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

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

NYDN:  With manager and Otani situations resolved, Yankees free to move forward with offseason plans

With Aaron Boone officially named on Monday as the new manager, confirming the Daily News report on Friday, and Shohei Otani no longer a consideration, the Yankees can move forward now in planning for next season, which mostly means looking at ways to add pitching.

On Monday Brian Cashman said he has talked to CC Sabathia’s agent about the possibility of the big lefthander returning next season, and that makes sense on a short-term contract.

But the GM also indicated the Yankees have the financial flexibility to venture more deeply into the free-agent market and still meet their objective of getting the payroll under the million luxury-tax threshold.

When I asked if that meant someone like Alex Cobb was a possibility, Cashman didn’t object, at least in a general sense.

“We’re open-minded on anything as long as it hits our pressure points,’’ was the way he put it. “We’re looking to do more. You can never have enough pitching.”

By “pressure points,” Cashman was again making it clear the Yankees won’t be swayed from getting under the $197 million luxury-tax threshold. But he acknowledged that with some $70 million coming off the payroll in expired contracts, the Yankees should have room to absorb significant salary.

And while there is no indication they’d be willing to pay at the top of this free-agent class for someone like Jake Arrieta or Yu Darvish, there has been speculation in the industry that the Yanks have interest in Cobb, the 30-year old righthander who made an impressive comeback from Tommy John surgery last season with the Rays.

Whether they seriously pursue him could depend at least partly on the price if multiple teams bid on Cobb. He’s likely to get $16-17 million a year, but term would be more important to the Yankees, and it’s hard to see them going beyond four years in such a deal.

Chances are, in fact, Cashman would be relatively disciplined in any pursuit of a free agent, knowing he still has a strong rotation core in Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, and Jordan Montgomery, and also has a lot of promising young pitching in the farm system.

I can’t see the Yankees going for more than a year or two for Cobb.  I’m not certain he’s appreciably better than CC Sabathia.  Maybe he is a better bet to stay healthy, but is that going to be worth the significant difference in financial commitment?

This offseason is shaping up to be rather dull now that the Shohei Ohtani pursuit has fizzled out and the drive to save Hal’s pocketbook has shifted into high gear.

Wake me up in March.

--Posted at 9:27 am by SG / 44 Comments | - (0)


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I love CC, but he has trouble going deep into games, and as a result, can wear out the pen.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they traded prospects in an area of surplus for a cost-controlled pitcher.

Alternatively, there’s the yearly: what would Garden bring back?

The Yankees still do have tens of millions of dollars in AAV to spend and no obvious holes (other than not being a small-market west coast team). I think it’s safe to say thr team will be better going into next season than they are currently.

I still like the idea of signing an actual DH who can actually hit the ball.

What do you Duda me?

What pitchers are expected to be available via trade mid-summer?

Some interesting names who will be FA following off-season who may be available

Cole Hamels (35) — $20MM club/vesting option with a $6MM buyout
Matt Harvey (30)
Scott Kazmir (35)
Adam Wainwright (37)
J.A. Happ (36)

Man, the Yankees have been terrible with first round draft picks.  Except Cito Culver. He’s really worked out.

[1] To be fair, Girardi yanked CC from a bunch of games when he seemed to be pitching well and had a low pitch count.  So is that CC was not able to go deep in games, or was he not being allowed to go deeper into games?

[6] He certainly did overmanage, which is one of the reasons I wanted him gone. When I have time I’ll try to look at his pitch counts when he was removed.

I rather spend on a good DH than paying Cobb much more than CC.

[7] I’m bored.

27 Games Started

Avg IP: 5 1/3
Avg ERA: 3.70 (redundant, no?)
Average Batters Faced: 23.1 (not quite a full 3x through but pretty close)
Average Pitches: 86.7
Average Strikes: 55.1
Average Ground Balls: 8.5
Average Fly Ball: 8.1
Average Line Drive: 1.1

Max Pitch Count: 102 (2x)
Min Pitch Count: 57
# Starts 100+ Pitches: 2
# Starts 90-99 Pitches: 11
# Starts 80-89 Pitches: 8
# Starts 70-79 Pitches: 3
# Starts <70 Pitches: 3

46% of starts went 90+ pitches.

So he mostly gets through the lineup 3x, and the bullpen can be expected to pick 11 outs in his 2017 starts. About fair if not better than expected for a #4/5.

Wasn’t his problem in 2016 that he would pitch well then get rocked later in the game? I thought Girardi’s short leash was rightly in response to that.

Yeah, Girardi handled CC pretty much perfectly last year.

Hell, the biggest knock on Girardi last year with regards to CC were the two times in the playoffs where he gave CC too LONG of a leash.

Another reminder that Girardi is not no longer here due to any decisions that he made in the dugout, but rather that he wasn’t a good “communicator.”

[11] I thought it was the other way around in the playoffs? CC had a 5 run lead in game 2 in Cleveland with one out in the 6th, like 70 pitches or something, and Girardi yanked him.  We all know what happened after that.  I think he pulled him even quicker in game 5.

People weren’t knocking Girardi (well, no rational people were, at least) for taking CC out, they knocked him for NOT taking Green out.

Then, in Game 5, he left CC in to give up two runs in a 3-0 game.

Then, in Game 7 of the ALCS, people wanted CC out in the third inning, with two men on and 1 out (he got out of it). Then people wanted CC out in the fourth, with a man on and no outs, trailing by 1.

Maitan off of the board. I honestly wasn’t all that keen on him, so I’m not too worried about it.

[14] None of those former Braves guys particularly excites me but whatever.  Throw some money at some of them and maybe you get lucky on one.

Jonathan Mayo “While @Yankees might be out on Ohtani, they are looking closely at Cuban OF Julio Pablo Martinez, who has big showcase planned Dec. 8, and former @Braves prospect Yunior Severino”

There’s a lot to be said for getting a Cuban.

[17] Rusney Castillo or Yasmany Tomas?

Who was that great prospect who they could have gotten for just money? And is now the top prospect in baseball? Moncada or something?

Devers is still considered a prospect? That seems odd.

And Moncada can’t still be the #1 prospect, right? Didn’t the bloom come off of that rose the second that the Red Sox traded him (as is their wont)?

I think Moncada’s still considered pretty hot shit.

BA had him #1 as of July

(16) can’t have too many severinos.

Shit, my bad, Moncada actually dropped a 1.7 bWAR in just 231 plate appearances. That’s pretty darn good for a 22 year old.

He actually ended up with more bWAR than Devers in less plate appearances!

[9]  Then I’m wrong.

[24] I know this year was crazy, but you’d think the #1 prospect in baseball having a pretty good showing would be a bigger deal. The White Sox tear-down really let him fly under the radar.

Right? I was even paying attention to him at first but then he had a crazy slump and I stopped paying attention (this also coincided with my brother dropping him from his fantasy team - I told him to pick him up) but while I wasn’t paying attention, he really rebounded. And since he started so slowly, that makes his overall line even more impressive to me.

You know who else did pretty well under the radar for the Pale Hose?
Former top pitching prospect Lucas Giolito.  2.38 ERA in 7 starts, good for 1.5 WAR in 45 IP.

[27] Slump narrative is already in place for the guy. We should get him, he’ll fit right in.

[15] I agree, but a lot of these young guys don’t look all that great when they sign. Suddenly the Yankees have a (relative) lot of bonus money and there’s a rash of players available. Sort of softens the blow of not getting Ohtani.

[25] we appreciate the honesty.

[28] Yeah, you know, if 2 years out from Sale/Quintana/Eaton you’re sitting on an (actually good) Giolito and Moncada, that’s not bad at all. Wonder if this’ll look like a quick turnaround by the end of 2018.

Y’all might enjoy this article. TLDR debunks the myth of NPB-to-MLB pitcher fragility by controlling for age.

Excellent interview on the current Effectively Wild with Dennis Sarfate, the reigning Pacific League and Japan Series MVP.  Spoiler: He says he thinks Ohtani is a better hitter than pitcher.

[4] I would certainly take a flyer on Matt Harvey if the Yankees could swing a deal. But it is the Mutts, so probably not.

[18] Cohiba.

Palmiero is looking to make a comeback. So Cash….

I bet Palmiero probably COULD still hit Major League pitching. Now, RUNNING is another matter.

Yes, the former PED user claims he can comeback at age 53. An entirely natural comeback I’m sure.

If I’m signing an old retired former PED user, I’d go with Barry Bonds.

[37] It does seem to be pretty ill-conceived. “I couldn’t compete without PEDs when I was 35, but I can totally compete without PEDs at 53!”

[39] Now that the ball is juiced, he doesn’t need to be!

[33] Completely agree. He is the exact type of guy to grab in a contract year.

Or his shoulder is shot and he really stinks.

[39] Maybe we give him a tryout if he agrees to hand his bullshit Gold Glove over to Tino, its rightful owner.

The Yankees should hold off in case Tommy Lasorda unretires. The Yankees could use a pitcher.

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