Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Pablo Sandoval collected a payday of nearly $100 million from the Red Sox. Now Chase Headley is primed to cash in with a meaty contract of his own.
No, Headley won’t be looking at a deal approaching nine figures like the Panda did, but with Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez both headed to Boston, the 30-year-old now represents the best −only? − third baseman available on the free-agent market this winter.
The Yankees remain interested in bringing Headley back to the Bronx, where he hit .268/.371/.398 in 58 games, a stark improvement from the .229/.296/.355 slash line he posted in 77 games with the Padres before being traded to the Bombers.
Headley was believed to be seeking a three-year deal when the offseason began, but now that Sandoval and Ramirez have scored deals of five and four years, respectively, Headley − a better defender than Sandoval, although a slightly lesser offensive weapon − is likely to land himself a four-year deal worth $56 million-$60 million according to two industry sources.
I finally got around to starting my 2015 CAIRO projections, which are probably not ready for release quite yet, but they peg Headley to hit something like .254/.348/.414 with 18 HRs over 594 PA as a Yankee in 2015, which would be worth about 2.5 wins above a replacement level 3B. If you believe DRS, he projects to save about seven runs over an average 3B defensively. If you lean more towards UZR, he’s closer to 10 runs above average defensively.
Let’s say he’s a 3.5 win 3B right now, and would likely lose about 0.6 wins per year. A four year deal for Headley gets you about 10 WAR. What’s the fair market rate for that? Apparently it’s $56-60 million which seems reasonable. I think I’d do it if I were the Yankees, although if I were the Yankees there’s a whole bunch of other crap I’d be doing as well.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
In years past, if the Boston Red Sox made a high-profile acquisition in the off-season, the Yankees sometimes reacted with one of their own.
When Boston signed Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Yankees went and picked up Kei Igawa. When the Red Sox were close to signing Mark Teixeira, the Yankees swept in at the last moment and stole him away. And when the Red Sox wanted Jose Contreras, the Yankees opened the vault for him, too.
But those days have been over for a long time. On Monday, the Red Sox committed nearly $200 million to sign Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez in a surprising combination of moves that resembled Yankees tactics of the past. But the Yankees barely flinched.
They remained quiet, sticking to their off-season plan to add specific and moderate pieces without spending nearly as lavishly as they did a year ago. Back then, the additions of Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Masahiro Tanaka, Carlos Beltran, Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson came at a cost of roughly half a billion dollars over the length of all the deals, and the Yankees still did not make the playoffs.
The hope is that the contracts will still pay off, particularly with Ellsbury, McCann and Tanaka.
Yeah, keep hoping.
Monday, November 24, 2014
I spoke to an MLB executive this week who believes David Robertson will get a three-year deal for $39 million or a four-year deal for $52 million. Some pretty good neighborhoods to occupy.
I would think the three-year deal is one the Yankees would easily do, but the four-year deal is something they might have to think more about. Consider that in two years Dellin Betances will hit arbitration and start to make more significant money, too.
But the more I think about it, the more I’m fascinated by Jimmy Rollins. He turns 36 next week, but has only one year left on his contract in Philadelphia for $11 million. He’s realistically only slightly above average at this stage, both offensively and defensively. But Rollins is also a veteran with leadership skills and some swagger. Those qualities will serve him well as the guy “replacing Derek Jeter.” It’s not a long-term commitment, and if the Yankees are willing to take on the entire salary it might not take a lot in prospect cost to get him.
Robertson’s gone. I guarantee it. It bothers me that the Yankees didn’t try to extend him before last season when they could have probably kept him for a more reasonable price. Then again, it’s not like closer is going to really matter with the team looking like a mid 70s win team, maybe high 70s if things break just right.
As for Rollins, sure, why not?
Friday, November 21, 2014
Colombian outfielder Bryan Emery, the No. 23 international prospect for July 2, has signed with the Yankees.
Emery, 16, was the last available player from Baseball America’s Top 30 international prospects list for July 2, and the signing gives the Yankees 10 of those top 30 players.
Emery is 6-foot-3, 190 pounds with a loose swing from the left side. He had been switch-hitting, though he’s hit exclusively lefthanded in recent months. He’s strong and generates easy, explosive power, though leading up to July 2, there were mixed reviews about his game hitting, partly because of his environment.
Adding young and talented players is certainly a good thing. And Emery’s young enough that he should be hitting his peak age of 27 by the time the Yankees are relevant again.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Today is the deadline for teams to add Rule 5 Draft eligible players to their 40-man rosters. Any players who are eligible, but aren’t added to a roster, can be plucked away by other teams during the Dec. 11 selection.
Players eligible for the draft mostly include high school and international players signed in 2010 and college players signed in 2010.
The Yankees currently have 36 spots filled on their 40-man roster. Here’s a look at the notable players they will consider protecting.
I’ll save you the pain of watching the slide show and list the 10 players the article runs through:
1. Tyler Austin, OF
2. Mason Williams, OF
3. Kyle Roller, 1B
4. Mark Montgomery, RHP
5. Branden Pinder, RHP
6. Cito Culver, SS
7. Zach Nuding, RHP
8. Matt Tracy, LHP
9. Nik Turley, LHP
10. Danny Burawa, RHP
I think Burawa and Austin are just about locks to be added to the 40 man roster. That leaves two spots for the other eight, although they could also free up spots being held by some of the more fringy players on the roster, like David Huff, Eury Perez, Zelous Wheeler, or Jacoby Ellsbury.
Update: Per Mark Feinsand on Twitter:
The Yankees added OF Tyler Austin, RHP Danny Burawa, RHP Branden Pinder & OF Mason Williams to 40-man roster to protect them from Rule 5.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
I point all of this out because this international bonus pool penalty fund had about $10 million in it through the first two signing periods under the new roles. After the Yankees obliterated bonus records this year, along with less extreme overages by the Red Sox, Rays and Angels, another roughly $23 million was added to the fund. Given the runaway hype train that is Moncada’s projected bonus, I’d estimate his upcoming deal will add another $40 million to the fund. That means that a fund that was probably never intended to have much more than $10 million in it will soon have over $70 million in it. In effect, the leeway around MLB’s international rules will net them over $70 million that some argue should be going to these kids, but instead will presumably be going toward creating an international draft, the one thing nearly no one involved in this market wants to happen.
Another excellent article by Kiley McDaniel about the world of international baseball, specifically about the fund where the penalty money on whichever team bids on Moncada will go - it really does sort of sound like the Yankees will almost single-handedly destroy the current international free agent system. Although, it sure looks like they’re just playing the game as presented to them. Make sure to read the article - there’s also a really good section where McDaniel explains how an international draft wouldn’t really work for anyone.
Tip of the hat to Snuggles for the link.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Everything the Yankees have their prints on comes with a catch.
How much of Elvis Andrus’ money will the Rangers swallow if they are serious about moving the 26-year-old shortstop who begins an eight-year deal worth $118 million in 2015 that houses a $23 million vesting option for 2023?
With the Yankees looking for Derek Jeter’s replacement, they are intrigued about adding a young player with six years of big league experience and a two-time All Star. Yet, several talent evaluators doubt the Yankees have what the Rangers are looking for — starting pitching and/or a corner outfielder — unless the Rangers go into full salary dump mode.
The Rangers also are interested in seeing how much interest there is in 32-year-old outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, who has six years and $116 million left on his pact. But the Yankees are set with Brett Gardner in left, Jacoby Ellsbury in center and have their fingers firmly crossed that Carlos Beltran will be able to play right field.
There’s been a lot of recent murmuring about the Yankees and Andrus, so there might actually be a fire to go with all of that smoke. If that’s the case, I do appreciate that the narrative is already about the Rangers eating money on the deal.
By the way, yesterday I made a joke about Jon Heyman articles and how they always seem to end up with stuff like “This Scott Boras client is undervalued” or “A mystery team is interested in this Scott Boras client.” Well, shockingly enough, Heyman has a new article out - “Might Yanks revisit their low-key winter plan and shoot for Scherzer?” Here’s a choice quote, “Scherzer looks like such a standout as a free agent—a 30-year-old pitcher with a dynamic fastball, stellar change-up and slider, and an emerging curve—that it’s been shocking to see such abject silence to this point.” Boy, I wonder who Scherzer’s agent is?
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