The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

CAIRO 2014 v0.2’s Extremely Early and Completely Useless 2013 Projected MLB Standings

I figured I had a long offseason ahead of me if I was going to do everything in my power to make the Yankees look better than they are. The thing that needed to be done first was put the Yankees in the context of the rest of MLB.  So I’ve been working on building my CAIRO season simulation disk and gave it a trial run last night.  This was current through rosters as of yesterday morning.

As the title says, this is extremely early and completely useless so think of it more as a goof than anything too serious.  So using CAIRO v0.2 which I’ll probably post tomorrow and the depth charts from MLB Depth Charts and Rotochamp as a rough gauge of playing time, here’s how the 2014 MLB season looks as of November 20.

Date 11/20/2013
American League
Red Sox 92 70 808 728 53.4% 10.7% 9.8% 73.9%
Rays 87 75 664 587 21.3% 11.6% 11.7% 44.5%
Blue Jays 86 76 816 761 14.9% 10.2% 11.7% 36.8%
Orioles 84 78 750 711 10.4% 6.3% 8.7% 25.4%
Yankees 71 91 674 801 0.1% 0.2% 0.2% 0.5%
Tigers 91 71 773 661 71.1% 4.9% 4.5% 80.6%
Indians 85 77 725 670 21.6% 10.1% 10.0% 41.7%
Royals 79 83 703 758 6.1% 2.0% 4.1% 12.1%
Twins 74 88 707 774 1.2% 0.2% 0.8% 2.2%
White Sox 70 92 711 804 0.0% 0.1% 0.2% 0.3%
Rangers 91 71 760 641 61.4% 12.9% 9.0% 83.3%
Athletics 86 76 710 641 24.6% 17.6% 16.4% 58.6%
Angels 84 78 664 643 13.8% 12.8% 12.4% 39.0%
Mariners 72 90 617 684 0.2% 0.4% 0.7% 1.4%
Astros 54 108 660 970 0.0% - - -
National League
Nationals 90 72 697 608 52.9% 19.3% 10.1% 82.3%
Braves 90 72 645 589 45.1% 23.5% 10.5% 79.1%
Phillies 77 85 634 676 1.4% 1.6% 3.8% 6.9%
Marlins 73 89 574 641 0.5% 0.9% 1.7% 3.2%
Mets 68 94 589 682 0.1% - 0.1% 0.2%
Reds 87 75 676 620 34.6% 9.8% 9.3% 53.7%
Pirates 87 75 593 551 36.3% 8.7% 10.3% 55.2%
Cardinals 85 77 621 574 27.1% 9.0% 10.5% 46.5%
Brewers 75 87 706 763 1.3% 0.8% 1.5% 3.6%
Cubs 73 89 625 680 0.9% 0.3% 1.0% 2.1%
Dodgers 88 74 640 584 42.3% 7.0% 10.4% 59.6%
Giants 85 77 607 574 20.0% 6.5% 10.5% 37.1%
Diamondbacks 84 78 618 588 20.0% 6.3% 9.9% 36.2%
Rockies 81 81 852 861 9.9% 3.2% 6.4% 19.6%
Padres 80 82 602 596 7.8% 3.0% 4.1% 14.9%

W: Projected final 2014 wins
L: Projected final 2014 losses
RS: Projected final 2014 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2014 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC1: Wild card win percentage
WC2: Wild card win percentage
PS: Postseason percentage (Div + WC1 + WC2)
W+/-: Projected wins within one standard deviation

Let me reiterate, these are extremely early and completely useless.  There are literally hundreds of free agents still out there to be signed, and trades to be made, and players to be injured.  There’s also the traditional error bars that projections have, which means you should probably look at this with a 10 game swing on either side of a team’s average projected win total, particularly right now with so much roster churn to come.

But if you are a Yankee fan, like I used to be, this is pretty disheartening.  It’s not surprising, and if you put the lineup and pitching staff together based on how they project in 2014 you will see they are about as far from championship caliber as any team in the American League.  Maybe moreso considering the relative strength of their division. 

No, the Astros are not an AL team, even if they use a DH.

Don’t worry though, the Yankees will sign Carlos Beltran and he’ll make them a 95 win team.

--Posted at 8:09 am by SG / 61 Comments | - (0)


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At least next year we won’t have to worry about them losing their first round draft pick.

The Red Sox really project to 92 wins after losing Ellsbury, Napoli, Drew and Saltalamacchia? That’s incredible. Seems like if they resigned all those guys, they’d project to 100 wins.

You’re not weighting the eyedrops heavily enough.

Seems like if they resigned all those guys, they’d project to 100 wins.

I think I’ve read they have about $25M to spend this offseason, which means they could conceivably add about 5 more wins.  CAIRO seems to like Jackie Bradley a lot, so they aren’t losing a lot of wins by losing Ellsbury.  And Mike Carp doesn’t project that much worse than Napoli so the extra playing time going to him isn’t as much of a downgrade.

It also helps that they’re getting a full season of Peavy and more starts from Buchholz, even if he’s not going to be as good on a rate basis as he was this year.  And now they have Dempster as a sixth starter, which gives them a bit more depth even when I account for a few missed starts around the rotation, although they may end up trading him before the season.

My guess is they’ll project at around 95 wins when all is said and done.  Of course they projected to win 125 games in 2011 and we saw what happened there…

The Yankees have a .5% likelihood of making the playoffs? So you’re saying they have a chance ....

Seriously though, I can’t understand why the Yankees don’t accept their position and focus on the future (instead of overspending on some band-aids).

[5] Welcome to the club.


I guess they really should have blown this thing up last July, and gotten something more than draft picks for Cano and Kuroda.

Come on guys. This team doesn’t have a RF, DH, C, 2B, or 3B, and their SS and 1B are coming off 1 year lay offs.  What do you expect them to project to?

They’re worried about revenues. 

What I don’t understand is this:  Who do they think they’re fooling with the band aid solutions?  Are fans really going to buy more that may more tickets and watch more YES network for a mediocre team than they will for a terrible team?

[5 & 6] You guys are funny.  If the Yankees were to add say Cano, Tanaka, McCann, and Beltran, that’s what, maybe 15 more wins?  And since some of those wins come at the expense of teams like Tampa and Boston - and to a lesser effect rest of AL - that puts them up around the Jays.  Or right where Boston was going into last season.  Plus since there’s an 8-10 win swing just based on the projections potentially being off, they’re a 75-95 win team.  But somehow, only the downside counts so everyone thinks of them as a 75-85 win team.

Unless you think getting a few more picks in the 20-25 range are sure-fire bets to become above-average players in 3-4 years, I don’t hear anything that the Yankees are doing that isn’t also an eye on the future, with the possible exception of Beltran.  But if they sign all those other players - and maybe one of Peralta/Drew as well - Beltran is the complimentary piece to get them into serious contention.

[5] Don’t worry, there are a few holdouts that still think ARod and Yeah Jeets will be riding unicorns together around the outfield in October 2014.

The main sticking point with a lot of people is that “rebuilding” is a scary proposition that automatically turns a club in the KC Royals or Pittsburgh or Houston or Chicago or any one of a dozen clubs that consistently finish in the bottom of the league and claim to be rebuilding anytime their payroll approaches respectability.

They are not the Yankees.  Yankees don’t rebuild.  Which is, of course, silly. Every team rebuilds every year.  The enormous difference is that Yankees don’t have the artificial or actual payroll restrictions that those other clubs have (and really, a $189m isn’t much of a limit except for a team burdened by some huge unproductive contracts).  It’s how their last major overhaul resulted in them being dominant for two decades.

[10] I don’t think they can get all 4 of those guys and stay under 189. I’m assuming Cano will get 25 AAV, Tanaka (IF the Yankees win the bid) ~10 AAV and McCann will get somewhere between 15 and 20 AAV. That’s 50MM AAV between just 3 players. It doesn’t leave the Yankees very much money to get BP depth, another SP, a RF, a DH, or a 3B/SS. And it doesn’t give them very much freedom to make a midseason move if they end up being a part of two away from being good.

I think the Yankees will end up with a team that projects to be just above 500. So, they could have a really good year and end up with 90+ wins.

I also think your 15 win improvement is a bit optimistic. Maybe I will be pleasantly surprised this year, but I see mediocrity for the near future.

[10] How are they going to that Mike?  I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on the payroll, but based on what Axisa posted, the Yankees are really hamstrung by the HalCap.

The Yankees have $139m committed to 14 players and after arbitration they’ll have about $44m to spend, but they signed Rtan for $2m. Minus Cano at $25m, which leaves $17m for a SS/3B, 2 SPs, a C, an OFer that doesn’t suck, a DH/4OF type, and bullpen help.

Beltran is going to clear at least $14m per year, and McCann will be more, and if Tananka is on a $10m deal there’s zero chance the Yankees sign all those FAs.

[10] If the Yankees were to add say Cano, Tanaka, McCann, and Beltran,

Add Colon and Garza to that list. Or Colon and Haren. Then it’s probably 17-19 wins.

I guess the issue is - what’s the AAV for all those guys? My guess:

Cano $22M
Tanaka $10M
McCann $14M
Beltran $15M
Colon $5M
Garza $12M

That’s $78M added to the 2014 payroll. RAB estimated $139.9M which includes the players currently under contract (except for Brendan Ryan), the ~$11M benefits, and $33.5M for Rodriguez ($27.5M AAV, $6M for the bonus if he hits 6 HR.) If Rodriguez gets suspended for 150 games, that $33.5M probably becomes ~$2M (~92% of $27.5M and optimistically no $6M HR bonus.)  So, that takes $139.9M down to ~$109M.

$109M + $78M = $187M. and 88-90 wins, with pessimistic projections for Teixiera and Sabathia. Rebounds by either or both of them and the Yankees are an AL East contender on opening day.

My guesses at AAV’s could be challenged, but I don’t think they’re that far off.  Might make sense to do something like 3/$30M for Granderson instead of Beltran and use the ~$7M elsewhere - Infante or Peralta (I prefer Peralta.)

EDIT: Looks like the ~$139M estimate doesn’t include the salaries for players 26-40. RAB estimates $2M-$5M but also suggests non-tendering Nix and Stewart, making it basically a wash, but possibly a +$1M-$2M. Still doable.

I guess they really should have blown this thing up last July, and gotten something more than draft picks for Cano and Kuroda.

But that would have deprived us of their scintillating run to 85 wins and just missing the second wild card by six games.

71 wins ? Wow. SG’s lost his touch. I don’t think that makes the Yankees look very good at all.

You should have seen it before I made my adjustments.

It seems to me that whether the Yankees can build a realistic contender comes down to the results of the ARod suspension.

If he gets suspended for most of the season than the plan in [14] looks like it results in a decent enough team.  But if he gets suspended for 0 or 50 games it becomes a much tougher task.

[18] If they are going to spend all that money with ARod gone, I think they should divert the money from Colon or Garza to the BP. They have a number of talented young starters who need some playing time. Some combination of them will be able to hold down the 5th spot decently.

[18] You have to hope that

A) the suspension is resolved before Texas, Boston, Baltimore, Seattle, Chicago(s), etc. start buying up FAs. Already Beltran is supposedly in serious talks with Boston.  McCann is supposedly Texas’s #1 offseason target.


B) that the players even want to come to NY, especially the ones to be either role players or insurance policies or a part-time DH (I’m certain that a guy like McCann wants to catch as much as possible until his knees explode and not lose time to a young upstart after the first year).

[18] Well, don’t forget though that if he’s on the team for those games, he’s adding value. I don’t know what SG has for playing time in that 71 win projection. I’m guessing it’s no Rodriguez at all.

I thought he looked pretty good when he played this past year, but then he broke down. So you’re probably looking at a lot of DH games and playing 3B at maybe 3-4 times per week max.

[20] I think the big FAs are going to wait as long as possible to try to get the Yankees involved and drive up their price. If the ARod situation still isn’t resolved by the end of the Winter Meetings, the Yankees may lose out big.

Right, no Rodriguez at all.  3B is a combination of Nun-E and Nixy.  Figure if Rodriguez misses half the season, he can add some amount of value, maybe as much as two wins.

Just to confirm, what does this assume about A-Rod?  If I remember correctly it assumes he is suspended the entire season correct?

So that leave the Yankees with roughly $80M to spend?

Or does this assume A-Rod plays and leave them with about $50M to spend (counting the $6M bonus)?

Too late.  Although I guess remaining salary is still a valid question.

Does the projected team have and Adams/Joseph platoon at second?

Yes, Adams/Joseph platoon at second.  Jeter at SS about 60% of the time, Ryan 40% of the time.  Cervelli as starting catcher with Romine backing him up.

When the Yanks signed a bunch of old guys last season, I thought (hoped) it was temporary desperation to salvage one season.  And, it did work out in the case of Soriano. 

But, their current focus on Beltran tells me that Yankee management and/or ownership really prefers to sign older players. Guys with big past accomplishments, but who are past their prime. Note that Kei Igawa fits this description.

On this basis, a 9 or 10 year contract for Cano makes sense.  In the latter part of that contract, he’ll be a declining player with big past achievements.  Just the kind of guy the Yanks like!

“...sports are popular for [middle class people] and proles to follow because they sanction a flux of pedantry, dogmatism, record-keeping, wise secret knowledge, and pseudo-scholarship of the sort usually associated with the ‘decision-making’ or ‘executive’ or ‘opinion-molding’ classes.  The World Series and the Super Bowl give every man his opportunity to to perform as a learned bore, to play for a moment the impressive barroom pedant, to imitate for a brief season the superior classes identified by their practice of weighty utterance and informed opinion.  Which is to say that the World Series and the Super Bowl constitute harmless twice-yearly opportunities…for the plain man to garner some self-respect.  They are therefore indispensable as democratic holy days and ritual occasions.  ...the satire and abuse visited upon holders of opposite views, especially in bars, is the prole equivalent of the contumely dispensed by the better book reviewers and theater critics.”

—Paul Fussell, “Class”

[13 & 14] Not sure where RAB’s math is different (actually it’s probably mostly the $13MM they’re giving ARod and Jeter for bonuses), but BBRef comes up with a current payroll of $119.9MM.  That’s including Jeter’s $12MM but not Ryan’s, so it’s more like $121.4MM (Ryan’s $2MM minus the $.5MM for a minimum wage player he’s replacing).  So that leaves about $55MM.  If I use j’s numbers but bump Cano up a bit, it’s about $63MM for the four players I mentioned.  So yes, it comes down to ARod missing most/all of the season.  With $20MM or so more in cap space, they can (probably) afford those 4 plus Peralta.

They may then also need to do some other tweaking for salary purposes.  E.g. if they sign Beltran, see if they can find a taker for Ichiro and most of his $6.5MM.  DFA Stewart (for sure) and potentially Nix.  Possibly look into 3-4 year contracts for the likes of Gardner and Robertson at a slightly lower AAV than what they’ll get in arbitration.  Etc. 

The main point is, there are a LOT of things they can do - with ARod being the block right now - to add a lot of wins to this team.  And yes, after that they’ll need a few guys to rebound, a few younger players to step up, etc. 

I also think your 15 win improvement is a bit optimistic.

Steamer projections (in wins):

McCann 3.6
Cano 5.4
Beltran 1.8
Tanaka 3? (not Steamer, but I think SG came up with something like that a month ago)

13.8 wins. So yeah I was a bit optimistic b/c I had Beltran more like 3 wins; not sure why.

I’ve got Tanaka around two wins.  But obviously there’s massive error bars around that in both directions.


Comment From RoboclesRobocles: ]
Do you think the Yankees bounce back to become contenders next year, or is the age of their roster and the bad contracts on the books going to keep them from contention? If you’re Cashman, what are your goals? 

Wednesday November 20, 2013 12:22 Robocles
12:22 Dave Cameron: I think they’re going to be fine next year

[29] Is BR using AAV?

[29] I believe RAB has built in expected arbitration raises and the non-salary player costs (benefits etc.)

Also, they are worth 13.8, but the net gain is less, since outside of Cano, they probably aren’t replacing anyone with negative WAR.

Cameron thinking they’ll be fine is the kiss of death we needed.

[33] Correct ... all of which needs to be counted, according to everything I’ve read.  Exceeding the HalCap by a $1 is no different than exceeding it by $25m.

[32] Ah, it looks like they’re using actual salaries and not AAV.  However, I don’t think that is a difference of more than a few million.  I think it only affects ARod and CC, actually, and that’s only like a $3MM difference. 

[33] BR is assuming $18MM for arb raises and $5.5MM for other roster players.  They aren’t including benefits cost, but I gave a I swag at that for how much the Yankees have left to spend.

Also, while that net gain will be less than 13.8, I don’t think much less.  There isn’t much at C right now - and if McCann can DH some I can see his bat there adding more value above the 3.6 wins.  Beltran would be taking PA away from guys like Ichiro and Wells which doesn’t have much value.  Tanaka would be taking away from…Nuno?  Marshall?  That’s got to be near 0.  So maybe they’re netting 13 wins instead of nearly 14.

Steamer projections (in wins):

McCann 3.6
Cano 5.4
Beltran 1.8
Tanaka 3? (not Steamer, but I think SG came up with something like that a month ago)

13.8 wins. So yeah I was a bit optimistic b/c I had Beltran more like 3 wins; not sure why.

I could be wrong but that doesn’t seem like it subtract the contributions of the players they have now?

So Cano wouldn’t be 5.4 wins.  He would be 5.4 -0.9 wins + the cascade effect for backup production.

Apparently the hearings are going really well for ARod.

edit: epic html fail fixed.

Rockies will win NL West (they finished in fourth, 21 games out of first place)

The great #6org fail

I knew putting the Mariners at #6 would generate a significant amount of backlash and claims of bias. But, in my estimation, when you actually look at their chances of winning in 2010, the group of young talent they can build around going forward, the quality of the decision making in the front office, and their financial resources, this is where they belong. After years of being a joke, the Mariners have made one of the most impressive turnarounds in recent history.

And of course…

In his prime, I think he could hit .280/.320/.400 while playing awful defense. Yipee.

[39] - Yeah, I just saw that.  Apparently we can plan on that extra $30M afterall.

From the POV of someone who was psyched the year Guidry went 25-3, a 71-win season would be suboptimal.  From the POV of humani nihil a me alienum puto (hmm, if the spam filter knows Spanish I hope it knows Latin too) and of valuing natural experiments, it would be really interesting.  It might even be good for the team in the long run.

Anyone listening to Teh Rod on WFAN right now?

[43] No but if someone wants to post a recap when it’s over, that would be cool. I’m pretty sure I don’t get WFAN out here in Madison.

44. Alexander Centarious the III does the following during a surreal interview.

1. Claims not to have done steroids since the ‘Boli’ incident.
2. Claims Bud Selig doesn’t like New York, and should come to New York “to face the music.”
3. Believes this whole situation could have been avoided if he and Selig “had brunch.” Says the commish could have “asked him anything… at brunch… either at Selig’s house or Starbucks.” (I swear this is true)
4. Made some sort of vague illusion to a sex scandal I didn’t quite catch. A key witness having sex with a member of the MLB patriarchy?
5. He’s “close” with Derek Jeter. (Cut to Jeter watching the interview on TV, shaking his head sadly)
6. A-Rod says Selig wants him “on a mantle,” to “destroy him.”
7. Early in the interview, A-Rod says “I am a part of history.”
8. Amazingly, he believes he will be the Yankees’ Opening Day third baseman.
9. He kept smirking while claiming he’d never done steroids since the ‘boli,’ incident, as if he wanted to be caught lying.

Overall, an amazing interview.

Potential misleading Tabloid Headline:
ARod:I’m History

Walking out and making allegations sure make Alex look innocent. Stage managed foolishness by his legal team. Smacks of desperation and setting this up for court intervention. If only Hank had listened to Cashman, if only!

If Selig hated New York the Mets would no longer exist, but Selig did everything he could to prop them up post Madoff.

[45] I had heard about 4.

ARod sounds crazy in 8 unless he has something big up his sleeve.

3: what can’t be solved by brunch? But who the hell has brunch somewhere that doesn’t serve booze? Starbucks?! Seriously? This is the part where I knew that Arod no longer has a connection to reality.

I was pretty sure the sole purpose of brunch was to segway from being drunk the night before to being drunk the next day.

[49] Exactly, brunch was created as a civilized way to drink before 11 AM.

Right, no Rodriguez at all.  3B is a combination of Nun-E and Nixy.

So, Nun-E ended up as what -2.6 WAR or so. Signing Peralta and even assuming he is worth 1 WAR is really a 3.6 WAR swing, no?

Also, I don’t understand the McCann fascination. He’s going to get 5 or 6 years and catchers generally don’t age well. Sure, he adds 3.6 WAR to a team that desperately needs it, but why not see what Murphy and Romine can do. Force Girardi’s hand and put them as the only two catchers on the opening day roster. If they both completely fail, they can have Cervelli stashed in AAA (does he have options left?) and maybe Sanchez is ready to move up to the bigs later in the season.

[45] - This interview has to be put on or at some point soon… doesn’t it?

[48] He does have something big up his sleeve, going scorched earth and telling all. Wouldn’t get rid of his suspension but would destroy Selig in the process. He might as well do it if the arbitrator upholds the suspension.

If a lawsuit puts the suspension in doubt, when will the Yankees know whether Alex’s salary will count against the $189m?  Federal cases can take a long time.

In 2014 will they get no Alex on the field, but no certainty on the cap impact?

[52] RAB has it up.


I’m literally having trouble typing with all the butter on my fingers from eating all this popcorn.

Regardless of how bad A-Rod looked in this interview, MLB continues to look even worse throughout this whole process. The one valid thing I see is that Selig is a tool for not showing up to testify.

[53] How could he possibly believably escalate over his current claims?  Send ESPN a notarized video of Hal ordering the team doctor to lie?  Subpoena NSA intercepts of Selig blackmailing Biogenesis into attempting to entrap him?  I’m totally rooting for him, but I’d like the league and esp. the Yankees not to be further damaged, and I sure hope there’s nothing more this way coming.

[57] I’d take a bit of damage to the MLB and a bunch of damage to the Yankees ownership in exchange for Selig leaving in shame and disrepute.

[47] Pretty sure there is no way NY could have lost the Mets from that. Best Worst case was MLB forcing the Wilpon’s to sell.

[57] Subpoenaing the NSA intercepts, ha. The idea I like better is Alex sending in a hand written freedom of information act request.

How about Carlos Baerga, is he available?

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