Happy Saturday everyone. There’s college football and NBA action going on tonight, but feel free to use this as an open thread to talk about whatever you like. Enjoy.
MLBTR posted their Offseason Outlook for the Yankees yesterday, breaking down the team’s future and expiring payroll commitments, their needs and surpluses … basically everything you need to know about New York’s current situation. Chances are you know what the team is facing this winter if you’ve been reading RAB long enough, but MLBTR’s post has it all in one convenient place. Check it out.
Once you’re done with that, read up on the team’s arbitration cases in MLBTR’s Arbitration’s Eligibles post. Casey McGehee has already been cut loose, but the Yankees still have a trio of non-tender candidates in Jayson Nix, Eli Whiteside, and David Herndon. None of the three is projected to earn even $1M though, and I expect at least Nix and Herndon will be retained.
Drew asks: Since Yankee news has been slow lately, here is a fun question/scenario: If you could only pick one player from each team to make a roster and get it under the $189 million cap for 2013 who would you pick? It’s tougher than it sounds (Kemp or Kershaw) (Votto or Chapman) etc.
It was tougher than it sounds but mostly on the fringes of the roster. Getting to spend an average of $6.2M per roster spot isn’t all that difficult given some of the insane bargains out there, so I tried to take it easy on the pre-arbitration guys making the league minimum. Some of them (Mike Trout) were simply too good to pass up though.
The luxury tax is based on the average annual value of contracts. For players in their pre-arbitration years, I assume a flat $500k salary just to make the math easy (the league minimum is $480k). For arbitration-eligible guys, I used MLBTR’s projections. I included the $10M for benefits and whatnot, so it’s really a $179M limit for players and roughly $5.9M per roster spot. Here’s my club…
Notice there are two tabs there, one broken down by roster spot and one broken down by MLB team. I tried to play fair and pick actual bench/platoon players for the bench spots as well as guys who could be sent to the minors in real life for the extra five spots. I had enough payroll space left over to go nuts on stars if I really wanted. I fudged a little by taking Giancarlo Stanton as my DH, but I could have easily taken David Ortiz ($13M) and finagled the bench to get a Marlin instead of a Red Sox on there.
I don’t know how many games that roster would win but it sure would be a lot. Easily over 90 with perfect health and maybe even 100+. The lineup is bananas and I don’t really know how I’d line those guys up, probably Trout, Cano, Braun, Votto, Posey, Longoria, Stanton, Harper, Andrus. There’s no wrong answer really, you can make a case for Votto at leadoff given his ridiculous OBP. My rotation would probably go Verlander, Kershaw, Felix, Hamels, Sale despite Hamels being the highest paid. There’s no way that roster could stay under the $189M luxury tax threshold beyond like, 2014, given the huge impending raises for Posey, Trout, Kershaw, Sale, and Kimbrel, but I’ll happily take my chances the next two years.
The Yankees have been negotiating a new contract with Hiroki Kuroda since the end of the season, but Mark Saxon says the right-hander has told friends that his “first preference” is to pitch in Southern California next year. His two elementary school-aged daughters still live out there.
These reports that cite “friends” are always sketchy, and my very first thought when I read this was that Kuroda is trying to squeeze every last penny out of the Yankees. First we heard that it was either New York or Japan next year, then it was a personal list of teams, and now it’s Southern California specifically. Either way, the sooner Kuroda signs, the better. The Yankees could then move forward knowing they either got their guy or must find an alternative.
Happy Friday everyone. Hope your week was a little less hectic than mine, and if not, then just chill out tonight and relax a bit. The holiday is less than a week away. The Knicks are playing tonight, but talk about anything else you want here as well. Have at it.
Soriano pitch to Yanks: in last 50 years no team won world series with closer 40 or older
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) November 16, 2012
In the last 50 years, no team has won the World Series with Rafael Soriano
— Sam Miller (@SamMillerBP) November 16, 2012
I’m not trying to pick on Gammons here, more like trying to poke a hole in Scott Boras’ logic. The Yankees reportedly have some interest in bringing Rafael Soriano back on a two-year deal to help their bullpen, but his camp doesn’t need to use Mariano Rivera’s age to prove their point. We all know Rivera, who is coming off major knee surgery, will open next year at age 43 and is more of a liability now than every before. The Yankees know this as well as anyone, which is why they’re likely looking into other free agent relievers in case Soriano gets his money elsewhere.
And, for the record, Mo was 24 days away from his 40th birthday on the day the Yankees won the 2009 World Series.
This seemed inevitable, but I’m surprised we’re hearing about it so soon. While speaking with reporters at a charity event yesterday, Joe Girardi told Dan Martin that Derek Jeter’s fractured left ankle might not be fully healthy in time for Opening Day. Here’s the quote…
“He’s still basically non-weight-bearing, I believe, so, I really believe it might be a little push,” said the skipper. “Just because of the rehab and you have to get the full strength and maybe you’re not able to start doing the things you normally would in January … So I think there’s a little bit of a question, but I think he’ll find a way, because that’s who he is.”
Jeter, 38, suffered the fracture in Game One of the ALCS after playing on a bone bruise (that may or may not have contributed to the fracture) for more than a month. He had surgery to repair the break and miscellaneous ligament damage about a month ago, and his recovery time was expected to be 4-5 months. That put him on target to return either at the outset of Spring Training or a few weeks into camp. Remember, players will have to report a little earlier this year due to the World Baseball Classic.
I have two concerns here, the first being Jeter’s age and the potential for a slower than expected recovery. Older players tend to stay injured longer, it happens. Secondly, I’m worried about a setback during the rehab if he pushes himself too hard to come back, similar to what happened with Andy Pettitte and his leg this summer. The Yankees are already seeking a utility infielder upgrade so they obviously want to prepare in case the Cap’n isn’t 100% ready to go on Opening Day. Even if he is, they’d be wise to take it easy on him for the first few weeks of the season anyway.