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

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

MLB Trade Rumors: A Bunch of Assorted Crap

Seriously, that’s the title of the post.  Sort of.

The Yankees have spoken with Kevin Youkilis’ agent, reports Jack Curry of the YES Network (Twitter link). According to Curry, Youkilis would consider a one-year deal if the salary was at a “premium amount.”

I held my nose and rooted for Wade Boggs.  I guess I could root for him too.

A rival evaluator tells’s Buster Olney (Twitter link) that there’s “no way” Stephen Drew would sign with the Yankees to be a part-time or utility player. Drew is seeking a full-time job.


After getting a clean bill of health on his hand and wrist, Ian Stewart has drawn wide interest from teams looking for third base help, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Tyler Kepner of the New York Times notes (via Twitter) that Stewart could be a fit for the Yankees.

Ian Stewart wouldn’t be a fit for the Class A Yankees.

--Posted at 1:48 pm by SG / 34 Comments | - (0)


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Ian Stewart wouldn’t be a fit for the Class A Yankees.

Well obviously. The Yankees have Bichette playing there.

Add this to the list of assorted crap.

That’s good, I guess.  I doubt it comes to that anytime soon but…

The Royals are looking for pitching, not sure if they’d be interestedin in any of Hughes, Phelps or Nova, but they ahve some interesting parts that could fill some holes the Yankees have.

I’m threadjacking again, so sue me, I’m drunk.  The frustrating thing about all this to me is that the Yankees, who are rich as Nazis, and have been paying the luxury tax for years, and are literally printing money (on a secret printing press in a vault below the new Monument Park) are acting like they have to get under the cap.  As others have said, they’re charging premium prices for the seats—they better put a premium team on the field.

[4] I’m interested to see what would happen if I spent a year watching documentaries and classic films after work every night instead of the Yankees. Might have to try it in 2013, starting with TWATDC (there’s no way this acronym was accidental right?)

So now MLBTR says Rangers and Hamilton are working out a 4 year deal.

Hamilton on a 4 year deal doesn’t seem so bad to me.

So now MLBTR says Rangers and Hamilton are working out a 4 year deal.

Hamilton on a 4 year deal doesn’t seem so bad to me.

[3] I’ve thought about that.  However, the issue is they probably want higher quality than anything that would bring back something valuable.  Butler doesn’t have much value to the Yankees.  Other names I’ve read they’ve discussed…

Gordon?  All 3 probably wouldn’t get him.  Unless they also added guys like Austin and Williams.  IDK if I’d be willing to do that.  Gordon is good - very good - but you can only open so many holes on the pitching staff.  Not to mention the young talent.

Moustakas?  May cost more than Gordon, since he’s younger (age 24 season), cheaper for many years, and has a chance to be better (premium position).  Even if he costs less…still don’t know if Yankees have the pieces.

Hosmer?  They could probably get him for Nova, or Nova+.  But why?  He’s a lefty hitting 1B.  Even if he rebounds and builds off his age 21 (he’s only 23 for next season), Yankees don’t have much use for him.

Perez?  Would cost a lot more than Yankees have to spend.

Myers?  Royals seem willing to move him, he’s not on their ML roster (so not helping the team now).  Would help the Yankees both short term and long term (turns 22 next week).  He *should* be very pricey.  But for some reason I think he’d be the most acquireable.

IDK man, I just don’t see a good fit.  Hughes is the best but only 1 year of control.  Nova 2nd best but coming off a lost season.  Phelps least upside, but could still be a quality pitcher.  I’d say sure, offer any combination of 2 of Phelps, Hughes, and Nova, and see what they could get back.  All 3 I think is a mistake…

[5]  Oh dear…entirely accidental.

[6/7] Depends a lot on what version of Hamilton you get. MVP candidate Hamilton is great. Hitting .190 Hamilton is not so great.

Mouse batteries people.  Mouse batteries.

[6] I think you need to check your mouse batteries or something.

Sullivan on FanGraphs today…that could be a steal or a disaster.  Pure talent it’s a steal.  But he’s a big injury risk, sometimes goes into prolonged slumps, and the addiction issues will never go away…

mlbtr reports that the bidding for Scutaro is at 3yrs/24m.  Sheesh that seems like a lot to me. 

Which leads me to wonder, not for the first time, how the Yankees are going to find decent pieces at infield, RF and catcher that fit within their austerity plan.

Bidding for Kreplachinger is at 2yr/8m.  That seems doable.

Yeah I’m not sure what’s going on. Could be my crappy internet connection combined with lack of patience.
This sums it up, just about.  Shitty offseason.  At least no other team in the division has a clear advantage.

Sox have offered Victorino 3yrs/38m.  For a 32-year-old outfielder who relies a lot on speed and averaged about 3 WAR over the last three years, that seems like a lot of dough.

[17] If I were a FA, the Sox would not be high on places I’d like to go right now. They are a few years away from competing again and have a history of treating their players pretty badly.

I find the Braves deal with Melvin Emanuel Upton to be the most hilarious thing so far this off season. Will teams never learn?

[18] - They also have a history of playing in a joke of a ballpark that inflates offensive numbers and masks the decline of aging players.  For a 32 year old who will likely get another contract after this one, it seems like a great place to play.

Ian Stewart wouldn’t be a fit for the Class A Yankees.

So it’s going to be a five year or six year deal?,30603/

Add this to the list of assorted crap.

That’s good, I guess.  I doubt it comes to that anytime soon but…

Wow, that article was rough. It literally was filled with a whole bunch of “maybe"s strung together as if they were actually saying something. No one in the article actually knew whether the Yankees were covered and for how much.

[23]  “Insurance Legends Revealed”?

Sox have offered Victorino 3yrs/38m.  For a 32-year-old outfielder who relies a lot on speed and averaged about 3 WAR over the last three years, that seems like a lot of dough.

To say a deal that averages $13M per year for a guy who’s averaged about 3 WAR is “a lot of dough” seems to ignore the current market value of a win on the free agent market, which seems to comfortably reside around $5 million, in which case this contract is pretty much market value.

But you also misrepresent things by saying “about 3 WAR”, when Victorino has actually averaged 3.5 WAR over the last three years per baseball-reference, and 4.3 WAR per year over the last three years per Fangraphs.  So if Victorino has any bounce-back whatsoever, or even if he staves off decline for a few years and maintains his 3.5 - 4 WAR pace, this could be a mild to huge bargain.

Which is not to say that I love the deal or anything.  But I think we need to recognize where the market is at, lest we react to every deal with surprise.

[25] To be fair Victorino’s average is bolstered by a huge 2011 that is pretty clearly an outlier given the rest of his career. I think valueing him around 3 WAR is pretty reasonable.

[26]  Sure.  You can chip away at Victorino’s value a number of ways.  And I think the deal might not work out for the Sox.  But still, even at 3 WAR he’s easily worth $13MM per on the free agent market.

I just think the analysis needs to start with, “The Red Sox are paying more or less market value for Shane Victorino,” and then go from there, instead of reacting to the deal as if it’s some self-evidently horrible overpay.  This sort of overreaction slows our analysis, and it colors our opinions as we try to value potential targets for the Yankees.  We start wishcasting for bargains that won’t emerge in the current market. 

And it also bothers me because it’s this sort of fan reaction that allows the owners—the Yankee owners now included—to cry poverty about salaries in general and during labor negotiations specifically.  “Shane Victorino got $39 million?! Salaries are out of control!”  I’d like to hear more of, “Baseball is doing well and the players are reaping the benefits.”

I’m sorry to attach all this baggage to Mel’s original post.  The dude’s giving his opinion from prison, after all.  But this has been a pet peeve of mine.

[27] It’s a solid contract, and Fenway will certainly help Victorino’s numbers especially as a RHH with primarily gap power. It’s a decent but unspectacular signing by the Red Sox.

The Marlins traded Escobar to the Rays. Nice pick-up for the Rays. Escobar’s contract is SICK. Two-years/$10 million then multiple club options for $5 million a year! It is like the polar opposite of Soriano’s dumb deal.

27. All of that is true. I pretty much agree with everything you said about the realities of this market. I still think this is a terrible contract.

My problem is not Victorino’s salary, it’s the three year commitment. The idea of a guy throwing up (pun intended) a .704 .OPS in his free agent season, and then getting a three year commitment, blows my mind. 2015 is a long time from now. It’s a long time to find a better player than Shane Victorino. I also have my moments where I am skeptical of WAR, especially overrating defense.

Victorino had a career low .OBP, career low slugging, career low .OPS, and feuded with his manager. He must have a great agent.

Again, I think you are on the button about the cost of wins, and average to above average production, I just feel like these mid-level contracts have a tendency to harm more than help.

James Loney is also a decent cheap pick-up for the Rays for first base.

So their lineup will be, I presume…

Jennings CF
Escobar SS
Zobrist RF
Longoria 3B
Joyce LF
? DH
Loney 1B
Roberts 2B
Molina C

Depending on who the DH is, that’s not an awful lineup. I mean, it is pretty darn bad, but not awful!

27.  Dear SAS, I take your broader point that market realities have changed.  But consider these points, if you will:

a) According to BBREF, as near as I can tell his average WAR over the last three years is 3.1;
b) I don’t know the defensive metrics, I admit.  I have a vague recollection that he has been regarded as a plus defender, but at his age I imagine his defensive value will decline over the life of this contract;
c) Career OPS+ of 102; and
d) Keith Law, fwiw, characterized the Victorino contract as the worst yet of this free agency period.

At a common sense level, three years, $39 million (the latest figure I’ve seen) for Shane Victorino blows me away.

Victorino is a switch-hitter, so he won’t get to pull the ball at that joke of a wall in LF in more than 1/3 of his PA.

The contract seems like a meh one to me.  CAIRO puts him at around 1.1 WAR offensively as a RF.  Even if you give him 10 runs on baserunning and defense that’s a 2 win player who’s 32 and should decline by about 1/2 win in 2014 and 2015.  So you’re paying $37.5M for 4.5 wins?

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