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

Sunday, December 16, 2012

NYDN: Yankees eye Angels outfielder Vernon Wells as potential trade target

The Yankees and the Angels discussed a possible deal for Wells at the baseball winter meetings in Nashville, according to a report Saturday on FoxSports.com.

The Yanks are also prowling the free-agent market in search of a righty bat to complement their all-lefty outfield of Curtis Granderson, Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro has agreed to a two-year, $13 million contract that will become official once he takes a physical and some contract language is completed.

The Yankees have interest in Scott Hairston, who hit 20 homers for the Mets last year. They might be a match with the Angels for a trade because the Halos just signed Josh Hamilton and now have a glut of outfielders, meaning the 34-year-old Wells could be available.

Wells is due to make $21 million in both 2013 and 2014, which does not fit into the Yankees’ plan to drop their payroll under the luxury tax threshold of $189 million by 2014. So it’s likely that the Yanks would want the Angels to eat much of the contract. Wells’ contract has a no-trade clause, but he waived it for the trade that sent him from Toronto to Anaheim before the 2011 season.

This is an old report if it’s based on what happened in the winter meetings, so I think it’s more of a due diligence thing than anything with actual substance behind it.  Wells is right-handed, which is a need in the OF, so I suppose there’s that.  Also at age 35 he’d add more much-needed youth to the Yankees.

That being said, I wouldn’t take Vernon Wells on the Yankees for free.  Nor would CAIRO.

% PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO GDP HBP AVG OBP SLG wOBA BR BRAR
80% 473 438 64 115 26 3 26 69 10 1 36 64 7 3 .262 .326 .512 .359 71 17
65% 452 418 58 105 22 2 23 62 8 2 32 65 8 2 .250 .307 .475 .335 60 8
Baseline 430 399 51 95 19 1 19 55 6 3 28 66 9 2 .238 .288 .438 .312 49 0
35% 387 359 43 81 15 1 15 46 4 3 23 63 10 1 .225 .270 .401 .288 37 -7
20% 344 319 35 68 12 0 12 38 3 3 18 60 10 0 .213 .251 .363 .264 27 -13

BR: Linear weights batting runs
BRAR: BR above replacement level, adjusted for position
wOBA: Weighted on-base average

He’s mostly played LF the last two years so that’s who I’m comparing him to but it doesn’t really matter.  He’d stink at any position. 

But wait, what if we only focus on his platoon splits?

player vernon wells
mlbam_id 150484
split pa ab h 2b 3b hr bb so hbp gdp avg obp slg woba
vs. LHP 111 101 25 5 0 4 9 15 0 3 .251 .323 .462 .329
Vs. RHP 319 297 69 14 1 15 18 51 1 7 .233 .285 .429 .306
Overall 430 398 95 19 1 19 28 66 2 9 .238 .295 .438 .312

That’s not a bad line against LHP.  It’s just not really a line that’s worth $42M over the next two years, especially since you aren’t going to get more than 250 PA vs. LHP in a season.  He doesn’t make up for it on defense either, projecting around average in the corners and below average in center.

Now we can assume the Angels would pay a large part of his contract, but unless they’re paying the whole thing I have a tough time making a case for Wells especially since he’ll be on the payroll in 2014 and we all know that’s about the worst possible thing for the Yankees.

If the Angels would eat his entire contract without asking for anything in return, you could probably justify giving Wells a look.  But if the Angels were going to do that wouldn’t they just release him?

No thanks.

--Posted at 10:26 am by SG / 36 Comments | - (0)

Comments

Page 1 of 1 pages:

I’m going to pretend that the Yankees are pretending to be interested so that the Angels can trick someone else into taking him. It will probably be Levine.

I would trade Levine for Wells.

[2]
For that, I’d cover both salaries.

If they want to trade with the Angels, get Morales.

Dickey to the Blue Jays make them the favorite again to win the East

Congratulations to the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays on their AL East title.  At least we can take solace in the fact that nobody is beating the Angels in the ALCS.

Yanks are apparently interested in Michael Bourn also. His average wRC+ over the last 4 seasons is 99, yet he’s averaged 5 fWAR per season over that span (including 6.4!! in 2012). I’m a stat guy but have a very hard time believing that baserunning and defense are worth that much. I think Mike A. had it right when he said the problem with fWAR is that it turns every track star into an all-star.

Oh, and Bourn somehow went from being a +19.4 defender in 2010, to -6.4 in 2011, but back up to +22.4 in 2012.

The Yankees already have Bourn in Brett Gardner.  The only way it makes sense is if they can get him relatively cheaply with an eye on trading Gardner for a good catcher or 3B and they have given up on the idea of a $189M payroll in 2014.

Probably his agent trying to drum up a market that appears to be minimal.

Oh, and Bourn somehow went from being a +19.4 defender in 2010, to -6.4 in 2011, but back up to +22.4 in 2012.

Because of the sample size you need for defensive stats to become useful, this is really like a player hitting .333 for two months, .233 for two months and .340 for three months.  It looks odd when you look at it at the seasonal level, but your best guess for his true talent is a regressed weighted average of the three numbers.

It seems like the Blue Jays are overpaying for the 38 year old knuckleballer in terms of prospects. I doubt Dickey will be an ace in the AL East.

I doubt Dickey will be an ace in the AL East.

The AL East isn’t really THE AL EAST anymore.  Boston and the Yankees have both declined a lot offensively.  Here’s how Dickey has done in interleague play over the last three seasons.

71 IP, 44 H, 16 R, 14 ER, 5 HR, 19 BB, 71 K, 1.77 ERA.

He’ll project to have an ERA in the 3.50 - 3.75 range I guess.  So yeah, he’s probably not going to project as an ace, but he replaces J.A. Happ in the rotation and Happ replaces Chad Jenkins as the #6 starter and I’m guessing that’s probably worth 4 wins and probably puts the Jays at about 90 wins.  They did give up a lot, but their window of opportunity is now.

[11] Yeah, the Jays and O’s would be crazy to not go for it now. Even it it means compromising the future. When are they going to run into a situation with both the Yankees and TWN in such a compromised position other than these two next seasons?

[8] “The Yankees already have Bourn in Brett Gardner.”

What’s wrong with two Gardners?  With the Yankees being a mediocre team they don’t need defense as much, but it might still be undervalued.

The next few years in the AL East will be strange.

[13] They’ve also got Ichiro, who is kind of like Gardner but without the patience. So, why not sign Bourn?

I’m not sure what the plan is but I’m pretty sure it’s bad.

[15]  You’re being ironic?

I’ve recently been informed that irony has been outlawed.

Ack, Vernon Wells? Surely the Yankees can’t be serious.

The proverbial OMFG.

Theoretically, if Wells could be had for free, or a couple million—might he be a Shockmaster-in-waiting?

Also at age 35 he’d add more much-needed youth to the Yankees.

That is discrimination against older guys. I pine for the days when we will see Rickey Henderson back in the outfield. Maybe he can help us get below $189?

Rickey Henderson can still play and Mel Hall is leading the prison league in all offensive categories.

Drew to the Red Sox. Drew is a very solid defensive SS and could rebound with the bat. The division gets tougher and tougher and Tampa Bay is due to add some players to their 25 man roster.

[23] Drew is -4.6 UZR/150 and wRC+ 94 for his career. Rebounding with the bat would basically be rebounding from his entire baseball career thus far. I understand that it doesn’t fit with “Can’t believe Cashman didn’t sign this guy, either” complaint theme.

[23] Drew is -4.6 UZR/150 and wRC+ 94 for his career. Rebounding with the bat would basically be rebounding from his entire baseball career thus far.

Which makes him a massive upgrade over Jose Iglesias/Pedro Ciriaco (unless Ciriaco gets to play the Yankees 150 times a year).

I understand that it doesn’t fit with “Can’t believe Cashman didn’t sign this guy, either” complaint theme.

Is pre-emptive complaining about complaining that may or may not even happen the new thing?

What’s wrong with two Gardners?  With the Yankees being a mediocre team they don’t need defense as much, but it might still be undervalued.

Nothing if you didn’t have a full outfield already.  I suppose you could trade Granderson and sign Bourn but that seems like a bad idea in a stadium that’s catered to HR hitters.  If the Yankees hadn’t signed Ichiro an OF of Grandy, Gardy and Bourny might have been pretty interesting though.

[25] Which makes him a massive upgrade over Jose Iglesias/Pedro Ciriaco (unless Ciriaco gets to play the Yankees 150 times a year).

A massive upgrade? Ciriaco’s half-a-season career: 0.8 fWAR, 92 wRC+. Looks like Stephen Drew with better base running.

Is pre-emptive complaining about complaining that may or may not even happen the new thing?

No, it’s an old thing. I’ve been doing it for some time.

What is Julio Iglesias’s projection anywho?

Ciriaco’s half-a-season career: 0.8 fWAR, 92 wRC+. Looks like Stephen Drew with better base running.

Check out Ciriaco’s minor league numbers and realize that he’s 27 so he’s not likely to get much better.  We are talking about a player with 1000 PA of .265/.281/.368 in AAA.  I’m guessing his half-a-season career numbers are near worthless in projecting him.

What is Julio Iglesias’s projection anywho?

He’s past his prime, so he only projects to sell about 150,000 albums in 2013.

Fun with Red Sox SS projections (500 PA):

Iglesias: .247/.297/.310, -7 BRAR
Ciriaco: .261/.284/.357, -2 BRAR
Drew: .257/.332/.408, 12 BRAR.

I suppose it’s possible defense nullifies the gap.

[29] I suppose it’s possible defense nullifies the gap.

And baserunning.

From what I watched Drew I think he is a superb defender. Maybe I haven’t seen enough though.

Call me negative but I think Drew is going to outplay Jeter next season.

[29] Taking it a step further.. looks like the Red Sox paid ~$10M for something like half a win, maybe less.

[33] Wins are worth more to TWN, because they got fewer of them.

[34] Sure. But are they worth $20M apiece?

[35] The problem with someone like Drew is looking at his age 27 season, he was worth 5.1 fWAR, with excellent offense (113 wRC+ plays anywhere, great for SS), above average defense, and average baserunning.  His numbers were down but not horrible before suffering a season-ending injury, which then cut into 2012.  So…it’s certainly within the realm of possibility that you could take his 2010 season, and lose .5 wins per-year and have him at like .3.5 WAR for 2013.  But you could also take his last-3, or his career numbers (and assume age 27 was a career year and not a breakout year), and think of him more like 1.5 WAR (basically SG’s projection).

IOW, for a team that needed a SS and has money, I think Drew at 1/10 is a fine deal; if Jeter were likely out until July I’d be comfortable with the Yankees doing it.  There’s some upside that he’ll be a well-above average player, and the downside is that he won’t be any worse than what you already have, and doesn’t affect the budget/team long-term.  I don’t think this is going to greatly affect the AL East.

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