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

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Newsday: Yankees’ Randy Levine: We have an offseason plan

It’s an unusual place to be for the Yankees, who are more accustomed to reloading during the winter rather than watching their neighbors—other than the Red Sox—beat them to the punch. One reason for that is the Yankees’ desire to get below the $189-million luxury tax threshold for the 2014 season, a mandate Levine repeated Wednesday.

That’s influencing the front office’s measure of prospective contracts, and how they can limit them in length. As for how quickly all of that gets accomplished, Levine laughed at the idea the Yankees were lagging, despite Torii Hunter signing a two-year, $26-million contract with the Tigers earlier that same day.

“I think we feel good,” Levine said. “The tortoise usually wins the race. We have a plan. We’re going to try and execute it. We’ll react as it happens. We have a pretty good idea of where we want to be and we’re working on it. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet.”

Unfortunately the plan appears to be to sign only people that will take one year deals which pretty much leaves you with the dregs of free agency and/or hoping that a bunch of 38-42 year old players come back.

This is shaping up to be an awfully boring offseason.

--Posted at 9:02 am by SG / 27 Comments | - (0)


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This is shaping up to be an awfully boring offseason.

Just wait until the *season* starts…

Levine has a plan?  This can’t be good.

[2] Unfortunately while the best plans of mice and men often go awry, Levine’s (rat) are always bad and always go through.

[0] Last offseason was awfully boring too.  Until what, like late January?  Then within the span of a month or two they signed Ibanez (not huge but in retrospect definitely worthwhile), Kuroda (big), Pettitte (big), and traded for Pineda (big deal at the time).

There’s a good chance that the Yankees have most of their work done before December, and that it’s resigning their own players.  Kuroda/Pettitte/Mo to one year deals, maybe Martin to a 3-year deal.  That makes the 2013 team look like what, a 90-win team?  Then deal with dregs/minor league for OF/bench, and yes it will be boring, but they’ll still have a playoff team on paper.

There’s also a good chance that they’ll do the above (or at least 2 of the 4 anyway), and then sometime in January do something unexpected.  Maybe BJ Upton doesn’t have any takers and they manage to get him for 3/30.  Maybe they make an expected trade and get a young OF, like a McCutchen, or Gorden, or maybe a little lower like a Jay Bruce or something.  They’ve done it in the past, to greater or lesser success.

Unfortunately the plan appears to be to sign only people that will take one year deals which pretty much leaves you with the dregs of free agency and/or hoping that a bunch of 38-42 year old players come back.

Yes that is boring, but to be fair to the Yankees, they are REALLY good at it.  They may suck at developing young pitching but filling out a line up spot or two and the bench with guys like these is right in their wheelhouse.

Lets just hope their success at it in recent years isn’t just luck that is about to run out, because they are going to need it.

[2] That was my first thought.

I always thought that for years their bench was horrible - Enrique Wilson? Bubba Crosby; but it made no diff since those guys never got any at bats anyway. But I dont always remember so good

I’ll take “boring” over a repeat of the Soriano signing.

So this is the complaint thread.


That was before they started testing for amphetamines.  The old guys need more days off now.

(8) How did the Soriano signing hurt Yanks? Having not had him available this year a first place finish is out of the question. And as it stands it turned out to be a two year deal. I still don’t get the complaints other than it was done over the head of Cashman by the owners. I wish to heck the owners would have nixed the Pineda disaster.

[11] The lost draft pick is the issue that bothers the most people here I think, plus the horrible idea of yearly opt-outs. They worked out okay this time, but that’s the best that can happen with an opt out, not getting burned. They are extra silly for pitchers, since everyone is an arm injury away from never pitching on a mound again.

As far as finishing in first this year, you should evaluate a contract based on what it was reasonably possible to know at the time. I think Baltimore coming within a game of winning the division in 2012 was low on the list of thoughts anyone had at the beginning of the 2011 season, and the money spent over two years on Soriano could presumably have bought a couple of wins this year in some other way.

(12) Fair answer. I would say that Rivera’s body holding up was the primary reason that the Steins had in mind at the beginning of 2011 and it proved to be a valid concern. To say that “it just worked out okay this time” is an after the fact evaluation, no?

[11] The Pineda move actually made some sense, even though it has not worked out well. Signing Soriano did not make sense, the Yankees had a very strong back of the BP with Mariano, Joba and Robertson. It happened that both Mo and Joba were injured for ~1 season, making the signing look better than it was.

Also, as tree points out the draft pick going to TB and the yearly opt outs, so that even if Soriano was very good, the Yankees would most likely not gain all that much for it. And Soriano had no suitors and the Yankees signed him for a very large amount of money.

[13] for “worked out this time,” I just meant the yearly opt outs. Levine/the Steins likely were wondering how much longer Rivera could keep it up, which is worrying, since from their perspective the Soriano signing might have been a success.

[4] Pineda for Montero in a surprise change of scenery challenge trade?

Nate Silver answering questions on Deadspin:

“In the book, I talk to Bob Voulgaris, who is maybe the best sports bettor in the world. Super sharp. Works his butt off. He gets 57% of his NBA bets right, not more than that. The luck component is pretty large. I think we add value mostly by comparison because the pundits are the equivalent of the 1899 Cleveland Spiders.”

Or the 2001-present New York Yankees.


[17] I beg to differ, the advertisements on XM sports radio tell me that with this foolproof system I can beat the Vegas sports books - even with no understanding of the sports I’m betting on. They say I can make an extra $2k a month without any risk.

Are they taking advantage of me?

Step One: Become a Bookie.

[18] Can you play the system twice and make $4K a month without any risk?

20 you’ll move the line too much.  Just settle for the 4k.  Don’t be greedy.  In the 70s I knew this guy Mickey who was a very big, successful baseball bettor.

Boring off season? Not if we get Rickey Nolasco.

“He gets 57% of his NBA bets right”

That seems pretty bad - he doesn’t have to bet on equal matchups - unless there’s some arbitrage point I’m missing.  Ok, right, he’s doing 7% better than the line or something like that.

I’m guessing he’s betting on spreads.

24 of course but if the vig is 5 or 10% where does that leave him

At -110 per bet, I think 57% will bring you close to breaking even, if not come out on top.  Depends on how you vary your bet amounts, of course.

I think 53% is the break even point at-110 tho big players can probably get a lower vig.  Some intrrnet BMs may also offer better vig.

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