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

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

NY Post: Yankees bring back lefty to fill bullpen weak spot

The Yankees entered the offseason in search of a left-handed reliever and on Tuesday, they gave themselves another option by signing Wade LeBlanc to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training.

The 33-year-old LeBlanc appeared in 50 games for Pittsburgh last season, pitching to a 4.50 ERA in 68 innings. He was with the Yankees briefly in 2014, but pitched in just one game before being released.

I literally have zero recollection that LeBlanc was a Yankee.

I don’t think this actually helps.  In his career, lefties have hit .305/.352/.520 against LeBlanc.  It doesn’t really matter if he throws with his left arm if he can’t get lefties out.

But hey, at least we finally have something to create a new post about…

--Posted at 9:03 am by SG / 32 Comments | - (0)


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But hey, at least we finally have something to create a new post about…

Individual posts about each Yankee starters 2018 projection and analysis of it all leading up to the seasons projections could pass the time…

If you are up for it…

Maybe Pedro can teach him a new pitch.

The pirates must be truly pathetic to allow a lefty specialist who can’t get lefties out to throw 68 innings!

[1] Sure, I can start working on those.  But be warned, Gardner’s going to get a hagiography on par with the most renowned saints.

The early history of Christianity is filled with dodgy saints.  There was a St Jehosaphat who turned out to be based on the Buddha, and another who upon investigation was a pagan dog spirit who’d been retconned into the Christian canon.  Garnder will fit right in.

I thought he was the guy from “Friends.”

He sounds like another warm body to pitch spring training innings.

[5] How was his vertical, though? It must’ve been legendary.

[8] Beat me to it.

Doggy Saints, pagan dog spirit. I see. Ruff.

Townies offering foregone conclusion JD Martinez 5/100.

I drew a blank about Wade LeBlanc.

[5] Jehosaphat (actually Josaphat) was never canonized by Rome.

There is an actual Saint Josaphat, Josaphat Kuntsevych.

Kevin McHale: “Great jumping Jehoshaphat!”

I’m officially against this idea, but someone floated the idea of trading Ellsbury and his 3 years/$64 contract for Ian Desmond’s 4 years/$68 million, which would cut, I believe, $5 million from the luxury tax (maybe more, since Desmond made very little money this past season, so his contract might count only $14 million against the cap and not $17 million. I’m unsure on how these things work) and give them someone who could back-up the outfield, second and third.

I don’t like it because it’s a year longer and Desmond was AWFUL last year (and I don’t even know that he could definitely play third), but it’s at least an interesting idea.

Do the Rockies need an outfielder?

[16] Luxury tax is based on AAV so it doesn’t matter how the salary breaks down.

That’s what I though but I wasn’t sure what the rules are if you acquired someone else’s contract. In that case, the savings is actually significant. $22 million for Ellsbury vs. $14 million for Desmond.

[18] Yep, so Smells currently counts as just over $21M towards luxtax, but it will really be closer to $22M retroactively once his final year is bought out rather than exercised. Desmond counts at $14M (plus another 400k retroactively when his option is inevitably bought out rather than exercised).

So, the trade saves them $8M in HalCap space immediately (and $8M in HalCap space in ‘19 and ‘20 as well, while costing them $14.4M in HalCap space in ‘21). In real dollars, Desmond is due another $62M (including buyout) and Smells is due another $68M (including buyout).

It’s an interesting idea if the Yankees already know that no one would take even a couple million of Smells salary off their hands, then even if they think Desmond is completely done, they can still give him a chance to compete for a job in ST. If he provides anything of value at 2B or 3B, great. If not, cut him and they already saved $8M in HalCap space for the next three years and $6M in real dollars overall in exchange for a dead salary slot of $14.4M in 2021.

Brian, I don’t follow these things the way I did 10 years ago, but it looks like Desmond had two non-predictive type injuries and was suddenly put vastly out of position last year - and pretty good before that, is that not right? Is there a reason to think he’s done rather than a really good candidate to rebound back at his old position after an off-season of rest?

[18]  Yeah, this is sort of like the LA-Atlanta trade where the money was the same but LA benefitted from the AAV calculation.  The question is whether the Yankees want 4 years of Ian Desmond, who might be deader money than Ellsbury, though the longer contract paradoxically makes Desmond easier to dump later.

Also interesting is whether Ian Desmond can be salvaged.  His bat could rebound, but he’s getting oldish.  He seems to have been a decent IF when he played there, but he hasn’t for a couple of years for some reason, and now he’d be asked to play backup, for a lot of money, for four years.

Also, how bad can the Rox want Ells?

Again, what’s the story that makes this guy look so done? It looks like he had one lousy injury plagued year. He doesn’t seem to have the long downward trend Ellsbury does. What am I missing?

His upside is similar to Ellsbury. 2 WAR, maaaaybe 3 WAR if everything goes right.  Hasn’t been good in years. He’s on the wrong side of 30, has a big contract, was never realky thaaat good, and he’s a corner OF at this point.

[5] There is also St. Stephen, the patron saint of gardens and an early proponent of recycling.

and he’s a corner OF at this point.

If he can’t play the infield, then yeah, he’s useless. I don’t know if he’s done as an infielder just yet.

[4] - So same as every other year.

By the way, the Rockies are trying to contend this year and they currently don’t have a full outfield and since Ellsbury is a lot more likely to be good next year, I could see them going for it.

Annoyingly, though, the one guy they DO have is a great defensive centerfielder.

Still, this is more about getting a better player than Desmond who has one less year on his contract

Kind of crazy that Desmond projects for an OBP/SLG of .341/.468 which translates to a 95 wRC+. I feel like just a couple seasons ago that would be wRC+ near 110.

I think Ellsbury is just too good, though, to dump him for a done player.

Ellsbury is also too good to ride the bench behind Hicks/Gardner as a fourth outfielder, and his cost is exhorbitant. Hell, he is too expensive if he were playing, and he won’t (or shouldn’t) be.

Dump the contract. Anything you get in terms of salary relief is a direct benefit and the principal aim. A player who can fill in as forth or fifth outfielder is then just gravy.

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