Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Yankees Make a Bunch of Moves, Some of Which Don’t Make Sense
Sometimes no activity is better than bad activity.
TAMPA, Fla.—The Yankees completed a deal on Wednesday to address their organizational catching depth, acquiring veteran Chris Stewart from the Giants in exchange for right-hander George Kontos.
Because Stewart is out of Minor League options, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that the 30-year-old right-handed hitter will be on the Opening Day roster as the backup catcher, with a stunned Francisco Cervelli being optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Kontos was behind a lot pitchers on the Yankees’ depth chart so I can see why he’d be expendable. I just don’t see how adding a backup catcher who’s worse than the backup catcher that they already had makes the team better.
CAIRO has Cervelli projected to hit .264/.332/.373 with a wOBA of .315. It projects Stewart to hit .233/.311/.343 with a wOBA of .295. Over 250 PA Cervelli would project to be worth about 27 runs and Stewart would project to be worth 23. I suppose the defensive difference between the two could make them effectively equivalent, but it still strikes me as a move that accomplishes nothing and cost the team some depth.
The Yankees signed right-hander Ramon Ortiz, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. It’s a minor league deal, Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger tweets. The Giants recently released the 39-year-old Praver/Shapiro client.
Whatever. Shouldn’t have any significance.
David Phelps named long reliever
I’d be more annoyed about having Phelps rotting in the bullpen if I thought it was a long-term thing, but it shouldn’t be. At some point Andy Pettitte or Michael Pineda should take that roster spot and Phelps can return to starting in AAA.
Clay Rapada named second lefty
Chris Stewart named backup catcher
Justin Maxwell designated for assignment
Maxwell had a pretty good spring, but I don’t think he had much use on this team.
Bill Hall given his release
I figured Hall was a longshot to make the team, and Eduardo Nunez’s hot hitting cemented that.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Here’s the latest version of the 2012 CAIRO projections, which can be downloaded here: cairo_2012_v0.2.xls.
- Added more minor leaguers
- Added defensive projections for catchers and added Totalzone and Zone Rating projections for the other positions
- Added W-L for the pitchers, based on their current team and that team’s runs scored in 2011. This will change as teams’ offensive projections change, so keep that in mind.
- Took the Marcels and changed the underlying assumptions and components in a bunch of ways that make the Yankees look better.
So, what does CAIRO 2012 v0.2 think about how good the Yankees are right now?
The Yankees are not likely to add a position player who will significantly improve these projections, so I think the critical number here is 450. If they can get more than 450 PA out of Alex Rodriguez they’ll project a bit better. They can also probably shore up the bench by adding an outfielder who projects better than Chris Dickerson, or who can at least be platooned with Dickerson. That could be accomplished by bringing back Andruw Jones or signing Cody Ross perhaps. Ross would project to hit .261/.328/.444 as a Yankee, and is capable of playing all three OF spots. Plus he’s a clutch postseason monster. Until he isn’t.
We do know the Yankees are going to try and improve their pitching.
|SP8||D. J. Mitchell||25||28||17||3||13||14||6.29||5.81||5.26||-0.1|
Basically, the Yankees can add a win for every WAR they add to the rotation, since their rotation projects as replacement level after A.J. Burnett. That doesn’t mean none of the kids are better than their projections and would do the job in 2012, it just means they shouldn’t plan for that as what’s going to happen. The bullpen is fine, although they could probably benefit from adding a lefty reliever. An intriguing name that I’ve seen mentioned here and on Fangraphs is Dontrelle Willis. I’ll do a detailed post about him later.
Here’s what the overall picture looks like.
So we’re looking at around a 90 win team right now. I think 95 wins is the sweet spot for projecting as the favorite in the AL East. Adding C.J. Wilson probably gets them there. Adding Yu Darvish might. Other than that it’s tough to see a single move that would accomplish it.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
CAIRO 2012 v0.1
I’m heading on vacation for about three weeks, and will probably not be online at all, so I’m releasing my 2012 CAIRO v0.1 now, even though they still need a bit of work. If you have any players you want projected that aren’t in here or see anything that looks off let me know in this thread and I’ll check it when I get back. In the meantime Jonathan will keep you covered on the major happenings in Yankee-land. I hope to return with the news that the Yankees have re-signed CC and won the posting for Yu Darvish, but we’ll see what happens.
Here are some of the key Yankees’ projections.
WAR for position players does NOT include defense yet.
You can download the full spreadsheet here. I still need to add catcher defense and zone rating/total zone to the other fielders, and playing times are likely to be somewhat off. I need to double-check my MLEs since I usually find a mistake or two so don’t get too hung up on the minor leaguers’ projections just yet.
If I was to build a preliminary depth chart for the 2012 Yankees right now using the players currently under contract, it’d look something like this.
|Jeter, Derek||SS||580||64||Sabathia, CC||SP1||220||87|
|Granderson, Curtis||CF||640||91||Nova, Ivan||SP2||200||109|
|Cano, Robinson||2B||670||95||Hughes, Phil||SP3||175||94|
|Rodriguez, Alex||3B||459||63||Burnett, A.J.||SP4||185||107|
|Teixeira, Mark||1B||675||95||Noesi, Hector||SP5||140||91|
|Swisher, Nick||RF||625||81||Betances, Dellin||SP6||50||38|
|Montero, Jesus||DH||550||69||Banuelos, Manny||SP7||50||36|
|Martin, Russell||C||500||55||Brackman, Andrew||SP8||0||0|
|Gardner, Brett||LF||550||63||Rivera, Mariano||CL||60||16|
|Nunez, Eduardo||IF||340||36||Robertson, David||SU||80||26|
|Cervelli, Francisco||C||250||25||Soriano, Rafael||SU||65||27|
|Pena, Ramiro||IF||50||4||Logan, Boone||MR||60||29|
|Dickerson, Chris||OF||300||31||Wade, Cory||MR||70||33|
|Golson, Greg||OF||50||4||Chamberlain, Joba||MR||60||30|
|Laird, Brandon||IF||50||5||Laffey, Aaron||LR||25||15|
|Russo, Kevin||UT||25||2||Warren, Adam||LR||0||0|
|Romine, Austin||C||0||0||Phelps, David||LR||0||0|
That’s about an 86 win team, before considering defense. If we assume the 2012 Yankees would be about the same as the 2011 Yankees defensively (around +20) then you’re closer to an 88 win team. It’s not impossible to think some of the young pitchers will be better than CAIRO projects, but the offense looks like it could use a bit more oomph, particularly if we assume we’re only going to get about 450 PA of Alex Rodriguez. They probably need someone who can play 3B and outhit/outglove Eduardo Nunez for at least 40 games.
As far as the pitching staff, the Yankees probably should at least consider bringing Freddy Garcia and/or Bartolo Colon back. Garcia projects better than everyone but CC in the rotation, so I’d like to see the Yankees at least offer him arbitration. If he goes elsewhere, they should get a supplemental first round pick. If he can’t find another team he comes back on a one-year deal, which would be great. 150 innings of Garcia instead of Noesi as a starter makes the Yankees about two wins better.
So the Yankees have some work to do this offseason, IMO.
Friday, September 9, 2011
The 25-year-old Brackman, the Yankees’ first-round pick (30th overall) in the 2007 draft who was signed to a four-year, $4.55 million contract, may well be pitching for his future with the club.
“He has an option in his contract so we have to make a decision on whether we’re going to pick it up or not,’’ said Cashman. “He had an awful year as a starter. He’s much different out of the pen. Whether it’s good enough, I don’t know. We’ll take a look at him out of the bullpen and see.’’
This is a couple of days old, but this is the first time I’ve seen that quote from Ol’ Objective Pipe Smoker. I’d hope a team that’s pissing away $12M per year for a replacement level reliever wouldn’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish again like they were with Alfredo Aceves. I have no idea if Brackman’s ever going to be a useful major league pitcher, but it would enrage me to no end if the Yankees decide to not pick up his option to save a few bucks.
As far as the headline, it sounds like the Yankees will call up Dellin Betances soon, which is great news. He can help rest the beleaguered bullpen along with other callups like Brackman, George Kontos and Raul Valdes. The Yankees will be going from Anaheim to Seattle to Toronto over the next 10 days and the more people they have to carry suitcases the better.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
D.J. Mitchell had just worked eight dominant innings. Jorge Vazquez drove in three runs and hit as long a home run as he hit in his record-setting season. And 2011 ended on a clean, crisp, 5-1 win over Buffalo.
In that clubhouse, one disappointed days ago that it couldn’t secure the franchise’s unprecedented sixth straight playoff berth, there was a sense of finality to it all.
As he was giving his postgame interview, Mitchell’s eyes lunched toward the television. The slugger who helped spark the Yankees offense all season, catcher Jesus Montero, had just hit his second home run of his big league career.
The [Scranton Wilkes/Barre]Yankees players milling around the clubhouse flocked to any television they could find to watch their former teammate trot around the bases.
As his old teammates watched Montero take his curtain call, Miley had the last big job of the season. He called outfielder Greg Golson, infielder Ramiro Pena and pitchers Hector Noesi and George Kontos into his office to deliver the news they had been hoping for or, in one case, waiting for an entire lifetime.
They were going to the big leagues.
“I can’t even describe this feeling. It’s surreal,” said Kontos, his cell phone in hand and tears welling in his eyes as he pondered who to call next to talk about his first big-league call-up. “It’s everything I worked for, my whole lifetime. To think that I’m going up, it’s unreal.”
More reinforcements on the way.
And in case you’re curious, here’s an update to the AL postseason odds after yesterday’s action.
W: Projected final 2011 wins
L: Projected final 2011 losses
RS: Projected final 2011 runs scored
RA: Projected final 2011 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC: Wild card win percentage
PL: Playoff percentage (Div + WC)
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