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

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

NYDN: Dickey to Jays makes Girardi’s job tougher

Joe Girardi’s job got a little tougher this week — and he knows it.

The Blue Jays continued their busy winter, trading four players to the Mets in exchange for R.A. Dickey, the National League’s reigning Cy Young Award winner.

Dickey joins a rotation that had already bulked up with the additions of Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, adding them to incumbent starters Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero to form a very deep starting five.

“The Blue Jays have done a lot to improve their team,” Girardi said in an e-mail to the Daily News. “Adding a pitcher like Dickey gives them another quality starter at the top of their rotation. When you look at Toronto’s rotation, it now has a lot of different looks and a lot of experience with Johnson, Buehrle and now Dickey.”

I don’t expect Dickey to repeat his 2012, but CAIRO still likes him a lot in 2013.  As a Jay he projects to put up an ERA of around 3.65 over 211 innings which would be worth somewhere in the area of 4.5 - 5 wins.  Here’s how the AL East now projects adding Dickey to the Jays, Stephen Drew to the Red Sox and a few other tweaks to the other teams’ depth charts.

Blue Jays 90 72 805 724 28.2% 10.3% 9.9% 48.4%
Yankees 88 74 790 739 24.4% 10.4% 9.7% 44.5%
Rays 87 75 699 636 23.9% 9.8% 9.2% 42.9%
Red Sox 84 78 815 782 16.6% 7.8% 8.5% 32.9%
Orioles 77 85 729 781 6.8% 4.1% 5.6% 16.6%

The teams are still pretty tightly bunched, but Toronto’s got a bit of a separation from the pack now.  Anyway, projected standings in December don’t really tell us all that much so please Orioles fans don’t kill me.

--Posted at 9:09 am by SG / 36 Comments | - (0)


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Still think the Rays and Yanks will be at the top before April. They have some easy holes to fill and both could be above the 90 win mark in the CAIRO projections system.

I wish Rondell White had panned out better.

What this tells me is that with the Buck Effect of +20 Luck, Ballemer is a 97 win team.

[1] Wait, was that optimism?

[4] He said before April. The day the regular season starts, it’s a slow slide into 5th place.

[1] - Yeah, the Yankees have holes, but I think the only one they are planning on filling is RH COFer to come off the bench/platoon with Ichiro.  The rest of the holes are going to remain holes.

[6] The DH hole is going to be filled too.  I think is very realistic to add 3 wins between catcher, DH and RH COFer.

I agree with dak.

Wait, what?

Dak’s sudden optimism has broken my logic processor.

Want to know who shoud start?

Phil Hughes.

[9] I am certainly not optimistic, but it seems just a matter of time for the Yankees to upgrade some areas that are really bad right now.

[6 & 7] I think there’s a good chance that they’re done.  I mean, they’re still going to look, and I think we know enough to NEVER discount the chances of Cashman making a big deal in January/February, or even filling up on retreads who may be above-average in the coming year.  But RAB did a write-up on Melky Mesa, and he’s definitely got some tools, and also this is the last year he can be optioned so they’ll probably want to see what he can do.  UIF…Adams/Nix/Nunez aren’t ideal, but there’s not much out there that appears to be available.  RH DH…IDK.  Jeter will get a lot of DH PA’s early, ARod will get some later, Youkilis will get a number, etc.  True a lot of these guys will get hurt as well, so…

IDK.  It’s very possible that what we see now are holes that will be there until at least June/July (better idea of ARod, injuries, and who is available for trade).  It’s also possible that none of these are holes (Nunez finally figures out how to field, Mesa is fine as a platton partner, Nunez’s fielding allows Youkilis to DH against lefties early, ARod comes back in June and is pre-broken hand ARod or better, Romine takes the rains and equals Martin).

I’m really not worried.  They project to be competetive, I think there are more risks than most years but also more upside.  And of course worrying doesn’t do me any good since I have no ability to affect what happens.

[12] You might be right. If they are really sticking to <189MM next year they need to see what some of the higher upside high minors guys can do. They won’t be able to afford to bring in as many players on 1 year overpays or even at market rate.

I really can’t see the Yankees letting Cano go, so in 2014 there will be holes at SS, OF (maybe 2), C and at least 2 starting pitching roles. At this point the Yankees can put Nunez or Pirela in SS but they don’t have a clear fit for the OF or C positions so they are in a position where they need to give some significant playing time to some marginal prospects in the hope that one of them turns out decent. Ideally Austin is ready next year and the Yankees only need to find a platoon player to hit with Ichiro.

Pitching will be a whole other mess. In all likelihood, pitching will be the 2014 teams’ greatest weakness. CC is the only guaranteed contract, Nova and Phelps will still be under team control after that you are relying on two players coming off of surgery. I think the Yankees will probably sign/extend Hughes for some certainty but 2014’s pitching could be a serious adventure.

Jeter has a player option for 2014, I’d be surprised if he doesn’t pick it up. Though at age 40 with a bum ankle he might be a BUIF at that point.

[14] Ah, for some reason I thought this year was the last. OK, so maybe you need a SS/3B who can play 100+ games, Nunez and Pirela are still probably the best options. With some possibility of Adams in there. Either way the Yankees still need to get these guys playing time in 2013 to see if they are adequate options for 2014.

[7] - I think Youk in the Backup 3B/DH.  I can’t see them signing a full time DH.  Then what would you do when A-Rod comes back?

I think the RH COFer and people getting “half days off” will fill in as DH until A-Rod comes back.

[13-15] Yeah I don’t think Cano is going either.  He *could* go.  But I think they’ll work something out where he stays.  The problem with filling SS from within, is if it isn’t Nunez, I don’t think Pirela is really a SS.  At least, Yankees don’t seem to think so.  Adams and CoJo definitely aren’t, Gumbs (moved to 2B because Culver is much better defensively) and Aune are too far away to even consider for 2015, nvmd 2014.  And Culver…well, book isn’t closed yet, but BEST case he rebounds in 2014 and does enough to earn an August callup to Tampa.  Puts him back on the radar but still far, far away.  So that’s going to be a problem for a few years.  Potentially longer. 

Catcher may not be a problem.  It may.  But I’m higher on Murphey than many and he could be a 2014 option.  Romine…Yankees seem to like him still so he’ll get a shot at least.  But definitely, they need to get Romine PA’s in the bigs at some point this year, which has the dual benefit of allowing Murphey to get AAA experience (if he earns it).  OF…bleh.  Mesa has the best tools but may not have enough bat control to harnass them.  The Almontes each have two good tools (Abe speed/defense, Zoilo power/defense), but lack in other areas.  Segedin probably has all the tools, but he excels at none, and needs to prove he can turn the tools into performance at the upper levels.  Austin defitely has a chance to make some noise, as does Heathcott to a lesser extent.

Honestly, 2014 will be rough.  They’ll probably be about a .500 team.  But if they’re a .500 team with some veterans (hopefully Cano, CC, Teix, ARod), some youth who could start in a pinch but be great bench players, and a solid core of talent moving through the minors…sounds like 1993 to me…

[17] Wait a second, wait a second. You’re saying there’s a worse fate than 2008?

[16] Agreed that is what they’ll be looking for with the corner-OF.  Problem is, the RH hitting OF that they can get at this point, are platoon bats.  So who will DH against RH pitching?  One possibility is to promote Joseph, let him DH vs righties, and be your backup 2B/3B as well.  Give you a chance to see if the bat translates to the big leagues (at least against righties), and if the defense at the ML level is tolerable.  Then you have an idea if he’s a hedge against Cano leaving (or, if ARod doesn’t look to stay healthy allow Cano to move to 3rd), or if maybe he can be traded after 2013 to help fill another need.  I think as a temporary solution (if/until ARod returns) that may be the best bet…

Given what is left out there, I don’t think a Mesa/Nunez/Joseph bench is the worst, with Joseph/Nunez splitting time at DH and backing up IF, and Mesa 4th OF/start against lefties.  Let Joseph/Nunez earn time in field by playing good defense.

I thought Joseph can’t play 3B?

[18] Perspective my friend!  In the last 60 years, the Yankees have had two periods, each lasting 3-5 years depending on how you define a down-period, where they haven’t been one of the better teams in the AL for an extended stretch.  65-69 (got over .500 in 68 and one game below in 69), and 89-93 (2nd place in 1993).  Both periods came after being a top team for a LONG team - longer than anyone else - and both gave the Yankees the opportunity to restock their farm system and restock the majors with players 32 and younger at most positions.  It’s going to happen again whether we like it or not.  Hopefully, they started early enough in advance that it’s a 2-3 year lull instead of a 3-5.

[20] He definitely doesn’t have the arm to play there regularly.  But that doesn’t mean he can’t fake it occasionally.  I haven’t seen him play myself, but I’ve read anywhere from poor to average at 2B for him.  If he’s a poor 2B w/ no arm, he can’t handle 3rd.  If he’s an average 2B with a poor arm, he’s what, maybe a -10 3B?  That’s probably acceptable if he’s hitting well enough, especially if Nunez proves he still can’t handle 3B (or Yankees refuse to play him there), or if it’s a case where Jeter and Youkilis can’t play for a day or two.

Basically, Joseph’s big league future is based on his bat.  I think the Yankees need to look to get his bat into the lineup as regularly as possible in 2012 to find out how good it is.  If that means sacrificing some defense at 3rd 8-10 games a year…might be worth it in the long run.

[21] I can take the long view of Yankee history as well, but what would differ about the drought we are about to enter is that it would be based on ownership’s decision not to spend money that they most likely have.  The drought, if it occurs, would not be necessary and inevitable, but the conscious choice of Prince Hal.

Or the Yankees can spend stupid money and we gnash our teeth all year like we did from 1982-1988, always finshing close enough but never winning. Losing badly a few years is good for the long run it seems. As mentioned above, maybe a few is 2-3 and not 5.

The drought, if it occurs, would not be necessary and inevitable, but the conscious choice of Prince Hal.

One thing a drought will do is force the scouting and development people to fill the holes in the big league roster, or force the organization to replace those people with people who can.  So in the long run, it could be beneficial.

I’m really hoping now that the Steinbrenners want to sell the team.  I’d kind of like to see them clean house (get rid of everyone, Cashman/Levine/Trost/etc.,) and I’m not sure that’s realistic while the Steinbrenners are still around.

14: if Jeter can’t go, Youkilis could take over at SS. He’ll be the youngest guy on the team at 35.

[25] Cashman leaving with Levine still in any seat of power would seem to be a disaster to me. The whole FO turning over? I don’t know if that would be terrible.

[25] so if they sell, we need to start a pool?

God help the team if Dolan buys them.

[28] - Yeah ,all things considered they really aren’t bad owners.  They will still spend more than all other owners but the Dodgers and for the most part they leave Cash alone a hell of a lot more than their dad. 

I know people don’t like the $189 thing but that is one year and will literally save them over $40 million in the first year alone.  I know it is going to hurt for 2014 but long term they SHOULD be able to put together a team that consistently wins without overspending every other team b $50M.  That’s if they even stick to $189 year in and year out which doesn’t seem likely either.

And the most likely owner if they decide to sell is Fox.  Sorry but I’ll take my chances with the kids over Fox or unknown.

I know there’s a downside from the Steinrenners, but I am all for them selling the team. It’s clear that the kids don’t care about the team that much and I had it with Randy Levine.

[25] IDK, overall current management has done a good job, IMHO.  Levine doesn’t know much about baseball (obviously), but on the business side the team seems to be doing as well as ever, and I think that is supposed to be his primary focus.  I’m sure some can point out individual areas that the team could have done better (e.g. ticket pricing), but no one is perfect.  Other areas, again you can point out individual areas they could do better all you want (minor league pitching development, which they just replaced some hold-overs), but again, no one is perfect.  This group is good.

When you clean house, you never know what you’ll get.  Sure, you may get (someone like) AA from Toronto or Friedman from Tampa.  More likely - if you’re lucky - you’ll get an Epstein or an Alderson.  Quite possibly, you’ll end up with someone like Dayton Moore.

[28] IDK.  I’m not a Knicks fan so from that perspective it may be horrible.  From a Rangers perspective…he gave Sather a lot of money, and doesn’t seem to be too involved other than supporting the team.  He seems to want the team to be competitive but he did it w/o meddling and being reactive and firing people quickly.  Tooks some time but they’ve built one of the better farm systems, and one of the better teams from within, and now they’re complementing with dealing from strength for key FA and trade targets.

And the most likely owner if they decide to sell is Fox.  Sorry but I’ll take my chances with the kids over Fox or unknown.

Exactly.  Fox already tried with the Dodgers and that failed.  Probably wouldn’t do any better with Yankees.  And “unknown” is…unknown.  A group like that which bought the Dodgers…spent a ton of money, really aren’t all that good, and in a year or two may suck AND not be able to afford to upgrade.

[30] Unknown how much they care.  Certainly not as much as George did.  They treat it more like a business for sure.  But for the most part, they leave Cashman alone.  Levine…again, if he stays out of baseball operations, I think he’s probably good for the team.

But if you want an owner who “cares” more and is more hands-on…Yankees’ best seasons came right after George was suspended, where the GM had been able to make key trades, FA signings, and keep the good prospects to build solid teams.  Those teams often started to unravel when George got impatient and started messing with the team.  Other teams…you want an owner like Jerry Jones, or Dan Snyder?  Those teams are usually best when the owner butts out…which they are unable to do for more than a few seasons.  At which time, the team begins to crumble again.

[33] Totally agree with the second paragraph regarding George, his meddlesome ways, and how Bob Watson and Stick Michael made better decisions and restocked the farm, sowing seeds for ‘96-‘00, while George was suspended.  And the main reason we were forced to endure the trough of the Mel Hall era was George’s impulsive buying and selling in the years preceding Mel’s entrance on the stage, with his pet leopards and appearances at high school proms.

and how Bob Watson and Stick Michael made better decisions and restocked the farm

Not to mention Gabe Paul beforehand with key acquisitions and knowing who to keep on the farm and who to trade, resulting in 1976-1981 with 5 playoff appearances, 4 pennants, and 2 WS crowns.

[34] Oops I meant my pet cougars:

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