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

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lohud: Jennings: Yankees have no interest in Kottaras

Was told today that the Yankees have no interest in C George Kottaras, who was recently DFA by Oakland.

CAIRO says Kottaras would project to hit around .235/.330/.416 as a Yankee.  More importantly than that, he’d project to have a wOBA of .334 vs. RHP, in contract to Francisco Cervelli’s projected wOBA of .292 vs. RHP and Chris Stewart’s projected wOBA of .283 vs. RHP.  About 400 of the Yankees 619 catcher PAs last season came against RHP.  Here’s the difference in run value over 400 PA with those numbers.

.334 vs. .292 = 14
.334 vs. .283 = 17

Is it possible defense nullifies that gap?  It’s possible, but I also think it’s doubtful. 

I really don’t get this team.


--Posted at 7:58 pm by SG / 68 Comments | - (0)


Page 1 of 1 pages:

It is really bizarre. Kottaras is certainly no world beater, but he is the kind of player who seems like he deserves to be given at least a shot at a platoon and, best of all, he’s available for basically free on a one year contract!

I guess the theory is that they want Cervello to play everyday and Kottaras might mess with Cervello’s progress. In the alternative, maybe they just HATE Kottaras’ defense and don’t want to lose Stewart (which they’d have to do if they signed Kottaras).

Still pretty weird.

yeah, maybe they are stuck on the idea that the backup catcher needs to be a good defender, and they are thinking of Cervelli as the starting catcher.

Also, Kottaras he totally fits the mold of inexpensive part-timer who would complement the roster.  And worried about losing Chris Stewart?  I may have said this before, but Stewart is the kind of player teams can, and do, find in homeless shelters.

This just in: Yanks have offered a 3 year, $27 million contract to a piece of plywood.

(Opt-out clause for each year.)

[4] I presume you mean plywood gets the option, not the team.

You would think that they could at least get ash or maple, even on a $189 budget.

[6]  You ARE the expert on wood…

[7] It’s slightly more dignified to be carved than to be chopped up and reconstituted.

On an unrelated note, performance incentives are a no-go, but apparently weight based incentives are fine: Hefty Delmon Young can earn up to $600K extra this season from the Philadelphia Phillies if he can keep his weight down.

Ha ha, it’s funny because he’s fat.

Name that movie!

Ha ha, it’s funny because he’s fat.
Name that movie!

The Hangover.  Or The Maltese Falcon. I forget.

This just in: Apparently, Justin Upton is giving up tons of money (up to nine million dollars) just in up to n.

Q: Where do cows eat moss?
Also: What does a horse need to run?


A: ɹǝʍodǝsɹoɥ ؛ʍoɔsoɯ

The Braves adding both Upton brothers would be pretty funny. I love the article (I forget where, I think) that noted “B.J. is 3 years old than Justin, and they have remained close through their respective careers.”

I mean, I guess there are siblings who are not close, but it still seems kind of weird to me to specifically point out that they have remained close. They’re brothers!

There goes Harebrain, on a 2-year deal to the Cubs.  I wasn’t much excited about the prospect of his joining the Yankees.  But we do have holes, including a right-handed hitter, that need to be filled, and the team seems intent on doing nothing about using dreck at the catcher position.

Upton to the Braves

At first blush it doesn’t look like the D-Backs got a great return for Upton.

Wow, that is a SHITTY return.

Prado, Delgado, Ahmed and Spruill

I like Prado a lot, but the dude is a free agent after THIS SEASON!!! So they downgraded the pitcher they’re receiving (Delgado instead of Teheran) in order to get a guy who can leave after this season. That is an absurd trade for a player of Upton’s talents (and relatively modest contract).

The D-Backs should have just kept Upton and Bauer.

That said, the trade doesn’t make sense for the Braves, either, as they lose their starting third baseman. Who plays third for Atlanta?

[17] Ramiro Pena!

Can’t even complain with so much stupudity from the front office

Would they take Nun-E?

Also, the Kottaras thing lends more fuel to the “Ownership is going to hang Romine around Cashman’s neck” theory.

Cash has contracted Romine poisoning.

[17] Well, since the D-Backs also sent Chris Johnson (3B) I’m guessing ... Chris Johnson.  wink

Also, I’m pretty sure the Yankees could have improved on that return.  Where’s ninja Cashman when we need him?

[20] Yeah, the Romine thing sure looks like a legitimate possibility (I still don’t think it is TRUE, but I’ll admit that it looks like it could be possible, and honestly, the fact that it even seems like a possibility is pretty sad).

Well, since the D-Backs also sent Chris Johnson (3B) I’m guessing ... Chris Johnson. 

Ha! Thanks. I saw someone with a possible Braves lineup with Johnson at third base and I thought, “Wait, didn’t the Braves let go of Kelley Johnson years ago?”

Thanks. Okay, then yeah, this trade makes sense for the Braves.

Speaking of Johnsons (imagine the weird ad content that would pop up from THAT conversation), the Yankees apparently have signed noted Yankee-killer Dan Johnson to a minor league deal.

[20] If that ends up being true, the FO/Ownership situation sounds incredibly toxic and almost hilariously disfunctional. woo!

MLBTR says Seattle looking for alternatives to Montero, so he may be available. I understand the going rate for him is broken pitching prospects.

[22] It’s difficult to practice ninjutsu if your personal life were to (hypothetically) be in shambles.

My personal life is not in shambles because I’m currently incarcerated.

Cameron’s take on the Upton deal:

Overall, I expect that the sentiment on this trade is going to be mostly pro-Atlanta, as they get the big name player in exchange for an underrated high contact/gap power guy and a group of unexciting prospects, but I think this trade works for both sides. Arizona turns an outfielder into a third baseman, and given their depth at both positions, they’re probably not much worse off in the short term, plus they get some future value in the prospects to offset the chance of losing Prado after the season. Atlanta turns some pieces they didn’t necessarily see as foundational to their future into one big piece, and get to bet on both Uptons living up to their potential as teammates.

I was in grad school at NYU a long time ago where I watched one of the deans cleverly force the director of a large program into making unpopular and illogical decisions so that the dean could fire him and heroically save the program. The Yankees are beginning to look like that, minus the cleverness.

[29] Good for you, Mel!

[20] That or the plywood.

I think we’re on the verge of a new player nickname, before we even know that player’s name. Excellent.

[19] But you’re giving a good college try.

It seems that the AZ wasn’t impressed with the Yankees’s system.  Could be that they really wanted a decent 3B (which if the Yankees had, they wouldn’t have signed Youkilis).  Could be they are underrating (or we’re overrating) the Yankees’ other prospects.

Kottaras…yeah I thought they’d give him a shot.  But again, if we’re talking 3 runs…yes, 3 runs could be very important.  But I don’t think it’s that much to get worked up about.

EDIT: Wait, I read that wrong.  14 or 17 runs I’ll get more worked up about.  IDK if it qualifies as “stupid”, but certainly seems to be a missed opportunity.  Of course, I think he hasn’t cleared waivers yet so it could be posturing (I hope).

[35]  If the strategy is to improve cheaply around the margins because they can’t “afford” anything else…and they didn’t even kick the tires…then I think I would call it stupid.

But then again, maybe we should trust the Yankees decision making on this, perhaps there’s something they know and really don’t like.

I propose a bad-joke-off between Mel Hall and colin.  It’s the wily veteran against the young hotshot!

[31]  I would be fascinated to hear some details.

[35] From the packages AZ accepted, it seems like they wanted more now/near ready talent. The Yankees don’t have an overwhelming amount of that right now.

[37] A lot of bad shit happened to that little kid in The Shining.  His dad went nuts and was all up in the kid’s grill.  Mom got her ass kicked too, till they turnt the tables on dad.  Dad ended up freezin his ass to deaf in the snow.  It was just an all around fucked up situation, definitely not a light situation.  The lesson for the Yankees, however, is to go with the youth over the aging veteran.

“Turnt” is excellent.

[36] Well, he’s not a FA yet, so there’s no tires to kick.  I don’t think it behooves them to announce that they’re going to claim him, since every other team in the AL (I think he has to clear all them before NL has a shot at him, could be wrong) would have a chance to block.  Anyway…yeah, it goes back to if they know (believe) something we don’t.

[42]  I think the way waivers work is that the other league goes first.  But while he’s DFA and before waivers, other teams could make a trade for him.  Has he proceeded to waivers yet?

[39] Right, and some of the other prospects are non-horrible anyway.  Basically, if getting an above-average 3B was the deal-breaker, best we could do is Youkilis.  Who a) isn’t as good as Prado b) is more expensive c) can either be resigned to a long term deal or probably worth offering arb/getting a pick.

Probably would have taken something like Nova or Phelps, Montgomery, two of Austin/Williams/Heathcott/Sanchez, and something else in the 5-15 range of Yankee prospects like Turley or Marshall.  IDK if you do that for Upton.  Maybe.  Or maybe I’m even guessing too low.

Mel uses “movies” to explain his childhood to outsiders.

Don’t get too caught up in the emotion, Mel: Let it go like a helium balloon, just as easily as it came.

[43] That I don’t know.  They probably have something on the 40-man that they are willing to trade for him, if they even want him.  They could be trying to get him on an MiLB deal with an invite to ST.  That could be nice to have; they have a lot of guys who are potentially going to need to be put on the 40-man, so I can see why they may not want to add more right now.  Risky business of course, and hopefully in the end if it’s a choice between not signing Kottaras or signing him to a ML deal they choose the latter.

Thank you Dr. colin.  Can you introduce me to Tulsi Gabbard?

[48]  Good grief, get in line, man.

But, colin, CAN you introduce us to Tulsi Gabbard?

You’ll need a lightning bolt to meet her.  Nyuk, nyuk.

And the same tailor.

What’s this about lightning bolts?

[52] Ever ride the lightning?  Don’t answer that.

Hey Cronin, you gonna write something springboarding off Manti T’eo?

[52] Ever ride the lightning?

It blew my mind to find out that the solo in the beginning of For Whom the Bell Tolls was Cliff Burton on bass and not a guitar.

And y’all thought it was impossible.

Congrats to the Braves for cornering the market in Upton’s.

Uptons are the new market inefficiency.

Kate is going to bring them well over the luxury tax limit.

Dan Johnson townie killer via Cory Wade.

[0] I really don’t get this team.

Is signing a guy who projects to be so marginally better than your current options worth it, when those options are young players (Cervelli and Romine, at least)? For years we’ve seen the Yankees always opt for the external option - what message does that send to their minor leaguers? Maybe this is a shift in that policy.  This isn’t Buster Posey, it’s just some other bum who happens to suck marginally less.

Is signing a guy who projects to be so marginally better than your current options worth it, when those options are young players (Cervelli and Romine, at least)?

Is 14-17 runs really marginal?

Yeah, exactly, I don’t think it IS a marginal difference. And I think Kottaras seems primed to beat his projections. When given some extended playing time, it looks like he responds well. He just hasn’t landed in a spot where that was possible. Milwaukee has a pretty darn good catcher, ya know? And Norris in Oakland was decent and young (and there before Kottaras got there) and then they got Jaso.

Replacing Kristen Stewart with Telly Kottaras doesn’t put a roadblack in the way of our homegrown catchers sowing their wild oats down on the farm.

[65] No, it doesn’t.  BBRef over the last two years has Stewart as +16 in defense, Kottaras as +/-0.  Each in a little more than a half-season of PT.  So it’s reasonable - not given of course but reasonable - that he’s 10 runs better than Kottaras on defense.

So, IF they’re committed to giving Cervelli a chance to earn the starting job, and IF they want the backup to be defense-first, I can see why they wouldn’t go with Kottaras.  At least not now, b/c that probably means DFA’ing one of the two now, instead of waiting and seeing if they can get Kottaras on an NRI.

Lots of assumptions of course.  But it isn’t impossible that the Yankees are doing this logically.  Also possible that they are using a magic 8-ball to make decisions.

[63, 64] I actually thought it was 17 vs 14 (for Kottaras vs non. Kottaras). I guess for my argument to stand up, I’d have to have the position that Yankees view Kottaras as a defensive downgrade. If it cut the gap by half or more, I’d argue that marginal enough to at least understand why they wouldn’t want to tell Cervelli “hey, we found a guy with a wOBA .04 higher than you vs RHP - you suck enough for us to decide to go with that guy.”

[67] Yeah in 35 I originally thought the difference was 3 runs, but rereading it’s ~15 runs.  That’s fairly significant.  But 1) there are some faily high error bars as Kottaras is the career PA leader w/ 694. 2) Kottaras probably is a downgrade from Stewart defensively, and may be (or may be an upgrade) from Cervelli.

I think the thing still is that they would need to DFA a catcher sooner than they’d like if they have Kottaras on the 40-man roster.  IDK if he’s enough of an upgrade - given the uncertaintity - to do that.  But I definitely hope if/when he clears waivers, they are aggressive at getting him on an NRI.

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