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

Thursday, January 11, 2018

MLBTR: Yu Darvish Choosing Among Six Teams

Yu Darvish is widely considered to be the top starting pitcher available in free agency, and while his market — like the market of nearly every other top free agent this winter — has been slow to progress, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Darvish has whittled the decision down to a handful of teams: the Rangers, Cubs, Astros, Twins and Yankees. Darvish himself has hardly been shy about stirring the pot on social media this winter, though, and he created an additional layer of intrigue tonight when he responded to the report by tweeting: “I know one more team is in.” The Dodgers may very well be the sixth team to which Darvish alluded, as Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times tweeted tonight that Los Angeles “remains in the mix” to bring Darvish back to L.A.

I’d be surprised if the Yankees were willing to blow up HalCap™ and sign Darvish.  Assuming they’re around $180M in salary cap dollars right now, there’s no way I can see fitting Darvish’s $20M+ salary.  I mean, I suppose they could trade someone like David Robertson or Brett Gardner but I’m not sure that ends up being much of a net positive.  Darvish is maybe a 3.5 win pitcher right now, but he wouldn’t be replacing a replacement level pitcher in the current rotation so he’s really only like a 1.5 win upgrade.  Robertson is probably pretty close to that himself, and I don’t have to tell you that Gardner is worth a lot more than that.

More likely, it’s Darvish’s agents trying to up the offers by insinuating the Yankees in.

I’d certainly be happy to see Darvish in pinstripes, but I don’t see it happening.

--Posted at 9:56 am by SG / 46 Comments | - (0)


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That’s the problem with making a really good team better. It becomes harder to push it higher because even a really good player is only a little better than what you already have.

Seems to me a better strategy would be simply have all your current players just play to or above their 80% projections. Problem solved.

Would rather avoid a long-term deal for a 30+ SP, and get a 3b/2b that allows the team to reset the tax. Then go all-out next off-season.

In theory the HalCap works… in theory.

But only in theory.

Since I really don’t want to trade Frazier plus other valuable stuff for Cole, I’m for it if they can get it done.


Plus Green will come to ST ready to start.

Meanwhile they have a battle between Torreyes, Jace Peterson, and Miguel Andujar to start the season at 3B.  What exactly are they thinking?

This is shocking.

NEW YORK YANKEES: Heyman | Yankees having trouble finding taker for Ellsbury

The New York Yankees are said to be willing to pay at least half of Jacoby Ellsbury’s $22 million salary but are still having trouble stirring much trade interest at this point.

If only it wasn’t such an obviously horrendous contract on the day it was signed.

Oh wait, it was…

[6] I think they believe that they can’t afford to get any of the 2B/3B options and still have the flexibility they may need later in the year. Related to [7], the big reason why they are trying to move Ellsbury is to free up that ~10MM to comfortably acquire a 2B/3B while maintaining 10-15MM in available cap headroom.

I’m skeptical that Ellsbury could now get a contract of any length with an AAV of $10m.

Ellsbury might be able to get two years, $12M.

Since they are trading 3 years of him, I doubt he could get 3/24 for his age 34-36 seasons.

I wonder what’s Hicks trade value. If some team is willing to buy his break out year I’d be willing to move him.

I’m hoping for Yelich for Hicks, Frazier, and Florial.

Notice how SG hasn’t denied he’s going to the M’s?

SG=Seattle Guy?

Would a denial at this point have plausibility?

[15] Sounds Good.

I haven’t denied not going to Seattle either.

How much better is Gardner than the better of Ellsbury and Frazier? Less than 1 WAR IMHO.  Sign Darvish, trade Gardner, keep Clint Frazier.  Let Frazier and Ellsbury share LF.  That team is stronger in 2018 and a lot stronger going forward, since Clint Frazier is still around. And, having an ace like Darvish means a lot in the post season.

He has to take the Sherman (not Joel) pledge to be believed.

Interesting. Plus restocking the Mil. And I imagine it’s easier to upgrade LF midseason.

[19] Who plays CF when Hicks and Smellsbury are both injured?

And postseason does not make a compelling case for Darvish.

[22] Yeah, its hard to get excited about Darvish after he got hammered in the WS.  I know it was just two games, but they were the most important games of the year.  Getting hammered once is ok, can happen to anyone.  But to not be able to make any adjustments at all is bad.

SG should go to Seattle, change the underlying assumptions of CAIRO to make Ellsbury look better, then convince the Mariners trade for him. Problem solved.

Smells for Cano !

Is there any evidence that Clint has the ability to play CF ? He didn’t strike me as particularly speedy.

[19] - Yup.

(24) Andy petite 1997 says hi

[26] He appears to be fast enough:

But I recall reading that he still needs work on routes and reading the ball off the bat.

It seems possible that he could man CF for a few years, but may not be a longterm solution.

He played mostly CF in the minors(260 of 490 games in the minors and 16 of 19 games in the Arizona Fall League), so there is some evidence.  He hasn’t played there since the Yankees acquired him from Cleveland, so there is evidence that the Yanks don’t think he can play there.

[30] That could be because the Yankees considered CF blocked by Ellsbury and Hicks and saw Frazier as a backup for Judge busting/ taking Gardner’s LF spot.

If that’s the case, that math may have changed with the acquisition of Stanton.

Either way, if Frazier can play CF now, I think it’s unlikely long term given his build.

[7] Good thing I was sitting down when I read that. Shocking.

[22] Clint can fill in in CF in that event.

Cashman confirms Yankees are interested in Darvish.

[22/24] I think it’s telling that both of his former teams seem to want him back or are at least interested.

Hicks, 1/$2.825, Kahnle 1/$1.3125 to avoid arb.

[36] I kind of expected Hicks to get a bit more.

The Mets actually spent a little bit of money. Wow, Bruce’s market must have SUCKED for him to return to the Mets.

Dan Federico

Wow: Michael Kay is reporting the #Yankees offered Yu Darvish a contract around seven years and $160 million. But when Darvish didn’t accept within 48 hours, they pulled the deal.

Either Michael Kay is a gullible fool or an incredible liar or I’m unnecessarily cynical.

That seems like a fair contract for who Yu is. (Who Yu are?)

I absolutely do not want to, in effect, trade Robertson for Darvish and a prospect. This team is ready to compete this year and in the playoffs, Robertson was their second-best reliever after Chapman. Betances should be able to bounce back and I have faith in Kahnle and Green, but fuck, dude, Robertson is so good!

And there’s no way they are breaking HalCap this year. No way. So it has to be a D-Rob trade.

Interesting.  Was that between the time they traded Chase and the time they re-signed CC?

I also don’t believe that much in Darvish.  Almost all Japanese pitchers break.  Most American pitchers break too, but I wouldn’t bet that much on 7 years of Darvish. 

In general I would say that the pursuit of pitchers like Cole and Darvish (even though one is a trade and other a FA) involve investing a lot in high risk. 

Baseball is very different now, but this all feels so fantastically different from trading for David Cone, and then re-signing him for the ASTONISHING SUM of 3/18.  I’m hard pressed to know what analytics say 2 years of declining Cole is better than 6 years of breakout starter Montgomery, or that year 7, 3, or even 1 of Yu Darvish is so valuable that you trade away a cheap all-star caliber Robertson or Gardner.

All that said, I feel quite sure the Yankees are going to overpay for Darvish or Arrieta and lose a more valuable player to pay for it.  Possible benefits:  Ellsbury feels better that we have a new pinata to beat.

Studies have actually shown that, in a VERY small sample size, that Asian pitchers have aged BETTER than their American counterparts. It’s not proof that Asian pitchers age well, of course, but it’s pretty good proof that at least the long-held, widespread opposite belief is false.

I wouldn’t sign any Tommy John survivor to a seven year deal.  The data on their long-term prognosis isn’t very encouraging.

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