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

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Newsday: Yankees, Ichiro Suzuki reportedly closing in on one-year deal

The Yankees and outfielder Ichiro Suzuki could be reunited by the end of the week.
The two sides are nearing completion of a one-year deal, according to several reports published Monday, which would give the Yankees a stopgap replacement for free agent Nick Swisher.

Ichiro appeared rejuvenated after his midseason trade from the Mariners, hitting .322 in 67 games and making a smooth transition into a Yankees clubhouse filled with fellow veterans.

After making his first postseason appearance since 2001—he hit .217 in the ALDS and .353 in the ALCS—the 39-year-old made no secret about enjoying his time in New York, opening the door for a potential return.
Ichiro would give the Yankees three lefthanded-hitting outfielders, increasing the odds that general manager Brian Cashman will add a righthanded-hitting outfielder for balance.

Here are Ichiro’s CAIRO percentile forecasts as a Yankee for 2012.

80% 699 655 81 213 35 6 13 64 38 5 41 68 6 4 .325 .369 .458 .363 106 25
65% 695 651 77 205 32 5 12 60 35 6 38 72 7 3 .314 .353 .433 .345 96 15
Baseline 692 648 72 197 29 4 10 56 32 7 35 76 9 2 .304 .338 .407 .328 86 6
35% 554 518 54 152 21 2 7 42 24 7 25 64 8 1 .293 .322 .382 .310 61 -3
20% 484 454 44 128 16 1 5 34 19 7 20 59 8 1 .282 .307 .356 .292 46 -9

BR: Linear weights batting runs
BRAR: BR above replacement level, adjusted for position
wOBA: Weighted on-base average

Although I agree the Yankees need to add a RHB, Ichiro doesn’t necessarily need to be platooned if you look at his regressed projected wOBA splits.

% wOBA vs L wOBA vs R
80% .359 .365
65% .341 .347
Baseline .324 .329
35% .306 .312
20% .289 .294

Given his age he should be platooned some, but he can effectively be close to a full-time RF.  His offensive projection isn’t all that great for a corner OF, but he projects to be around a +7 defensive RF using an average of DRS, UZR and zone rating.  He also figures to add a few runs on the bases (around 5, 2, 12 and 2 runs over the past four seasons).  So if he can be around +5 BRAR and +5 on defense and +2 on the bases he’s worth around 1.2 WAR.  That’s not great, but maybe he can hit closer to the 65% forecast and most importantly he’ll only be signed for one year.

As far as the RH outfielder, if the Yankees do end up signing Kevin Youkilis they may try to get by with someone like Ronnier Mustelier if they can’t get someone like Cody Ross or Scott Hairston on a one year deal.  If they do that then they really need to try and upgrade catcher because there isn’t really anywhere else on the team where they can make a big upgrade.

--Posted at 8:51 am by SG / 59 Comments | - (0)


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The Yankees should sign Berkmann to a one year deal. He can be the DH and play 1B and RF ocassionally. He is a much better option than Ibanez. Remember the Yankees have a huge hole at DH. They should use a good bat there.

Berkman hates DHing if I recall correctly.  He’ll probably end up as Houston’s DH though.

He said he wanted to DH this year and Hosuton has no reason to pay him as their regular DH.

Berkman played 32 games last year and has had like half a dozen knee surgeries. Any plan that counts on him for regular AB’s is overly flawed.  Platoons are OK, but they are going to have to fill one of these openings with an actual full time player.

[3] - You mean other than to sell their long time NL fans on a team that sucks AND is switching to the AL on the concept of the DH by allowing them to retain one of their franchise legends?

[4] - As much as i hate to say it I think that is Youk as a full time 3B/DH. Although the silver lining is I don’t think he is coming to NY. The only reason to release so many stories about how he is seriously considering it is because he really one someone else, ANYONE else, to step up and give him another option. Otherwise he would just accept the Yankee offer.

[6] That’s the sense I get. 12 million after his 1 million buyout is basically the same as picking up the team option he had, which he clearly wasn’t worth to the White Sox. 2012 was his worst season by far, he’s lucky the Yankees really need someone.

I rather have Ramiro Pena than Youkilis, I know I am being irrational but counts too.

I never hated a player the way I hate Youkilis

Berkman if healthy (I know it’s a big if)could be the best Yankee hitter next season. The upside is so big that the Yankees should try to sign him.

I hate Useless but Ramiro Pena, I don’t think so.  If FDR can partner with Uncle Joe I’ll like Useless unless/until he sucks.

[6][7]  Of course he wants someone else to step up and make him another offer.  That doesn’t mean (a) someone else WILL do that, or (b) he won’t sign with the Yankees.  Supposedly he has always been somewhat intrigued by the idea of playing for NY.

I think any reluctance he has to jump on board with the Yankees immediately is that he knows it will damage his brand name in Boston (at least to some extent) if he dons the pinstripes.  There’s clearly some long-term commercial value in it for ex-RS who remain in the Townies’ good graces.  It’s better for him, assuming he wants the biggest paycheck he can get and assuming he actually wants to play in NY (which is also a good situation because they really need him), to play this out so that it’s clear to everyone he had no better offer on the table and he essentially HAD to go play in the Bronx.

I’m holding hands with dak, here. I hope Joba torments him on road trips.

And I’d rather have Pena than Nunez.

If Youkilis does not sign, here are the projections for Adams and Nunez:

Adams: .256 .324 .390 .7 oWAR in 289 PAs
Nunez: .261 .310 .366 .7 oWAR in 366 PAs

Extrapolated out to a full season, Adams would be around 1.5 WAR and Nunez about 1.2. CAIRO basically says they are about the same. I’d lean towards Adams just because there is almost no chance he is as bad defensively as Nunez is.

So Pukilis and Ichiro combined would increase our projected win total to 88-89?

10) is hilarious.  Ever since he opened his personal doors of perception, bebop has known how to bring the lulz.

We should bring back Jorge if he hasn’t ballooned too much by now.  We would have the oldest team in history, older than the Knicks.

I could easily see Pena OPSing < .500 over a full season.

As far as Pukilis is concerned, I’ve seen better-looking faces on an iodine bottle.

So Pukilis and Ichiro combined would increase our projected win total to 88-89?

Kind of scary that this is the best case scenario for this season… which is probably going to be the best team we have in the next 2 or 3 years.

They can probably goose it up to 90-91 wins if they get a right-handed platoon bat for the outfield and upgrade at catcher, I would think.

Hah, speak of the devil.  Per RAB,

The Yankees have won at least 95 games in each of the past four seasons, but as of right now it’s hard to see them winning that many games again in 2013. They don’t have a starting catcher, a starting right fielder, a starting third baseman, a DH, or a bench. There’s still more than two months of offseason left to address those needs, but as of right now the Yankees look like an 85-win team. In fact, SG’s most recent CAIRO projections have New York winning 85 games in 2013, good enough for third place in the AL East but not a playoff spot.

[19] So which one of us is secretly Mike A.? My money’s on dak

[20] Don. It’s deep cover.

If you say “Mike K.” really fast it sounds like “Mike A.”

Mike K is the real Mike A!

Here, he poses as a starry-eyed eternal optimist.  In reality, he’s a hard-bitten realist blogger.

[23] After all this time Mel you’ve finally found a way to insult me…

It wasn’t easy.  One would think it would have been easier given my propensity to detract from the quality of the discussion here.

[19] Did they convienently skip over SG’s caveats about it being way too early to project?

Insults travel horizontally off the tongue and so naturally they are often blocked by vertical prison bars.

[27]  This is true.  I don’t know what it means, but it’s true.

[25] You certainly don’t detract Mel.  You add a unique quality to it.

Berkmann would be interesting, even if the injury risk is high. The Yankees are missing a lot of power in their current lineup configuration.


That DH/3B spot seems to be the only place you could fit a power hitter, since there are no power-hitting catchers available for one year unless they blow Pierzynski away with an offer (it would be funny, though, if the Yankees signed Pierzynski and Youk, adding two of the most unlikable players in the Majors on to their team in the same offseason)

Here’s an interesting question - when Cashman plans for the team this offseason, can he take A-Rod’s return into consideration at all or does he have to presume that A-Rod will miss the whole season?

[33] I am assuming that none of the projected starters will play this season, which is why I predict a 40-122 season.

[33] Isn’t Youkilis the DH/3B? I think they will go with a DH/OF for that spot, assuming they don’t rearrange the deck chairs with trades.

Why are we impressed by the fact that the band continued playing as the Titanic sank, yet we mock the people who rearranged the deck chairs?  Perhaps an attractive deck chair arrangement made the passengers feel better as they went down to their deaths.

[36] Perhaps it was only the rearranging of the deck chairs that kept the band playing.

Aren’t we all just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic of life?

[37] every show needs an audience.

Yanks sign Youkilis.  I kind of can’t believe it, though I went through Boggs and Clemens.

I love the Youkilis move. Absolutely love it. One year deal. Good .OBP. May get time at DH to keep him healthy. Fantastic.

Thank you for signing Youkilis, now I am not a Yankee fan anymore.

Just don’t root for the sawx, dakranky.

Youkilis and TSBG see a lot of pitches, which is good.  I’d expect Youkilis to perform close to his .65 projection if he stays healthy.

[43] Won’t root for any team

[42] This is really going to cut into RLYW’s complaint projection for 2013.

[41] Yeah, this was a good move. Fills three needs - Rodriguez being out half the season and perhaps limited to DH duties, gives another legit RHB in the line up throughout the year, and a backup 1B.

It’s about time we got a gritty, Paul O’Neill-style hardass back on this team of pampered choke artists.

It’s not a great move. Youkilis have been declining for 3 years and he is not a good defensive 3B.

Rationally it’s not a great move, irrationally this is the worst that ever happened to me as a Yankee fan.

Good deal. They had to sign someone and Youk (!!!) fits several needs.

But great, now the Yankees project to win 88 games and will finish 3rd or 4th in the AL East.

BTW, Berkman was going to cost much less than 12 million and made much more sense.

The best part about this is that we can blame it all on ARod.

Sure it’s Arod’s fault.

Soriano makes even more sense than Youkilis, the Cubs want to trade him badly.

Bill James projects Youkilis as a 0.265 0.371 0.465 hitter. I’ll take the under of .836 OPS

[51] Berkman can’t play 3B.

I really can’t stand Youkilis and this is probably an overpay. OK baseball move. Blech fan move.

I’d say he’s the best option given the 2014 budget cap.  I can’t stand Youkilis either.

[54] Soriano has two years and 36m left on his contract.  He doesn’t make sense even if the Cubs ate 10m, as they apparently have offered, because of the two years left on the deal and the 189m cap.  He doesn’t play third base either.

This is really going to cut into RLYW’s complaint projection for 2013.

Oh…I think this is not a good prediction. Not a good prediction at all.

[58] It’s not a prediction, just a projection…

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