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

Monday, December 17, 2012

NY Post: Yankees’ Cashman: ‘More work to do’

“We have more work to do,’’ said general manager Brian Cashman, who is looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder and somebody to absorb DH at-bats. “But a lot of the players who were substantial contributors over the last number of years have been January signs.’’

I’m starting to think the Yankees’ best option for a RH backup OF is Ronnier Mustelier.  Then they can try and get the best available bat that will sign for one year to DH, be it the Shockmaster™ or Lance Berkman maybe?  CAIRO would project Berkman to hit around .270/.383/.475 in 408 PA, which would be worth about 10 runs better than a replacement-level DH.  Plus he can backup 1B and can probably play a pinch of RF if needed.

--Posted at 10:54 am by SG / 55 Comments | - (0)

Comments

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Sign Berkman. He makes too much sense.

Cody Ross is still availbale. Mashed LHP last year, consistent with career splits.  If you’ve got Ichiro for 2 years, maybe you should get Ross for 2 as well. $10-12M per annum for the pair (so, $5M-$6M/year for each) seems like it’d be a fairly efficient buy.  I’m guessing Ross wants a bigger deal than that though.

I think the attractive thing about Berkman is he probably only wants one year.  If they’re going to go two years for Ross, then they may as well just forget about the $189M payroll limit and he’s not really good enough to support that.  Then again, you could say the same about Ichiro.

The good news is the way things are going they can probably sign Soriano for 1 year/$5 M to set up Robertson in the 7th.

If they’re going to go two years for Ross, then they may as well just forget about the $189M payroll limit and he’s not really good enough to support that.

I don’t think that’s true (depending on the contract).  It just means you’re committing to not resigning Granderson (likely anyway) and putting a minor-leaguer in an OF corner in 2014.  Right now 2014 OF is Gardner, Ichiro vs righties, and…?  So they still need another starter, and a RH hitter to platoon with Ichiro.

I’m not saying signing Ross to a 2-year deal is wise, just that it doesn’t mean they’re giving up on $189MM for 2014.

I don’t like Ross for 2 years and he is going to get maybe 3 years. Stay away from him.

[3] I think the attractive thing about Berkman is he probably only wants one year.

I really hope that they’re not just looking for one year deals, but looking to stay away from deals that aren’t efficient for 2014, which is why the end up with 1 year deals. If they keep going with 1 year deals, they’re going to need to fill spots at C, DH, RF, LF, SP2, SP3, and closer next year. Got it with the wait and see for in house options, but jeez that’s a lot of value to try to find. That’s turning over the entire team.

[4] - Yeah, the Yankees have a LOT of money coming off in 2014.  Pettitte, Kuroda, Mo, Granderson, Hughes, Youk, and don’t forget about A.J. Burnett.  That gives them plenty of room to resign a few people and go cheap on a few options.  I don’t think they are in a position where 1 more Ichiro type contract pushes them to the point of no return as far as $189 in 2014.

[4] Right now 2014 OF is Gardner, Ichiro vs righties, and…?

Yeah this is what I was getting at.  It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to know that you have Ichiro vs RHP/Ross vs LHP for 2014. And if it’s costing you for $25M total for 2 years, that’s a pretty good value I think.

I really think Cashman needs to blow this whole thing up with a new player that they’ve got for like 3-5 years. Upton, Headley, etc., something like that.  Just having the money available for 2014 isn’t going to get the job done.

If the Yankees believe that Austin can be ready in 2014 I’m not sure they’ll be willing to sign another 2 year deal for a platoon RF.

If they keep going with 1 year deals, they’re going to need to fill spots at C, DH, RF, LF, SP2, SP3, and closer next year. Got it with the wait and see for in house options, but jeez that’s a lot of value to try to find. That’s turning over the entire team.

That’s really not as bad as you think.  You figure Closer/BP is going to be all filled with with they already have.  So even if they get up to $210M again this year with Mo gone and replaced in house, they really only have to trim $11M in one off-season.  Even doing something like trading Youk for a more reasonably priced backup 3B and going with a rotating DH pretty much gets you there.  Then it’s just about saving some money for a Cano signing but between finding a replacement for Granderson, Kuroda, and Pettite who most likely aren’t options at all you can most likely find replacements and save at most $10M.  I’d have to think Pineda is at least going to get a a shot in the rotation.  That right there saves you enough for Cano. 

So really there isn’t much difference between this year and next year. Find reasonably priced COFer to replace Granderson (instead of Swisher), replace a rotation spot, maybe C depending on how this years options work, DH, and backup IFer.

I really think Cashman needs to blow this whole thing up with a new player that they’ve got for like 3-5 years. Upton, Headley, etc., something like that.  Just having the money available for 2014 isn’t going to get the job done.

The further in the off-season we get, I think the less-likely they are to make that major trade.  Headley is out now that they’ve signed Youkilis.  I think for Upton (or another long-term solution in RF), it would now involve trading Granderson, too.  Which may be OK.  However, the biggest potential place is C.  Wonder who is out there that is obtainable?  Probably no one, unfortunately…

[9] But if you have Gardner in CF and Ichiro/Ross in RF, you still need a LF.  So Austin is your LF then.  Right?  If they feel BOTH Austin and Heathcott will be ready, there’s no need for a Ross-type.  Again, all based on the money. 

In hindsight, maybe Hunter at $13MM/year for two years would have been a better investment than say, Ichiro/Ross for $12.5MM/year.  But we also have no idea what they may have been planning on that didn’t work out.

[11] I can see them projecting Austin to be ready in a year, I think they might be a little less bullish on Heathcott. He certainly has the talent and tools, but he’s lost so much time to injury and his K rate is a bit of an issue. He’s probably still ahead of Williams and Sanchez, but I can’t see projecting him to be ready until at least partway through 2014.

[10] So really there isn’t much difference between this year and next year.

Are you accounting for the fact that this team currently projects to be middle of the pack and everyone gets older?  They’ll have they money available, yes, and they have in house options that need to mature or get healthy, yes, but you need to put value on the field, and the money is only good if you can spend it. The 2014 FA classes best names are starting pitchers. In the OF, there are something interesting options (Cruz, Ellsbury, Pence), but not the kind of names you could say you’re waiting for to spend that money on.

EDIT: I would throw McCann on that list as well, since we may need a catcher. 2013 will be a big year for him coming back from injury,

[11] [9] But if you have Gardner in CF and Ichiro/Ross in RF, you still need a LF.  So Austin is your LF then.  Right?  If they feel BOTH Austin and Heathcott will be ready, there’s no need for a Ross-type.  Again, all based on the money. 

.. and having Austin surprise you with his development and having a logjam is the preferred problem to have instead of the alternative.

Okay, thinking about catchers for a potential trade…went to FanGraphs and listed all catchers w/ at least 200PA in the majors last year and orderd by fWAR.  First team to come to mind are the Brewers.  They have Lucroy and Maldanado.  Lucroy is better and a little older (2 months).  But Maldanado appears to be legit, will be in his age 26 season, and has at least 1 more year of team control than Lucroy.  Obviously ideally some trade that nets Lucroy would be good for 2013 and the next several years; especially if they like him enough to buy out his arb and a couple FA years.  Maldanado though is likely an upgrade over Romine/Cervelli for 2013, is cheap, and if Romine (or Murphey) progress enough to earn starting job in 2014 Maldanado is a good backup, and would likely have some trade value.  I figure Brewers have two prime-age catchers, one should be obtainable.  No idea what would match up to trade.

After that?  There’s no way in hell Royals should trade Salvador Perez.  Which means he’s probably available.  After that…Michael McKenry of Pirates?  They have Martin, McKenry is 28.  Hasn’t done much in majors before last year (2 fWAR career, 1.9 last year), but MiL record seems solid, if unspectacular.  Hcector Sanchez of Giants?  Obviously blocked.  MiL record doesn’t seem great, but he also went from A+ to the pros in one year (skipped AA), and will only be 23 in 2013.  Nick Hundley may have been nice/obtainable, but with Grandal suspended. 

So…not many catchers they could trade for, that would provide any kind of assurance until Sanchez is ready (or longer if he doesn’t stick).  I don’t think any of the other good, young ones are obtainable, and the rest are either not that good, or old.

[15] - I don’t think they should be trading for a young catcher period.  Maybe you trade with a team that has young catching but a MLB contract in front of it.  Get the guy “blocking” instead (obviously the Giants isn’t a fit) but that’s the kind of trade you look for.  Otherwise, unless you are looking to trade Sanchez in the deal and swap him for a more MLB ready option with lower upside, I don’t think it makes sense.

[12] Agreed, which is why I don’t think they’d be against signing a RH platoon OF for a 2-year deal.  It has to be the right 2 year deal of course.  They won’t sign Ross for 3 for sure, either.  Even if Austin is ready they need a platoon partner for Ichiro.  On the happy chance both are ready [14] or another OF in the system surprises, Ross is probably tradeable if he’s only get a year at $6MM left.

Houston signed Carlos Peña. That at least makes Berkman to Houston less probable.

[16] Catcher is really the only place I can think of - w/o trading Granderson - that they could get a long-term piece right now and upgrade.  Unless they’re going to shock everyone and get a SS and tell Jeter he’s a UIF this year which I doubt highly.  If they get a catcher with 3 or more years of team control, I’m not sure why it doesn’t make sense.  Sanchez won’t be ready until 2015 at the earliest, and even then he’d likely benefit from being a caddy for a year.  If the catcher you acquire this year has more than 3 years of control, he’s probably either tradeable in after 2015, cheap enough to be a backup, OR on the off-chance he’s really good Sanchez very likely will have more trade value after 2013 than now.  IWC, he becomes a chip they can use to acquire a good, young(ish) player to fill a whole in 2014.

[13] - Yeah, the increased cost of Cano, and the increased age/decreases production of older players is an issue but you hope for things like a productive and healthy season out of Gardner and improvement from Nova/Phelps, and maybe one other starter like Pineda/Warren/Austin/Sanchez/someone can offset it somewhat. 

This team isn’t completely devoid of young players that you can reasonably expect/hope to get more out of and 2013 isn’t full of older players projected for insane win totals (except maybe C.C.).  In a large extend some regression for Jeter, Ibanez, Chavez, etc.. is built into the 2013 projections.  I mean really, they haven’t lost much and probably gained more, but they aren’t projected to come close to matching 2012 win total.  Some of that is projections are almost always understated, but some of it is exactly what you are talking about.

[20] Well, I’m also not saying that they needed to totally discount in house options for 2014, just that having a player, today, identified to fill one of those positions cost effectively is a good thing.  If it was an Ichiro/Ross platoon at a $12M AAV, you could do a lot worse. Heck, you could probably trade Ross and his entire salary at any point during the deal.

[18] He signed for $2.9M, which makes you wonder if the reason was that they went with Pena was that Berkman wanted too much money. He made $12M last year but got hurt and basically only played like 15% of a season.  So, a pay cut is due, but he may still be viewing himself as a $10M+ player who just happened to get hurt.

Could also be that Berkman doesn’t want to play on a crappy team on what could be the last year of his career.

[23] So he won’t be signing with the Yankees then.

Zing!

Swisher for 4 yr/$48M? Umm, the Yankees should be all over that, right?

Was he unhappy here? I can’t really remember.

[25] They should. But they won’t.

Also, he’ll most likely get more than that with Hamilton off the table, Texas and Seattle are still looking for OF help.

Was he unhappy here? I can’t really remember.

I remember he hit terribly for the beginning of his tenure and got booed for it, and I remember reading that he hated the DH.  But now he probably knows it’s the best way for him to stay healthy.  If I remember correctly, he seemed to handle the booing well.

I’m sure he’d come back for the right price.

I’m for signing Berkman because his nickname above replacement value is very high.

[26, 28] Ha! I thought he meant Swisher.

[30] Me too. The part about him handling the booing well gave it away, though.

Now that R A Dickey is with the Blue Jays, well, the Jays look mighty good…. on paper at least.

Jays will project as the best team in the division, but they have a lot of injury risk between Reyes, Johnson, Morrow and Bautista.

Toronto also currently has a higher payroll obligation than NYY for 2014 and 2015. Their roster is more filled out, however.

[32]  Paper made from mighty Canadian trees.

Chicago’s jerk catcher is still available, right? I have to think he is gettable on a big one-year deal and by 2014, Romine just has to be ready to step up. That makes sense to me. Add in Berkman and the lineup would look pretty darn good.

Jeter SS
Suzuki RF
Cano 2B
Teix 1B
Grandy LF
Berkman DH
Pierzysnki C
Youklis 3B
Gardner CF

Granted, that would also require the Yankees to add another, like, $18 million to the payroll, which might be out of their budget.

[36]

Jeter - at risk of falling off the age cliff, coming off a serious injury
Suzuki - age cliff
Cano - safe for a few more years. Then Alomar, Knoblauch, Utley, Roberts say hello
Teix - age slope
Grandy - age slope
Berkman - age cliff, injuries
P - age cliff
Youkilis - age cliff, injuries
Gardner - turning 30, coming off a serious injury

Speaking of TOR, any discussion of their potential injury issues would be remiss without mentioning the suck minefield that is the 2013 NYY lineup.

Plus Tex just sucks

What if the Yanks traded Granderson for a catcher and Mo played center field?

[37] - Ichiro already fell off the cliff 2 years ago.

And what the hell is up with the O’s this off-season?  For years they have been trying to sign people but no one wanted to come to Baltimore.  I thought for sure they would use this luck season finally having success in luring people to play for them.  So what do they do?  Nothing.  Nothing at all.

[41] Perhaps we have found another of the few teams with a plan more confusing than the Yankees’.

The Royals are pretty obvious since no one has a fucking clue what they are doing, including themselves. The Rockies probably belong in there as well.

And what the hell is up with the O’s this off-season?  For years they have been trying to sign people but no one wanted to come to Baltimore.  I thought for sure they would use this luck season finally having success in luring people to play for them.  So what do they do?  Nothing.  Nothing at all.

I was just thinking about that. Of all the teams to stand pat this offseason, they were probably the least likely option.

The Royals’ plan is stupid, but we know what it is - get over .500, whether it is good for their longterm goals or not.

Is Mauer old enough and washed up enough to trade for ? Or is that the $20M AAV surprise waiting for 2015 to hatch ?

[45] The Townies wanted Mauer and the Twins said he’s untouchable.  But if he’s available he is going to be expensive in terms of money and prospects for a player who might not catch 100 games in a season ever again.

I love Mauer as a C/DH/1B. I think he still worth 20 million a year or a good package of prospects, not both

I thought it was a good move last year when he was somewhat affordable. Then he went on one of the hottest streaks I’ve ever seen a hitter go on, and I just don’t think he’ll be available for less than both of those things you don’t think he’s worth combined

[42] I wonder if it’s actually Baltimore finally being smart?  That is, management realizes just how lucky they were last year and that they are likely *not* only 1 or 2 players away from being serious contenders.  So instead they can give their pretty impressive crop of prospects another year of development, figure out where their long-term needs are, and then make the moves next year. 

There certainly could be some players to build around long-term in the FA market next year; Cano and (maybe) Hughes jump right up as pieces Baltimore could use.  There may be more, I haven’t looked too closely.  You could certainly argue that there weren’t really any long-term pieces to build around *this* off-season, except maybe Grienke, or to a lesser extent Sanchez.  Depending on how you felt about BJ Upton.

[48] I think you could definitely build around BJ Upton. Just depends on what you are trying to build.

Talking about Mauer got me thinking of players who I was confident would become Yankees in the last 5 years but never did. Just trying to imagine what that team would look like going into 2013:

C Mauer - I thought NYY would outbid TWN for him once the Twins necessarily lost him to FA after 2010.
1B Teixeira
2B Cano
SS Jeter
3B ARod
LF Carl Crawford - the original “Future Yankee” position player. By the time of his FA it was obvious he wouldn’t sign here, but for years before he was the clear favorite.
CF Granderson
RF Matt Holliday - he seemed to be a legit superstar going into FA into 2010, how many of those come around? Gardner is 4th OF or trade bait.
DH Butler - several years of rumor mill here, mostly internet speculation. Cashman actually showed some interest earlier in 2012.

SP1 Sabathia
SP2 Hamels - the original “Future Yankee” pitcher.
SP3 Lee - I was convinced the Montero trade was going through and actually spent the entire day home from work on a “sick day” frantically refreshing MLBTR and moping.
SP4 Darvish - I think many assumed he was destined to be a Yankee. You’re talking about years of speculation going back to the 2008 Olympics or even before.
SP5 Jimenez - again, to me it seemed like Montero was a goner here.

CL Mo
RP1 Chapman - another case where it made theoretical sense for the Yanks to exercise their financial strength on an IFA signing.
RP2 Soria - Danced around the edges of a possible Montero trade, then came a glorious month of wishcasting during November 2012.

How would that team look? Who’s missing?

The original “future Yankee” position player was not Crawford.  It was David DeJesus, or Jarrod Saltalamacchia, both of whose arrival on the Yankees was a foregone conclusion on this board for a while. 

As far as pitchers is concerned, it was Santana before it was Hamels.  I think everyone was surprised when the Twins asked for as much as they did, and more surprised that the Yankees didn’t do it anyway.

I’m still a little bit heart broken that Hamels did not go to FA.

[49] Well, I know a number of people don’t look at him as a core player that you *should* be building around.  He’s a five-tool player who in the past has shown he has the ability to take a walk, and he’s only 28.  So if you feel he has some untapped potential and can put it all together, he’s a potential superstar to build around.  If you look at some of his trends (namely BB%, K%, OBP), he looks like a player that peaked early, and - especially if his defense lags any further - will soon be a 4th OF.  So I can definitely see why a team like Baltimore - who just signed a long-term contract with their own CF who has questions about staying there long term, wouldn’t consider Upton a building block.

[51,52] Good call on Santana, he was the OG. I have no recollection of Salty whatsoever. Was he a prospect trade target at some point?

Hamels is the most painful I think. There was no doubt he was headed for pinstripes, and the day he re-signed there was nothing you could do but shrug.

[54] Of the ones that didn’t make it to FA probably.  But I definitely think the one that stung the most was Lee.  Yankees almost (and should have) had him a year earlier, he made it to FA, the Yankees had a very competitive offer on the table - and I think would have gone higher if given the chance - and he spurned them for Philly.  That one stung because so many times he “should have” been in Pinstripes, and they could have been a much better team with him these past three years.

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