play Jeter at SS. Jeter has more upside with guaranteed offensive production but he also has more downside IMO from his defense. Ryan doesn’t have to contribute defensively because balls are being hit at Ellsbury Gardner Tex and the rest of the Yankee defense which is better than all of them being hit at Jeter.

        • forensic says:

          Well, I’m not really sure that there’s a huge gap between Jeter’s general defensive ability and the rest of the team’s defense (other than the three you mentioned). So, all those balls that aren’t being hit to Ryan are being redirected to the rest of the players, at least half of whom are not good defensively either.

          At least if you have Jeter in the game, he’s theoretically still sure-handed on what he does get to (as opposed to all those other guys who would have more hit to them) and you get the offensive production. I still easily lean in that direction.

          • JGYank says:

            Good points. Maybe I should of put more incentive for Ryan to be in there or just let balls be hit at the SS while he’s playing. My thinking was every ball Jeter can’t get to (which would pile up over 162 games) would result in a hit canceling out the offensive improvement he is over Ryan since is was only 1/9 of the lineup.

    • Caballo Sin Nombre says:

      What’s your definition of “in the SS area”? Since Jeter, to first order, has poor range, makes almost no errors and has a rocket arm, the definition of “in the SS area” makes all the difference.

      Moving beyond that, there’s the question of just how “bad” Jeter is defensively. Clearly he is well below average in the context of the rarified level of Major League shortstops. However, he is still a competent shortstop by any other, lesser measure. He’s going to get most of the stuff hit his way. So you are allowing him his best tool–his bat– but sticking him with his biggest liability, which isn’t all that much a liability. In contrast, with Ryan, you’ve imagined a scenario where you have completely neutralized his best tool, while still sticking him with his biggest liability.

      Finally, you need to be more precise about how “playable” the balls are in the two scenarios. Are all the batted balls “playable” in the Jeter scenario (by an Ozzie Smith, perhaps)? Are all the batted balls in the Ryan scenario “playable” by the Ellsburys and Gardners, or are some going to be clear hits? You really need to be clear on how you define the conditions of your thought experiment.

      • JGYank says:

        What I meant by “in the SS area” was any ball that could be fielded by an elite defensive SS. If the best of SS can’t make a play on it, it’s outside of the area. Balls will be playable by other fielders in the Ryan scenario so good fielders such as Ells Gardy and Tex would get even more balls hit at them since Ryan wouldn’t get balls hit to him if contact rates remained the same. I figured Ryan is going to get more than 1/9 of the team’s ABs and be a big downgrade from Jeter offensively. But that’s only one lineup spot. If every single ball not in the stands was hit to Jeter instead of the non SS fielders on every play for 162 games, that would cost a ton of runs. I know Jeter doesn’t make errors but if he can’t get to some of the balls the opposing team would get way more hits in that scenario canceling out his extra offensive production in that one lineup spot. The difference is you’re downgrading your defensive range on almost every single play and giving up more hits for a big upgrade in 1 spot in the lineup. I took away Ryan’s best strength because I set up a scenario where Jeter’s weakness was exploited so they cancel out to a degree.

      • RobO says:

        “He’s going to get most of the stuff hit his way”

        This is what drives me nuts about todays stats on defense and WAR particularly. How many balls a YEAR escape a poor ranging SS like Jeter; how many hit that sweet spot 5′ from his range? maybe 25? I’m not giving or docking a player 4 WAR pts for such an insignificant failure.

        Short of Lowrie and potentially Bogaerts, Jeter is still the next best ‘real WAR’ performing SS in the AL. The question with him is not his game. It’s his health alone, period. MO, obviously.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      I think it would largely depend on who ends up playing 2nd and 3b.
      If shifting plays away from SS with Ryan playing means shifting to other horrible fielders (say maybe Mark Reynolds at 3B), there isn’t much benefit to playing Ryan.
      If however, they have competent (at least somewhat close to average) fielders at second and third, I think the benefit could go to playing Ryan.
      Jeter’s last full season, he posted a -18 DRS while not playing everyday. Extrapolate that to playing every inning and having all of the plays hit into his area (assuming a normal distribution of close and extended range plays near SS ,just with more of them), I’m not sure how many more plays that would be, maybe 5X? That could end with a -100 DRS.
      Even conservatively at 50 runs below average for Jeter’s defense, Ryan would likely provide similar overall value even while hitting at 2013′s rates.
      If the more chances at SS drop Jeter much below that, the advantage swings to playing Ryan.

      • forensic says:

        Well, he said the rest would be the current 2014 Yankees, so it’d likely be Roberts and Johnson that you’d have to consider at 2B/3B. I guess it would also depend on if Ryan’s drop-off in defense from last season was real or a one-season blip. If it’s real, and he’s now just a little above average instead of exceptional, then it swings even further in Jeter’s favor.

        Still though, either way on what Ryan would be, I’d still lean toward Jeter.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

          Isn’t the point that Ryan’s defense wouldn’t factor in at all because when he played, the ball would be hit elsewhere?

          Just compared to average, using bRef’s player value numbers:
          Jeter in 2012 was worth 11 runs above average offensively (including Rbat, Rbaser, and Rdp).
          Ryan in 2013 was worth -20 runs.
          Extrapolate both to 750 PA’s as everyday leadoff hitters, and Jeter would be worth about 12 runs to Ryan about -42 on offense, a 54 run advantage for Jeter.
          Defensively, Ryan would be worth 0 runs directly (indirectly would depend on where the ball was hit instead of SS, but if evenly distributed with the current roster, the defense should be close to average overall).
          Jeter would likely be worth at best -50 runs. Realistically, if every ball was hit in SS range, he could be much, much worse. (maybe as much as 9x worse than his 2012 numbers, Yankees SS in 2013 fielded about 11% of the teams chances, move that to 100% and they would be hemorrhaging runs, maybe as high as -200 compared to average SS). Ryan with 0 defensive value could still have a huge edge over Jeter on defense.
          I think best case in this scenario, they are very close in value.
          Worst case, Jeter’s defense compared to the average defense of the rest of the team could cost the Yankees severely.

          • forensic says:

            Isn’t the point that Ryan’s defense wouldn’t factor in at all because when he played, the ball would be hit elsewhere?

            heh, oops, lost track of which comment thread I was on and what we were discussing… :-)

      • JGYank says:

        For me, it comes down to exactly how bad Jeter would be defensively. In that scenario we know Ryan would suck and give awful offensive production and I gave Jeter guaranteed 2012 offensive production. But Jeter has had leg problems constantly since that full season, has gotten older, and wasn’t good defensively to begin with which is why I took away Ryan’s defense. I’m not sure if the 5x is accurate or not, so the fielding is hard to measure but it should be easy to estimate how much better 2012 Jeter would be offensively than Ryan if he was currently batting lead off for the entire year using Ryan’s 2014 projections and fix his counting stats to project for a full season. But without the defensive numbers it’s hard to compare.

  6. nsalem says:

    Here’s my hypothetical. Season on the line. Yankees up by one run in the other teams half of the ninth. First and Third one out. Groundball right at the SS. The SS has to decide whether to go for the DP or cut off the tying run in a split second. Who do you want at short Jeter or Ryan?

    • forensic says:

      If it’s right at the SS, then I don’t really care about which one of them is there. The main questions are if the infield was in or playing at DP depth and who are the runners at 3rd and at-bat.

      • nsalem says:

        Let’s just say the infield was halfway and it would be close either way. A play where instinct, steadiness and accurate arm came into play as oppossed defensive range (in which case Ryan would be the obvious choice).

      • RetroRob says:

        Forensic, there is one critical situation we haven’t thought of since Cano is gone. Is Eduardo Nunez playing 2B?!!!

    • RetroRob says:

      Right at the SS? Probably doesn’t matter all that much, but I’d take Jeter. Players do get jittery and how many times has Ryan been in a situation like that? Jeter has played his entire career with those situations. He may not have range, but he’s sure handed, he doesn’t panic, he doesn’t overthink the situation, and he won’t let the multiple runners entice him into the wrong play. We can recognize Jeter’s weaknesses, but we can also recognize his strengths, and this situation plays to his strength. The game will be over.

      Now if he has to take a step to the left and that’s still considered “right at the SS,” then I’ll take Ryan. : -)

  7. Macho Man "Randy Levine" says:

    Zanz kant danz, but he’ll steal your money.

    Oh…I see. Not anymore, apparently.

  8. Kramerica Industries says:

    The USA decision making is horrifying. Brian Burke is bossing around his fellow execs by saying “don’t take Seth Jones; I had nightmares about him”. Like, really, WTF?

    Bobby Ryan is one of the most skilled players in the NHL. He’s not good enough for the USA roster, but T.J. Oshie and “that shootout move” is? Are you joking me? My God. I was almost sadistically hoping Oshie would get a hat trick and Dustin Brown would score a goal in that LA/STL game on Thursday, because I have no doubt Burkie and the USA execs would’ve jizzed themselves senseless.

    I’m no turncoat on the USA, but I do thank my Canadian background for giving me an out here should I end up needing it.

    • Dropped Third says:

      It is honestly amazing how the team has been decided. How the hell were Yandle and Byfuglin left off and Paul Martin and Brooks Orpik made the team. Bylsma selecting all his defensemen over OBVIOUS choices. If the US wins bronze il be shocked. Il stand by them but this is awful.

  9. Jorge Steinbrennee says:

    So at what point does everyone think we begin to hear about Tanaka visiting cities, or vice versa? I’m honestly surprised the holidays have quieted things to this extent.

    Yes, burrito.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Screen name fail.

    • BamBamMusings says:

      Its interesting that agent Casey Close was discouraging teams from visiting Japan to discuss early negotiations. The play may be to continue to let the hype get out of control to the point where teams are just salivating to throw money at him. Seems to be working nicely, now with Jack-Z and a half dozen other clubs claiming they will all do whatever it takes to sign him.

      I say he may not even make ANY visits and let the money just come to him. If he does make visits, it’ll be to a few cities.

  10. OldYanksFan says:

    Jeter 2012: 740 PA, 2.2 bWar, 4.2 oWar, -1.4 dWar

    Brendan Ryan:
    2007 25 STL 199 PA, 1.6 bWar, over 740 PA: 5.9 bWar
    2008 26 STL 218 PA, 0.1 bWar, over 740 PA: 0.4 bWar
    2009 27 STL 429 PA, 4.5 bWar, over 740 PA: 7.8 bWar
    2010 28 STL 486 PA, 2.1 bWar, over 740 PA: 3.3 bWar
    2011 29 SEA 494 PA, 3.8 bWar, over 740 PA: 5.7 bWar
    2012 30 SEA 470 PA, 3.5 bWar, over 740 PA: 5.2 bWar
    2013 31 NYY 62 PA, 0.5 bWar, over 740 PA: 5.9 bWar

    You people would really take 2014 Jeter over 2014 Ryan? Really?

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      fwiw, 2013 Brendan Ryan (Seattle and NY combined) over 740 PA: 0.85 bWAR

      Also, projecting just on PA probably doesn’t give an accurate full season projection for a bottom of the lineup player. His PA’s are low not just because of less playing time, but also because he hits lower in the order (and mostly in weak offensive lineups). Increasing his PA’s to 740 would give all of the bad with his offense, but not likely a proportional jump with his defense, which is where his good WAR comes from.
      Example: in 2012 giving Ryan 740 PA’s would be a 57.4% increase in PA’s, but playing him 9 innings in the field in all 162 games would only have given him a 24.5% increase in innings played in the field, so his bWAR wouldn’t scale nearly as well over a full season.

      It’s entirely possible Ryan might be the better all around option at SS though.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

        Straight line extrapolation based on 740 PA’s and 1458 innings at SS:

        2012 Jeter: 22.3 RAR, about 2.2 bWAR

        2012 Ryan: 38.67 RAR, about 3.8 bWAR
        2013 Ryan: 1.2 RAR, about 0.1 bWAR

        • JGYank says:

          Yeah but since 2012 Jeter has had constant leg injuries, has gotten older, and wasn’t good defensively to begin with so I fear he’s gotten worse defensively plus it will be hard to repeat his 2012 production offensively. In reality Jeter and Ryan might be pretty close in 2014 if Ryan is closer to his 2013 bWAR than his 2012 one and Jeter gets worse.

          As for the hypothetical I gave, if the defensive numbers you gave are right than Jeter would cost at least 100 runs up to maybe 200 (I didn’t think he’d be that bad since I thought they were about equal in that scenario without looking at any numbers) so I’d go with Ryan. However with Ryan there wouldn’t be any grounders to short and more balls hit to other parts of the field, which would cut down on double plays and may increase XBH on balls to the outfield.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

            I really wouldn’t expect either Jeter or Ryan to be much more than replacement level in 2014, unfortunately.

    • jjyank says:

      Jeter 2010-2012 wRC+’s: 93, 104, 117

      Ryan 2010-2013 wRC+’s: 55, 84, 61, 44

      There’s more to life than WAR. So…yeah, give me Jeter, unless he proves to literally be a statue out there (not figuratively, like so many people around here say).

      • TWTR says:

        Given their respective careers to date, there is no comparison, but it is reasonable to be concerned about a 40 year old SS who hasn’t played in a year and who has never been more than average defensively.

        Having said, Jeter should and will be given every chance to show he has something left. I wonder, however, if it turns out that he can’t play close league average defensively SS if 3B will even be considered. More likely, if he hits credibly, particularly v. LHP, he will he remain at SS no matter what.

    • POSRmetrics says:

      1) Ryan had 287 PA’s with SEA in 2013 and 349 in total. Why in the world would you whittle that down to a useless sample size (especially when ALL of Ryan’s value comes from defense?). if you then do your magic scaling he was a little less than a 1 WAR player in 2013 (but I guess that doesn’t fit the narrative). Also given the defensive metric that bWAR uses (and Mike A has alluded to this a few times now), you should probably at least use an average of fWAR and bWAR. But the fWAR also doesn’t fit the narrative as well (Ryan has TWO years in his career where he cleared 1.5fWAR)

      2) Why are you scaling ALL components of WAR by PA’s? It doesn’t work that way, because Brendan Ryan tends to hit a the bottom of the order and gets PH for.

      Why is this important? Well because if you look at his innings with the Yankees and scale it by the same ratio as the PA’s, you now have Ryan playing ~201 games on defense (oops!). You can’t scale all components of WAR by PA’s. You basically tacked on an extra 40 games of defensive value (too disinterested to look at the rest of the years to see how much you propped those #’s up too). This is what happens when you blindly plug away with #’s and don’t understand the limitations (like say defensive value, or heck even offensive value, on what is an ~20game sample) or the limitations of using bWAR on a player who derives pretty much all his value from defense.

      • Preston says:

        Not to mention the uncertainty of defensive metrics even when they are applied in the correct proportions. We have a pretty good handle on offensive contributions. We know how much value a player adds at the plate and on the bases. But how much of a players defensive value is from his own defensive play? None of the defensive metrics satisfactorily account for defensive shifts called by the manager, a good manager could boost your numbers significantly, a bad manager could pull them down (anecdotally Clint Hurdle vs. John Russell is credited with the big change in Andrew McCutchen’s UZR between 2010 and 2011). We don’t know how much of a players value is boosted or detracted by the players around him, Brendan Ryan could benefit greatly from playing next to a 3b like Adrian Beltre allowing him to shift farther over to the 2b side or Beltre might be stealing plays that would have been made by Ryan, hard to know. We don’t know how much impact the pitcher has on the defender, you choose your alignment based on the hitters tendencies and the knowledge of where the pitcher is going to throw the ball. A defender will look much smarter in the field if the pitcher hits his spots than if he consistently misses. So it’s pretty easy to say Ryan is a superior defender to Jeter, it’s much harder to actually quantify that. It’s a lot easier to quantify how much better Jeter is at hitting.

    • OldYanksFan says:

      Everything said above is quite valid.
      And my idea wasn’t to compare Jeter the players to Ryan the player. It was simply to give some background as to who might be more valuable in 2014. And just looking at Ryan’s last 7 years, even with his limited playing time, he averaged about 2.5 bWar.

      Perception wise, Defense is never valued as highly as Offense, so it is hard to compare an all-offense player to an all-defense player. Although SS is traditionally thought of as a defense first position.

      In any event, my guess is Ryan, if given some consistent playing time, is quite likely to match or out-WAR Jeter in 2014. Not a given, but not unreasonable.

      I believe between the 2, they may post a 2 bWar, which is certainly passible.

      How about Jeter DH’ing against LHP (50 games) and playing SS until after his 3rd AB (5th or 6th inning, 100 games) and then Ryan comes in. That’s about 550 PA for Jetes. (It would never happen, but it’s fun to think about.)

      • Preston says:

        I think the fact that they are polar opposites makes them a good duo. Hopefully Cashman, Girardi and co. sit down and come up with a way to maximize Jeter’s ABs and Ryan’s innings in the field. Jeter needs to be playing everyday against LHP and as many of Ryan’s starts need to be with the more ground ball oriented of our SPs with Jeter being out there when our more fly ball oriented SPs are on the mound(whoever those SPs may end up being).

    • RetroRob says:

      If Brendan Ryan is capable of producing 5.5-7.8 WAR over the course of a full season (as is shown in five out of those seven seasons), he would be a starting SS. He is not a starting SS because he would never produce those numbers over the course of 162 games.

  11. Farewell Mo says:

    Another day and still the Yankees bullpen is a total mess. Cashman is really dropping the ball by not signing a quality set up man or closer

    He’s gonna end up having to trade prospects for relievers come June or July for being short sighted.

    • jjyank says:

      We also have very, very little idea on what is going on. Is Cashman dropping the ball? Or did other teams just have better offers on the table with more of a guarantee of a role? Maybe the Yankees value Robertson more and couldn’t promise the closer spot. There’s a lot of moving parts and we need to remember that Cashman can’t just force players to sign here.

      Probably my least favorite part of the offseason is all the people to claim that GM’s are dropping the ball by not signing player X, when in reality, we have no idea how negotiations evolved between the Yankees, the player, and the other 29 teams.

      • Eselquetodolosabe says:

        Absolutely agree that “fans” aren’t privy to the behind the scenes, front office machinations. That said, what’s NY’s bull-pen plan ? Consensus is that bull-pen depth is needed – beyond MiLB options, so what are some bull-pen options ? I’m probably in the minority, but I’m not completely sold on Robertson as the closer, and as of now, the only real option on the roster. Grant Balfour seems to be too obvious an option. And at his cost (~ 2 @ 7,8 per), and his experience, why is this guy still out there ? Is it in fact his medical’s uncovered by Baltimore ? There seems to be plenty of arguments refuting Baltimore’s findings. In Balfour, someone might be getting a proven closer, at bargain basement prices…, why not The Yankees ?

        • jjyank says:

          Yeah, I’d be down with signing Balfour. The bullpen doesn’t look great on paper right now, but there’s still time. The ball hasn’t been dropped yet.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

            The question, to me, is still whether Balfour is down with signing with us.

            • jjyank says:

              Of course. That’s the point I was trying to make in my comment above. This ain’t a video game, and Balfour may not like the uncertainty of who exactly will pitch in the 9th inning. He may prioritize that over a couple extra million. Or he could not, like Rafael Soriano didn’t. We shall see.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

                We don’t know. His comments after the Baltimore deal seemed to me to be those of someone who expects to be closing ballgames, and I don’t think the Yankees should be in the business of guaranteeing him that.

              • Preston says:

                It’s easier on the ego to say you’ll set up for the greatest of all time than to have to say you might set up for a guy who’s never been a full time closer.

        • qwerty says:

          Cashman is probably waiting to sign someone like Ryan Madson on the cheap. If he wants someone he’ll get them early, not wait until the offseason is almost over. This has always been his MO. This probably means he’s perfectly willing to go into the season with Clairborne and Robertson.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      The bullpen isn’t a total mess. The bullpen is unproven. Those are two very different things.

      I think they should bring in one more vet, especially to solidify the 7th and 8th a bit more, but I’d rather play mix and match until I get it right on the cheap all day over giving a bunch of multi year deals to middle relief.

      I would have liked Veras on the cheap. He’s off the board. Balfour on something two years or less is fine by me. Other than that, what, Ayala? Sure. Why not.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        Yanks acquired Shawn Kelley in spring training last year for a random Almonte. There’s plenty of time to get an extra arm or two for depth.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

        The bullpen is a pretty clear position of weakness right now.
        It was mediocre last year and they lost 2 of their most productive members.

        • jjyank says:

          I’m aware of that. Lets see what happens though.

        • TWTR says:

          But if there is one part of the roster where they have shown proficiency in development and turning even marginal talent acquisitions into valuable pieces, it is the pen, and handling it is probably Girardi biggest strength, irrespective of the occasional head scratching move.

          • jjyank says:

            Agreed. I’m far more concerned about the rotation, and that is in part because I feel reasonably confident that Cashman can find another Shawn Kelly somewhere. Couple that with another signing, and suddenly the bullpen looks alright.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

              AL relief average in 2013: 3.69 ERA, 3.75 FIP
              Kelley in 2013: 4.39 ERA, 3.63 FIP
              Yankees bullpen: 3.66 ERA, 3.91 FIP

              Finding another Kelley just cements the mediocrity.
              They need at least one, preferably 2 consistently above average relievers to go with DRob to turn the bullpen into a strength.
              I have no worries they’ll be able to fill spots 4-7 in the bullpen at least somewhat adequately with guys like Kelley, internal options, or acquisitions. My worry is who fills spots 1-3 with DRob.

              • JGYank says:

                Thornton has replaced Logan so that has some positives and negatives but is mostly a downgrade IMO looking at their 2013 stats. Robertson and Kelley are still there. Joba is gone and I’m going to assume that his replacement will be better. Mo is gone and his replacement will probably be a big downgrade unless we sign Balfour which makes it less of a downgrade. Let’s say Phelps Cabral Warren Nuno and Betances all get a shot to fill out the back end. Maybe Montgomery but I haven’t heard about him in a while. We’re possibly looking at Drob Kelley Thornton Cabral Betances Phelps Nuno assuming Warren fills out the last rotation spot and we sign another starter. So it will be worse from losing Mo and Logan but adding Thornton, losing Joba, and keeping Drob, and Kelley should keep it from collapsing completely. Adding Balfour would make it average or maybe above average depending on how the guys in the back end perform.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

                Well, they’re counting on Kelley taking a next step in his development and show more of those months where he was lights-out, so it’s not exactly the entire story to just cite last year’s numbers.

                Kelley is a risk in the same way most middle relief is a risk, but moreso because he has little track record. Going with upside, and mixing and matching with depth, is still an effective way of building a bullpen, even if it comes with growing pains.

                Like TWTR said, the Yanks have done this well before, and they’ve also been able to make adjustments well as the season wears on. We’ve gone into seasons with Brian Bruney penciled in to pitch meaningful innings.

                • jjyank says:

                  Right. And to be clear, when I said they could find another Shawn Kelly, I didn’t even mean someone that will replicate his 2013 numbers. I mean guys like him. The Yankees have been good at getting guys like that for next to nothing. The Cory Wades, Luis Ayalas, Clay Rapadas, etc. of the world.

                  That’s why I’m not super concerned. Mildly, sure, until a move actually happens. But again, I’m reasonably confident that the bullpen will get worked out in some way or another.

                • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

                  When they’ve done it well before, they’ve basically had two elite relievers (DRob/Mo and DRob/Soriano when Mo was hurt) and then filled in after that.
                  They’re missing that second elite reliever right now, which makes the rest of the pen even more of a concern.
                  There are plenty of teams that have gone with the mix and match approach and have it torpedo their playoff chances.
                  Kelley will be 30 in April and has 177 MLB games to his credit as basically a league average-ish, injury prone reliever. I don’t see where there’s much reason to expect him to be significantly different than that going forward.

                  Useful piece? Sure.

                  Late inning/ high leverage guy to count on for big things? Not so much.

                  • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

                    You expected things to remain at the same level after the greatest closer of all time retired?

                    What is your suggestion?

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

                      No. I would hope they look to improve on last years bullpen performance, even without Mo.
                      The bullpen was middle of the pack even with Mo last year.

                      Bullpen is an area where they could/should be looking to improve on last years performance.

                      Signing someone like Balfour would be a start.
                      Trying to piece together almost an entire bullpen by mixing/matching/praying for unexpectedly good performances seems like a strategy likely to fail more times than not.
                      And a strategy that is even more likely to fail now that Mo is gone.
                      A strategy that might have worked to some degree when you start with 2 elite relievers is less likely to work when you start with just 1 elite reliever.
                      Adjusting the strategy in the wake of Mo’s retirement would seem to make sense.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

                      I think they should pursue Balfour as well, so we arrive at a pretty similar conclusion here.

                      I think they would like to improve on last year’s bullpen as well, but it seems to me that they look to accomplish this via improvement from already-existing pieces, and have sought/are seeking reinforcements. They’ve always been said to be in the conversation for Balfour, and I think the sticking point has probably been Balfour looking to get a closing gig and not an 8th innings/if the other guy messes up gig.

                      You correctly acknowledge the risk in their strategy. I acknowledge the possibility that it’s also an effective way of building a bullpen, especially when we consider the long-held opinion many have that middle relief is highly volatile.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

                      If making him closer is the only difference between signing Balfour and not signing Balfour, I really don’t see what the issue is.
                      With both DRob and Balfour, I’d rather keep DRob as the EIG anyways, even if he is the better pitcher.
                      The only real significant difference I see between the two roles is if one pitcher can’t mentally handle the ninth. Balfour has shown no such problems.

                    • Preston says:

                      It’s hard to have a good bullpen when you give a lot of innings to negative contributors. Giving 42 innings to Joba last year dragged down the units production. Adam Warren threw the most innings of any of the relievers and was replacement level. You know that among the relievers you use throughout the year random guys are going to give you negative value but a bullpen is really dragged down when two key guys giving you 111 of the 477 relief innings are replacement level or below. We aren’t going to find a replacement for Mo, no matter what we do the 8th and 9th inning guys aren’t going to be better in 2014, but those two guys accounted for 3.1 of the 3.6 WAR from the bullpen last year. It’s not hard to imagine the MRP providing a lot more value next year allowing for a better overall bullpen.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

                      If David Robertson returns in 2014 to pitch the eighth inning for the New York Yankees, and does it well, while the team brings in a Balfour for two years to close, he’s closing for a team not named the New York Yankees in 2015.

                      Long-term, it’s much more preferable for the Yankees to give Robertson an honest chance to succeed at closer in 2014, then look to extend him.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

                      I’d imagine Robertson, like most players, will go where the money is.
                      Not having him close this year could potentially make it cheaper to keep Robertson long-term. They could help themselves by aggressively pursuing an extension before that becomes an issue.

                      Preston: Agree on Joba.
                      Warren had a 1.2 bWAR, fwiw. He significantly outperformed his peripherals, and didn’t really drag down the Yankees bullpen numbers, except in terms of expected performance instead of actual performance.

    • Preston says:

      I agree we need a back end bull-pen arm. But I think the real answer to the bull-pen problem is finding another starter or two. Right now we have CC, Kuroda and Nova. That means two of Pineda, Phelps, Warren, Nuno, Marshall, Ramirez and eventually Banuelos are competing for those starting spots, and the rest probably need to be starting everyday in AAA so they’re stretched out and ready to go when we need the 6th and 7th starters. If we add two more SP, then a few of those guys can be in the big league pen without sacrificing too much SP depth.

  12. TWTR says:

    JR Smith didn’t know the score when he took that shot near the end of the game. Amazing…or not…

  13. nsalem says:

    I think the Yankees are creating mess by not extending Robertson now and giving him what he deserves. Maybe they can’t promise him the closers job but he has been nothiing but consistent in his time. In the end whether he pitches the 8th or 9th and whether or not we sign another big time time should not stop the Yankee’s from locking him up for the next 3 years. If he has another great year, I’m sure there will be teams lining up to give him big money to make him a closer. .

    • TWTR says:

      Why is it a mess? They can commit to him as the closer any time they want, and offer a tremendous contract, if they think it’s warranted. They have made significant mistakes, but I don’t think their handling of Robertson to this point is one of them.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:


        I actually think those who want him locked into the 8th, and a name guy brought in, are the ones barking up the wrong tree. You don’t give DRob a chance to close, and see what you’ve got, someone else is going to do just that in 2015.

      • jjyank says:

        Yeah, that, and its entirely possible that Robertson and his agent don’t even want an extension until he has a crack at some save opportunities.

      • nsalem says:

        Robertson is arguably has been the most best and most consistent set-up man in baseball over the last four years and deserves to be paid as a closer whether we choose to use him in that role or not. He has been rock solid during the regular season and also during the playoffs except fo the implosion in I think it was game 3 of the 2010 playoffs against the Rangers in a game they were losing anyway because Cliff Lee was shutting them out. We did this with Tom Gordon in 04 and 05 and it worked out great (except for the playoffs). His lifetime numbers are equivlent or better than Huston Street who got a nice 4 year deal at about age 28 and I think Robertson deseves the same whether he is pitching the 8th or 9th.
        To me it’s a mess because they are risking losing someone who has performed consitenly in a role that is raely performed that way. It’s just my opinion, but I think that more tha any other Yankee he warrants an extension.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:


          I look to extend him as well. I also think it may not be in his best interest to do this quickly.

        • jjyank says:

          I agree that they should extend him if they could. However, it’s not just the Yankees that need to make that decision. Robertson and his agent need to be open to an extension. Honestly, if I were Robertson, I’d want a chance to pile up some saves before getting paid. It’s a risk I would take, and he might also want to wait before signing anything.

        • qwerty says:

          How can they give him an extension when it’s against policy?

  14. Yanksinfirst says:

    What do you think happens when Grandy comes back for the Subway Series? I say he gets riddled with boos.

    • jjyank says:

      Why do you say that? He was a pretty likeabke guy.

      • JGYank says:

        I think he’s referring to the real fans in NY comment or whatever it was that Grandy said.

        • Yanksinfirst says:

          Yeah, Grandy was and pretty stupid when he said “The real NY fans are Mets fans” He’s going to get booed, as when you sign with a rival and trashtalk your first team, you will get booed

          • JGYank says:

            I don’t think so. It was a stupid comment that most people won’t care about coming from a good guy trying to say something positive about his new team and he ended up spewing bs.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

            Except that is not in the least what he said.

            He said that some New Yorkers have told him that “real” New Yorkers are Mets fans.

            Guess what? I know many people who actually feel that way.

            I don’t find anything wrong with him saying that, nor do I think he was attempting to slight Yankee fans in the least.

            Anyone who boos him for that and, say, argues that you should be giving Robbie Cano cheers…..I don’t know what to say to someone like that. I just wish them well.

          • jjyank says:

            I wasn’t aware that he said that, and if Fish Fingers here is correct on the clarification, he shouldn’t get booed.

            After a quick google, he’s right. The exact quote is “A lot of people have told me real New Yorkers are Mets fans”.

            I read that as an attempt to endear himself to his new fan base, nothing more. He wasn’t bashing the Yankees, he simply relayed something that he was told. I’m sure an awful lot of Mets fans feel that way.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

              They do feel that way.

              • nsalem says:

                I think the root of these comments comes from the belief that most people who lived in the city but not in the Bronx were Dodger and Giants fans. The Yankees drew from The Bronx, Westchester and New Jersey. When the Dodgers and Giants moved those fans didn’t switch to the Yankees and when the Mets arrived these abandoned NL fans embraced the Mets. They never cared for the AL anyway and the advent of the DH 15 years or so later increased their AL hatred. The NL also adapted to integration much more quickly than the AL especially the Yankees and RedSox. It took the Yankees until 1955 to integrate and in this article you can read Stengel’s comment on the acquisition.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

                  Sure…..and their children have carried on that tradition and don’t really have much of an interest in rooting for the Yankees.

              • Farewell Mo says:

                I’ve lived in NY for 42 years and have never once heard the meme that real new Yorkers root for the Mets. In fact the Mets entire fan base was created on people who don’t really root for the Mets but root against the Yankees, many if not most coming from families of former Brooklyn Dodger or NY Giants fans. Even their owner has tried to turn them into a reincarnation of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Anyone who really believes that crap is pretty ignorant IMO.

                I think the reponse to Grandy will be mixed, probably slighty more cheers. Yankees fans aren’t really hating on the Mets much recently since they’ve been so bad for so long and have become a pretty much non entity.

                IMO, Grandys tenure in pinstripes was rather unmemorable. He hit a bunch of homers, struck out a ton and played some crappy center field defense. He had few signature moments that stand out in my mind and the Yankees really did nothing memorable during his time here. I don’t think he was even among the top 5 most popular Yankees at any time.
                In reality, the team would have been better off in the long and short run if they had never traded for him in the 1st place.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

                  This isn’t a meme.

                  You are correct in making the Giants/Dodgers/Mets parallel. Working class families who see those teams as working class teams while the Yankees are the team of the rich. Rooting for the Yankees is the easy way out. I have one friend who calls it rooting for the GOP (not that there’s anything wrong that….obvious disclaimer to avoid panties bunching.)

                  I don’t think there’s anything overly memorable about Curtis’s play other than his power. In that sense, no, I don’t think he’s remembered any more than, say, Gary Sheffield or Jesse Barfield or whatnot. He is a great representative of what a baseball player should be, though, and I am certainly glad he got to wear the pinstripes. Like I said, I’ll be cheering him at Citifield AND at YS3.

                  • nsalem says:

                    Actuall the old saying was “Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for US Steel” If you google that quote you will come up with lots of interestin results. My family is from the Bronx and my dad was vendor at Yankee Stadium in the days of Babe Ruth. He was from a poor family and a huge Giant fan. Mell Ott was his hero.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

                      We’ve still got a commenter here with that screen name, you know.

                      Same general idea, though, I guess. :)

  15. nsalem says:

    No way Granderson gets booed.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Agreed. Him I cheer the shit out of. I’m glad he stayed in NY. I’ll have one guy to root hard for when I go to Citifield.

    • Lukaszek says:

      No way Im gonna boo him. If I get a chance to see the Mets play, im cheering for Grandy! Despite what people say about his batting average, 40 homeruns a year is pretty damn good

  16. JGYank says:

    Besides the bench, the pen is the last thing I’m worried about. As others have mentioned you can build a pen on the fly with Kelley type acquisitions. Plus the Tigers have showed you can win without a good pen even if their offense and rotation are really good until they upgraded their pen last year. The Yanks have a good enough offense (the infield could still be improved), solid defense overall, and are a good SP signing (Tanaka?) away from a decent rotation that may still have some questions but also has a ton of potential since CC could still bounce back, Nova could continue his 2nd half surge, Kuroda has been great overall for 2 straight years, Tanaka (if signed) can be a good middle of the rotation starter that the league isn’t familiar with and we could always make a deal before the trade deadline for our remaining needs. So I think we’re a good starter and a mostly healthy season away from a postseason appearance.

    • Yanksinfirst says:

      “Mostly healthy” yeah not happening…

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Pen is third to me behind mid-rotation and the infield for sure, and it’s not even particularly a close third.

      • JGYank says:

        Agree. Having a good offense and rotation are much more important than having a good pen. Even defense is kind of close in importance to the pen for me.

    • Oy says:

      Yankees have one of the worst infields in the MLB.

      Signing Tanaka still leaves the rotation in question. Sabathia was number 5 starter last year. Kuroda will be a 39 year old who broke down in September last year. I’m high on Nova, but the guy only has 2 successful season halves to his credit. Tanaka would be a 120+ million investment for a pitcher with a huge mileage on his arm, and only a 7.8 K/9 in Japan. MLB hitters will be all over his low 90s fastball up in the zone. Sure, the rotation has potential to be great, but every rotation in the MLB has the potential for greatness.

      The bullpen is a mess after Robertson.

      Can you seriously rely on old man Beltran and Soriano to sustain their production? Ichiro and Youk broke last year.

      Yankees need to go after Balfour and Rodney.

      • JGYank says:

        McCann should help solidify the infield as should possible Tex and Jeter rebounds. I’m not expecting Jeter and Tex to carry the team or anything just to not be well below average. I think Tex can still put up 2+ WAR if he stays healthy. Jeter is an unknown but he probably won’t be terrible offensively. Roberts and Johnson should be average or around there. The rotation is a question no matter what they do. CC has to bounce back a lot, Nova is up and down, Kuroda has to end his fade. Tanaka will be a question mark, Jimenez is extremely inconsistent, Santana has had good and bad years, Garza is often injured and has no major upside. But if we sign Tanaka that rotation has a lot of potential as well. Without another starter the rotation would be pretty bad though. The pen isn’t good but can be improved as we go along and signing Balfour would really help. The outfield is in good shape as long as Gardner is kept. Beltran is declining but he can still hit and will get a boost from YS and can DH if he needs to rest. He adds a switch hitter to the lineup. Soriano may or may not decline. Obviously he won’t repeat the 2nd half of last year but he doesn’t have to and we still have 3 other starting outfielders in case one gets injured or doesn’t perform. The offense and defense looks good enough and if we add some pitchers and infield depth we should be ok.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        Signing Tanaka leaves the rotation with questions, but both with a ton more upside and depth should everything not trend positive. Not everything there is going to trend negative.

        The bullpen is unproven. It is not a mess. Clearly, by advocating for the Yankees to sign two closers when they already have a pitcher in that role, you think it’s a mess because there’s not enough names you’ve seen before in that bullpen. Bullpens are often built by trial and error, and I’m perfectly comfortable with the Yankees doing that.

        You compare Sori and Beltran’s track records to Ichiro and Youk and tell me.

        If everything is going to trend wrong, why even bother.

        • JGYank says:

          Assuming we sign Tanaka, the best and worst cases for the rotation in my estimation are:

          Best: CC: 3.30 ERA 230 IP Kuroda: 3.30 ERA 210 IP Tanaka: 3.20 ERA 220 IP Nova: 3.50 ERA 210 IP 5th SP: 4.00 ERA 180 IP

          Worst: CC: 5.00 ERA, Kuroda: 4.70 ERA, Tanaka 4.90 ERA, Nova: 5.20 ERA, 5th SP: 5.50 ERA

          Didn’t include IP for worst case since they would probably not start as much or would get injured. But there’s a ton of potential for sure but also a ton that could go wrong.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

            That “worst” is pretty shitty, but the odds of everyone shitting the bed aren’t great.

          • JGYank says:

            What I would expect/be satisfied with:

            CC: 3.75 ERA 200 IP, Kuroda: 3.70 ERA 190 IP, Tanaka: 3.80 ERA 200 IP, Nova: 4.10 ERA 175 IP, 5th SP: 4.60 ERA 155 IP.

            What do you guys think? I think I should increase CC’s ERA a bit and maybe Tanaka’s but I think everything else is reasonable.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

              I’d be kissing the ground if it happens that way, and we’ll be in the playoffs.

              • JGYank says:

                With our lineup, definitely. But that was without injuries and assuming we sign Tanaka. Plus I was generous with CC’s ERA but I think it’s reasonable production wise.

        • Oy says:

          Soriano will be 38. Can we really rely on him to smack 30 out of the park? Due to his lack of OBP skills, he’s a corpse with out his power.

          Beltran will be 37, coming of a year with only 2.0 fWAR and 2.4 bWAR. Yes, he is still a threat offensively, but is a horrid defender who will probably be a full time DH in 2015-16.

          The bullpen is a mess. Who is behind Robertson? Are you comfortable with going into the 7th and 8th with Kelly (4.39 ERA) and Claiborn with 4.11 ERA? Warren has proven to be a reliable long relief arm, but as off right now he is the team’s 4th or 5th starter. Sure, you can roll with a bullpen like this, but it won’t go far. Look at the quality of Boston’s and St.Luis’ bullpens going into 2013. Yankees can absolutely benefit with signing Balfour and Rodney,

          • JGYank says:

            Soriano won’t have to play everyday and neither will Beltran. Both can DH whenever they have to and Ellsbury makes up for any declining they do. RF is small in YS and should hide Beltran/Soriano somewhat. The pen needs work for sure but they did get Thornton as a lefty and they can improve it as they go along. Balfour or Rodney would definitely help but I’d focus on the rotation and infield right now particularly Tanaka. We do need a set up man but if the Yanks really improve rotation/infield I can live with a crappy pen and there’s still a chance we find a useful piece on the scrap heap pile or pull a Kelley type trade. We need a SP more than anything right now. If we don’t improve the rotation/infield or just have extra $ to spend I’m not comfortable with the pen and am all for spending on relief help.

        • Chip Rodriguez says:

          Yup, and Cashman has shown he can put together a decent bullpen from scrap heap selections and last minute trades. After what he managed with guys like Eppley, Rapada and Kelley, the bullpen issues worry me the least.

          I’ll keep fingers crossed for another starter though, whether or not Tanaka signs. I’m not optimistic that he’ll come to the Bronx, but I don’t think it’ll be for lack of trying.

          • RobO says:

            Yup, and better teams wrap up their bullpens much earlier. Cause they respect its relevance, I guess.

            Terrible posts in this thread. Mo gone equals big downgrade so, hey, let’s do nothing! That record in one win games is toast.

  17. Oy says:

    Can Yovani Gallardo be a target? Brewers are not contending next year and Yankees would only be on a hook for one year, with an interesting 13 mill option for 2015 if he sustains his numbers. Looks better than going after the domestic three or giving Tanaka over 120 million.

    A few 5-10 top prospects should get it done. Might as well take Aramis Ramirez.

    • Preston says:

      Gallardo is trending the wrong way right now with both velocity and K% significantly down last season. I think the Brewers would probably be asking for more than I’d want to pay for him. Aramis is only useful to us if A-Rod is gone and the Yankees think he can handle starting at 3b the majority of days. I don’t know if he’s a good enough fielder or healthy enough to do that anymore.

    • forensic says:

      I would take Tanaka over Gallardo, but barring that, I would’ve absolutely gone after Gallardo. His numbers improved greatly after he came back from his injury last season (not sure if the velocity differed), and I would’ve absolutely taken a risk with him given all the positives and potential upside return to what he was.

      Unfortunately, there hasn’t really been any talk of a trade involving him since around the trade deadline or so, so I think that’s probably not really an option at this point.

  18. Big Member says:

    its seems that the offseason is winding down but the yankess still have plenty of holes to plug. fortunately ive analised the best available players who yankees should aim to aquir before the season begins:

    Bronson Arroyo: the guy has been in the game forever. he knows what it takes to win, he won 14 games last year with the reds and had a very respectable 3.79 ERA. he pitched in a homer box park so his numbers might even be deflated. he used to pitch for the red sox so it will be a excruciating bowl to boston if we get such an arm in our rotation. i think 4 years 60 million and a chance to stick it to his old team might be enough to get this elite starter.

    Neleson Cruz: now i know what your going to say. yankess already have plenty of outfielders with wells, ichiro, gardnerson, soriano and the newly signed beltran and ellsberry.But the Yankees can still use a bat and bats like cruz are rarely still on the market in january. Cruz smoked 90 RBIs in 2012 and hit 76 RBI in only 107 games last year! the owndership already siad that they dont have issues with peds so maybe cruz can even juice a little and levine wont care. I think 4 years 50 million gets him to the bronx.

    but what will we do with so many ourfielders? for starters, texas will be sad because they just lost cruz to us to maybe if we send them wells and gardnerson they will give us andrus.

  19. Kenny says:

    What are we to make of these rumors of a huge Yankee spending spree on international … well, kids (as far as I can tell). This, from Lohud:

    According to Kiley McDaniel at scout.com, the Yankees are prepared to spend roughly $25 million on international free agents in 2014, a number that would far exceed the record for international spending in a single year. A little more than half of that money would go toward actual signing bonuses, the rest would be paid in penalties for going far beyond — as in, six or seven times beyond — their allotted international spending limit as dictated by Major League Baseball.


    Apparently all this in anticipation of some damned formal draft for internationals.

    • Preston says:

      I get why they’re doing it, and it’s probably smart because of the way the system is set up. But it’s hard to do. Most of the top IFA sign at 16, which means you’re scouting them as 15 yo’s. It’s really hard to tell who the top kids are at that age, you’re doing a lot of projecting. And a lot changes in that year. So you could give out 8 top dollar contracts to guys who look like top ten IFA at the beginning of the signing period, but by the end of the signing period after a year of growth you might wish you picked 8 different ones. But if you wait until later in the signing period to get a longer look at the kids there might not be anybody left to sign.

    • vicki says:

      classic yankee behavior; i approve.

    • OldYanksFan says:

      Shows me the FO understand that your Farm system is your future. And if you plan on being a top 8 team that also signs top FAs, your draft picks are always gonna be towards the bottom of the barrel.

      This is a good sign. Let’s hope it nets us some good players.

    • forensic says:

      Eh, doing that is such a crapshoot that I don’t consider it a huge deal. Hopefully it helps, if even true, but we’ll see.

      The way things go for them these days, the international draft with probably be long delayed now since the Yankees won’t be able to sign anyone for a few years.

      Given all their lost draft picks this offseason, though, at least it’ll give them some semblance of youth in the organization, though many of these guys may not even step foot in the US for years.

      • Alkaline says:

        Like you said, it’s at least them trying to utilize a strength they currently have.

      • Preston says:

        The way I understood the plan was that all the written penalties for going over are monetary. And with the rumblings of the international draft, the Yankees are just willing to absorb them to cash in on their advantage forcing MLB into changing the system. If they don’t do the draft the penalties would only be in the next off-season and then they could repeat the process the year after. If the Rumors are true, the Yankees are planning on spending almost 7 times what their allotment was last year(actually 13 times once you factor in the penalties they’ll pay), it’ll be more than double what the Astros pool was. That’s would make it worth while to be excluded from spending anything in 2015, and if no changes to the system are made you just double down and do it again in 2016. It’s like trading the chance to choose in the bottom half of the draft every year in order to draft first and second every other year. It should result in getting more high end talent, but it’ll cost a lot more too. Their money not mine.

        • forensic says:

          Yeah, the penalties are only monetary, but those penalties mean you can’t sign anyone big in those years you’re penalized.

          And it’s a two year penalty (according to Chad Jennings), not just one. So you can’t double-down and do it again in 2016.

          So, the Yankees go big in 2014, can’t spend much at all in 2015 and 2016, and then finally the draft goes in by 2017. The Yankees are probably expecting the draft before 2017, but if it now gets delayed, then they’re costing themselves 2 years of signing guys plus whatever may happen to them in the draft.

          • Preston says:

            Didn’t realize it was a two year penalty. That definitely makes it more of a crap shoot. Last year with their pool they were able to sign BA’s top 5 guy and couple of interesting guys outside the top 30. So in order for it to be beneficial they need to sign at least 5 guys in the top 30 and plenty more interesting guys outside it. It’s a tall order but for the rumored 12-13 million they could certainly pull it off.

  20. Eselquetodolosabe says:

    Joel Hanrahan anybody ? This guy was close to lights out not too long ago. Coming off TJ (I believe), but still young. imo, very interesting buy low candidate.

    • Farewell Mo says:

      Why not. They need to address the many holes in the pen at some point

    • Tom says:

      Absolutely. Though I think he is planning on not signing and doing a workout sometime close to ST where if he’s healthy (or pretty far along) he should be able to get better than the standard injury reclamation type contract.

      He’s apparently ahead of schedule; I think he had TJ surgery last May (?) and is already throwing off a mound and might be ready for the season.

      I saw a short blurb on this on MLBTraderumors a day or two ago if interested.

    • forensic says:

      Eh, he’s 32 next season anyway, so not exactly still young.

      But regardless of that, he had TJ surgery in May and I doubt he’s ready for the start of the season (despite reports that he thinks he’s ahead of schedule). Also, they don’t need someone with his walk numbers, especially when combined with some of his homerun numbers, out in the bullpen. That’s just throwing gas on the fire…

  21. Eselquetodolosabe says:

    While we’re on reclamation projects, does Johan Santana tickle the panels fancy ? He supposedly has multiple minor league offers, I wonder if NYs in that group ?

    • Farewell Mo says:

      I’d be game on a minor league contract though I think the chances of him even being a 5th starter or long reliever are slim.

  22. Eselquetodolosabe says:

    …, and for god’s sake Axisa, this inactivity is f’ing maddening ! Please post something, fictitious or not ! …, i.e., “Yankees buy Rakuten Golden Eagles, and will treat as farm club !”

    • Betty Lizard says:

      Silence can be a plan
      rigorously executed

      the blueprint of a life

      It is a presence
      it has a history a form

      Do not confuse it
      with any kind of absence

      • vicki says:

        this time of year i lament Silence no less than absence.

        also, Silence is lucky we notice her these days.

      • Eselquetodolosabe says:

        This “planned silence” that you speak of…, I think I know of it. As a matter of fact, I know of it intimately ! Does it take the shape of a woman ?! Then, yes-yes, I know “her” very, very well !
        *looks over shoulder – both of them

    • forensic says:

      It’s still the end of the holiday break for everyone. What’s the big deal? Mike said regularly scheduled programming would resume tomorrow…

  23. Grit for Brains says:

    So the Yanks usually let their players reach free agency, don’t extend them before they have to…Robbie Cano was an exception.

    I was just wondering how it would have worked out if instead of inking that extension they had let him reach free agency earlier and perhaps resigned him when he was younger…I’m not good at this sort of thing but I think he would have instead hit free agency after the 2010 season. So they may have paid him about $25 mil more (maybe 30) over the last three years but if it had been a hypothetical eight year contract he got at that time, they’d have him a five year deal now which would look pretty ideal for an elite level 31 year old player.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Didn’t the Yankees actually extend Cano before all this?

      You weren’t avoiding this…..unless you were willing to pay $300 million.

    • forensic says:

      Yes, he would’ve been a FA after 2010 initially. But, I don’t think there’s any way you’re signing a guy coming off the season he would’ve just come off, going into his age 28 season, to just an 8 year deal as a FA.

      That contract likely goes at least 10 years, though in all likelihood, his agent would’ve tried to get some sort of opt-out in there, maybe after 5 or 6 years (I’m not sure what year he went to Boras as his agent). That would’ve made him a FA after 2015 or 2016, instead (assuming he uses the opt-out). It certainly would’ve cost them more over 2011-2013, but they would still have him for another year or two (or three).

      His age and the season he would’ve been coming off of make this pretty tough to really theorize what might have actually happened.

      It is kind of interesting to consider this situation with all the recent bitching about how the Yankees need to sign more players to early extensions (Cano’s extension was the last one the Yankees signed with an arb-eligible player). Of course, we have no idea how spending that extra money in the earlier years might’ve affected other moves.

      • forensic says:

        I was initially think that the agent would’ve pushed for an opt-out after only 4 years (FA after 2014), but figured that less than half the contract would’ve been too tough for the Yankees to agree to. But, then I started thinking about Sabathia and how his agents were able to convince the Yankees to get an opt-out less than halfway through his deal, so maybe the Yankees would’ve been sucked in again. Who knows…

  24. OldYanksFan says:

    I believe Eric O’Flaherty (LH, RP) is still unsigned. He looks like a good pickup to me.


    • forensic says:

      He had TJ surgery last May and will likely miss the first part of the season. And, since they already invested in Thornton, I don’t think they need to put more money towards another LOOGY with Cabral already in the organization. Plus, reports are that he’s likely going to re-sign with Atlanta eventually anyway.

      • OldYanksFan says:

        Too bad. He’s not just a LOOGY, but a legit 7th or 8th inning guy.

        • Preston says:

          If he’s willing to change teams I hope the FO called him. They have shown a willingness to go after reclamation projects like this before.

        • forensic says:

          He may periodically be able to get by being a 7th or 8th inning guy in the NL East, but I’m not taking my chances with doing that in the AL East, especially coming right off the surgery.

  25. forensic says:

    Three games in cold weather cities, and not a single one of while it’s snowing or with snow even on the field.

    I know I can’t be the only one disappointed about that. Now it just looks like they’re playing on a dead field where it’s a little cold, not that one snow storm just passed and another is supposedly on its way.

    Hopefully it at least snows for the Super Bowl.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      I can send you some of the ice I keep on slipping on on the damn sidewalk, if you’d like. I think it can survive the flight to Nevada if I just pack it tightly enough.

      • forensic says:

        I’ll buy you a cooler if you also head out to Long Island and throw my favorite pizza on earth in it with the ice and send it this way…

  26. Has anyone else heard/seen the rumors about a JJ Putz/Ichiro swap? I first heard it on WFAN this morning and saw a brief mention of it on MLBTR.

    It wouldn’t save any salary, it would actually add it, but it would address a bullpen depth need. Putz setting up for DRob.

    Although at $7MM, Putz’ salary for 2014, I’d rather Balfour closing with DRob as the setup man. But this would rid the Yanks of Ichiro, so…

    • forensic says:

      I don’t think it was so much a rumored swap as much as it was Rosenthal just throwing out random ideas involving an OFer with a similar salary to Putz. The very next sentence he talked about Putz being included for Gallardo, which hasn’t been rumored at all. So, it’s more just random thoughts.

      In a vacuum, I wouldn’t have a problem with trading Ichiro, and Putz could be useful for the pen, but trading Ichiro means Wells almost certainly sticks on the roster. Ichiro, even as far as he’s fallen, still at least has some value defensively and on the bases, whereas Wells’ only value is making sure the bench in the dugout doesn’t blow away.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        It’s an interesting idea, to be sure.

        Goes to show that, for all the bullpen panic I read here, there are plenty of avenues outside of the couple of name guys on the FA market to still add bullpen depth, even if this is just throwing ideas out.

      • Some other guy named Mike says:

        Can’t they get one of Sabathia’s kids to do that?

      • Eselquetodolosabe says:


        • forensic says:

          What about him? If they dumped Wells on a Monday to finish the Roberts/Thornton deals, I’d be fine with them then trading Ichiro on a Tuesday and having Almonte for that spot.

          But, if they dealt Ichiro before officially dumping Wells, there’s no way they’re just going to dump him to put Almonte on the 25-man instead.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner says:


            I honestly don’t mind if they just allow Ichiro to finish out his deal as fourth outfielder, though.

          • Eselquetodolosabe says:

            “What about him ?” At this point I believe The Yankees value Almonte more than Wells or Ichiro – though Ichiro, imo, has more value. I don’t know how they’ll rearrange the furniture, but I don’t think they’d be too concerned with losing Wells, and to a lesser extent, Ichiro. Ergo, Almonte – however they rearrange the furniture.

    • Alkaline says:

      It’s interesting.

      There have been some concerns about the bullpen. I would definitely feel more comfortable signing/trading for at least one more semi reliable reliever than what we have now.

      At the same time, I feel finding bullpen help is one of Cashman’s strengths, so in Cash I trust, but I’m biased.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        Pretty much how I feel. I don’t mind a mostly unproven bullpen, as I tend to be pretty cynical when it comes to veteran middle relief, but I also think they’re not leaving much margin for error if the only vet providing insurance against guys like Kelley and Claiborne not taking that next step forward is Matt Thornton.

        There’s till time and, while the sexy name out there would be nice, it doesn’t have to be him and it doesn’t have to be right now.

  27. Betty Lizard says:

    Arbitrator’s decision Friday.
    Tanaka doesn’t visit any teams (FaceTime!)
    As to which team gets Tanaka, ask again later.

    (Magic 8 Ball predictions)

    • forensic says:

      I’m hoping for earlier for the A-Rod decision, but not really holding my breath. I believe he has until Wednesday, January 15th, so I guess Friday is at least better than that.

      Just because you mentioned it, completed unrelated to anything else (hooray, open thread!), my agency now does oral boards (one step of job interviews) on facetime and Skype. I think that’s so asinine. It doesn’t do anything to show how people handle some pressure and deal with people in person, and they could even have others in the room with them helping them to answer questions. It seems everyone outside our HR department hates it, and yet they continue doing it.

      Just thought I’d throw that out there…

      • RetroRob says:

        So it’s not HR interviewing people by Skype/FaceTime, but it’s HR forcing the hiring managers to do the initial interviews through Skype? I’m really not a fan of it either, although I see it becoming more common. I can understand if the candidate is not local and the company wants to do a screen before making the expense of flying them out, but can’t understand it for local candidates. Narrow the candidates down and bring them in face-to-face.

        • forensic says:

          Yeah, the oral board is three people other than HR asking the candidates questions. Sometimes HR is in the room, but that’s mainly for observation and maybe liability purposes. They also don’t pay for people to travel to town for interviews, at least they didn’t when I was hired and I can’t imagine they do it now with the economy since then either, so it’s not a money saving thing.

          I believe they make people come out for selection interviews (the next step of the process), but they don’t for the oral boards.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

          Obviously, I’m in a different industry that can’t afford to bring people in, etc., but I do a ton of hiring. I’m often criticized for bringing in too many people for firsts and being rather inefficient, but I’m a very big believer in face-to-face interviewing. I’ve had colleagues attempt phone screenings and the such, and I’m just not a fan. I’ve had people be terrible over the phone and great in person.

          Skype and FaceTime would be an interesting way to do interviews, but I agree that a ton is lost. Hell, I often check in with the receptionist and see how the person did when they came in and waited.

      • Betty Lizard says:

        My uni uses Skype to interview a short list (faculty) which is then narrowed down to 3 or so to fly in for campus visits. I like the Skype format–huge improvement over the old days of conference calls and good for weeding out those who aren’t qualified enough. And it also allows for in depth answers not possible in the frenzy of a campus visit and allows us to follow a prepared set of questions. We look at everything together, though, including their creative research and how they talk about it and how they interact with students and faculty as well as the CV, references, etc.

    • RetroRob says:

      There’s been some conjecture that it won’t come before Friday since they won’t want to mix the A-Rod news in with the HOF announcement on Wednesday. I suppose that may be true, but to me that won’t preclude tomorrow, Monday, for an announcement.

      Also, the arbitrator is independent and should not be communicating with MLB/Selig He personally would have to decide to release the news post the HOF announcement. He is a big baseball fan so it’s not impossible, but I’m not buying the only day this week he can make the announcement is Friday. I think the only day he might stay clear from in Wednesday.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Your Magic 8-Ball says “FaceTime” and “Friday?” Must be a different manufacturer.

  28. Bill says:

    Send Suzuki, Wells, Romine and Betances to Arizona for Putz and Parra. Flip Parra and a minor leaguer to Reds for Bailey. If Reds won’t take Parra, then send them Gardner and let Parra start in LF and bat ninth for the Yanks, he can also back up in CF. This will allow us to add a starter (Bailey), reliever (Putz) and make room on the 40 man to add Roberts and Thornton.

    IF we are able to get Tanaka, it would be great, but if not we still can have a rotation of CC, Kuroda, Nova, Bailey and Phelps. Use Robertson as closer, with Putz and Thornton as Set Up. Long man, one from Warren, Nuno or Huff, with Kelley, Clairborne and Cabral finishing off bullpen. Line up would be Ellsbury, Jeter, Beltran, McCann, Tex, Soriano, Johnson, Roberts and Gardner or Parra (against Right handed starters). Against Leftys, start Ellsbury, Jeter, Beltran, Soriano, Tex, Nunez or Reynolds (until A-Rod is back), Cervelli, Roberts and Ryan.

    • forensic says:

      The last news about Parra is that they were thinking about extending him. Now, suddenly, they’re going to trade him (a clear MLB OF starter) AND an actual MLB reliever for a 4th and an 8th OFer, a borderline MLB back-up catcher, and a borderline MLB reliever?

      • Bill says:

        I admit this only works IF the rumor that D-Backs wanted to trade Putz for Suzuki is true. Romine is nothing special, but the only backup catcher on the D-Backs 40 man is Tuffy Groenweis, so Romine is an upgrade. The theory I read was dumping Putz’s salary and adding Suzuki was an attempt on the D-Backs part to improve their chances of signing Tanaka.

        • forensic says:

          Romine is probably an upgrade on Gosewisch, but it’s not huge and upgrading a back-up catcher is not exactly a big-time concern for most teams. The only thing I’ve seen floating Ichiro for Putz was Rosenthal making up his own ideas, and it wasn’t to dump Putz’ salary, but rather to take on a comparable salary since they traded for another closer in Reed.

          And even if the real reason was to make it easier for the D-Backs to sign Tanaka, that’s the last thing the Yankees need to be helping other teams do.

  29. Farewell Mo says:

    3 of the 4 wild card games were tremendous. Poor Cincinnati fans, screwed by having the bad Andy Dalton show up today.

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