Pete Caldera reports that the Yanks and Andy Pettitte are still talking about 2009. The Yanks, however, do not believe that Pettitte will accept a one-year, $10.5-million deal. To me, in this economy, Pettitte is taking a gamble that just isn’t going to pan out. The news that he reportedly had a three-year deal in excess of $35 million was clearly false, and no other team that we know of has made the 36-year-old an offer. He should take the money and come back to the Bronx. · (25) ·
Rich Lederer over at Baseball Analysts took a look pitchers around the league based on strikeouts per 100 pitches, rather than the usual Kper9IP. Lederer explains how K/100 has a strong correlation to the number of runs a pitcher allowed, and backs it up with some data. The far and away leader in K/100 last year was Rich Harden at 7.37, and he was followed by Timmy Lincecum at 7.20. Three Yankees finished in the top six, as Joba came in third (6.90), CC Sabathia fourth (6.58) and AJ Burnett sixth (6.33). It’s interesting to see that the top thirty pitchers in K/100 last year were basically the thirty best pitchers in the game, while the bottom thirty were essentially the thirty worst pitchers. Check it out. · (53) ·
Back in March we announced our plans to run a pledge drive during the season to benefit The Jorge Posada Foundation. RAB was growing at an exciting rate, so we decided to take advantage of the increased popularity and do something for the good of mankind.
The terms of the pledge drive were simple: For every strikeout Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy recorded during the season, readers would donate some fixed amount of money to Jorge’s foundation. Most pledged $0.05 per strikeout like I recommended, but others pledged more, including a kind few who pledged $0.50 or even $1.00 per strikeout. All told we received twenty-three pledges, not including the three of us.
The problem was that The Big Three didn’t exactly cooperate with our noble cause. All three pitchers spent time on a disabled list, plus Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy pitched their way out of the bigs by May. At the end of the season, the three combined for just 168 strikeouts at the big league level, 118 of which belong to Joba. Thankfully, just about everyone agreed to boost the strikeout total by counting Hughes’ & Kennedy’s strikeouts from the minor leagues and winter ball towards their pledge. That boosted the K total up to 357.
I collected everyone’s pledgess over the past few weeks, and last night I made the donation to the foundation. When it was all said and done, the total donation made to The Jorge Posada Foundation was $1,050 (I rounded my pledge up to make it nice even number). Despite the holidays and the struggling economy, most people donated more than their pledge called for, and we are grateful. To see a screen cap of the confirmation page, click here. I did add a note saying “Donated by the readers of River Ave. Blues, a full service Yankees fan site,” but apparently that doesn’t get noted on the confo page.
Thank you again to everyone who pledged their hard earned money to this cause, and thanks also the many other bloggers who linked to RAB to spread the word about our efforts. We greatly appreciate all of your guys’ support.
If you missed out on the pledge drive but are interested in making a donation, visit The Jorge Posada Foundation website.
Over at The Hardball Times, John Walsh analyzed the outfield arms across baseball. He uses a rigorous methodology which you can read about at THT to come up with a metric that “represent[s] the number of runs that an average fielder would save playing half his games in [his team's home] park.” The numbers for the 2008 Yanks were not pretty. Bobby Abreu and Johnny Damon cost the Yanks -9.7 below average, and while Melky’s center field contributions were positive, his 3.0 runs saved above average mark couldn’t counteract the corners. Xavier Nady, splitting time between two teams, put up a 4.4 positive contribution. It will be interesting to see how the seemingly revamped Yankee outfield does in 2009, and these numbers don’t make a strong case for Damon in the outfield. · (73) ·
Via MLBTR, Freddy Garcia chose to sign with the Mets over the Yanks. It’s a minor league deal apparently, but he could earn up to $9M in incentives. I can understand why Garcia made the decision he did, he’ll have a much better chance of sticking with the big league club with the boys in Queens. · (136) ·
Oh, to be in Tom Kaminski’s chopper as he flies past Yankee Stadium. (Photo courtesy of WCBS 880 AM)
Tomorrow is moving day for the Yankees. As the AP reported earlier today, the Yanks are, after 86 seasons, packing up and heading to a new ballpark.
On Friday, all but a few Front Office departments will begin the task of setting up new offices and a new home on the north side of 161st St. Except for the clubhouse staff, IT, the ticket office and the main switchboard, the rest of the Yankee crew will be start life in New York Stadium. Everyone else will join them on Feb. 27.
Meanwhile, in Queens, Shea Stadium seems to be mostly demolished with just half of the donut left. We’re still awaiting word from the Yanks about stadium memorabilia sales. Meanwhile, some of the Shea faithful want to see the Mets sign Andy Pettitte.
Anyway, this is your open thread for the evening. You know the drill. Play nice.
For the folks who think MLB’s own steroid investigation was about as ethical as the players’ alleged drug use, comes this tale of fishing, courtesy of Ken Davidoff. On more than one occasion, it seems as though George Mitchell and his team of investigators tried to catch a big fish by feeding subjects some names. While this hardly clears anyone named in the Mitchell Report, it certainly casts further doubts on the validity of this entire exercise. Maybe Mark McGwire was right after all when he told Congress he wasn’t there to talk about the past. It’s all just very murky water under the bridge. · (16) ·
About an hour after I asked which teams can afford to sign a free agent, Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated provided his own take on the situation. Except his is a bit more inclusive. The only team which shows up on my list but not his is the White Sox, though I think he underestimates Ken Williams’s penchant for sneaking in a deal. All told, he thinks half the teams in baseball can afford another “big deal or two”: Dodgers, Giants, Mets, Brewers, Braves, A’s, Cubs, Red Sox, Angels, Nationals, Orioles, Yankees, Twins, Rangers, Mariners.
I guess “big deal” is a relative term. I’m still skeptical that the Mariners, Rangers, Twins, or Orioles will add more than $5 million in 2009 payroll. The Nats might be willing to add more, but will it really help them compete in the stacked NL East? Still, I think most of these teams are out on the guys we ran down in today’s RAB Radio Show.
A couple of other Yankee-related notes from Heyman:
- The definitive word on Pettitte: “But where else is he going to go?” I still think a deal gets done as February approaches. It makes sense for both parties.
- “Hal Steinbrenner is thought to be against signing [Manny] Ramirez.” That was pretty much a given.
- “The Yankees are said to be getting more interest in Nick Swisher than Xavier Nady.” I can understand why, in terms of Swisher being locked up for the next three years. Then again, it’s not like he’s played since last season. Perhaps part of the reason is teams think they can get Swisher on the cheap. No, I’m sure Cashman wouldn’t trade him for Aaron Heilman.
- Heyman says that Bobby Abreu’s defense isn’t as bad as we might think. “Abreu, in fact, is fifth in assists among right fielders over the last three years and third in fielding percentage.” I imagine him saying this with a completely straight face, as if any of us believes that fielding percentage — for an outfielder, no less — counts for a damn thing. Almost all advanced defensive metrics out there have Abreu at the bottom of the league.