Archive for November, 2007

The Untouchables

November 30, 2007

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But right-hander Joba Chamberlain and second baseman Robinson Cano would be off-limits, according to a person with knowledge of the trade talks who asked not to be named because the discussions are in the preliminary stages. (Source)

Phil Hughes should be untouchable too. Here is what he said today:

“It’s nice that other teams think highly of me, but I’m very happy with where I’m at. I’d love to stay.”

“I would definitely be disappointed, but it’s business.”

“I’ve always had the mind-set of coming up and playing for the Yankees.” (Source)

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Kennedy > Lester

November 30, 2007

Seymour, Brooklyn: Please settle this argument – better pitcher – Lester or Kennedy?

SportsNation Keith Law: I’d take Lester. (Source)

The usual gripe people have with Kennedy is that he doesn’t throw hard enough, but Lester doesn’t have an advantage there as his velocity is lacking as well (scouting reports say he sits in low 90s, tops out in mid 90s).

Also, Kennedy does a much better job keeping runners off base than Lester.

Career MiLB WHIP:

Kennedy 0.97
Lester 1.31

Kennedy is also a year younger, I’d take Kennedy.

By the way, anytime Lester is brought up cancer comes to mind because of what he went through in 2006. Click here to donate to fight cancer.

Bill Madden wanted this guy to manage the Yankees?

November 30, 2007

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Here is the short version of the DUI, here is the longer directors cut.

Here is Bill Madden’s stupid column. Here is one part of it:

In his manager-firing prime, Steinbrenner always had a big-name replacement waiting in the wings, which wasn’t the case during Torre’s long reign. Now, in La Russa, he finally does.

Yeah, I’d say we dodged a major bullet here.

Johan Santana is good, why is this hard?

November 29, 2007

I have said before that the merits of Johan Santana aren’t something that I want to waste time debating on this blog. Things change, Journal News Yankee Beat Writer Peter Abraham has questioned JohaNY with small sample size garbage.   

Here’s a little quiz, baseball fans:

Nick Shlain: Ooo, fun.

This pitcher was 3-2 with a 5.70 ERA against teams from the AL East last season (not counting the Yankees).

NS: Yeah, stats don’t get more random and meaningless than this. What are we supposed to take from these? It doesn’t say how many innings are in this sample, but I would guess it couldn’t be more than 50. So, we should just judge Johan on a random 50 IP instead of one of the greatest four year runs in the history of baseball? My sample is bigger and better.

He was 5-7, 4.04 in the second half of the season, allowing 88 hits (16 of them home runs) over 98 innings. The 33 home runs he allowed for the season were nine more than in any other previous season. Scouts have noticed he appears hesitant to throw his slider.

NS: Do you know what the Yankees team ERA was in ’07? 4.49. Even with his “bad” second half he was better than the Yankees last year. What was JohaNY’s ERA in the first half? 2.75.

The “reluctance” to throw his slider is a bit of a red flag, but I’m not too worried about it.

Oh, by the way here are his

PECOTA Comps

Sandy Koufax
Tom Seaver
Steve Carlton

He has one victory in five career playoff starts.

NS: I was wrong, his stats do get more random and meaningless.

The playoffs are a crapshoot, so are playoff numbers. They are inconsistent from year-to-year and from regular season to post season.

Also, wins? Are you kidding?

Yeah, Johan has only won one game, but in the ’04 ALDS against the Yankees he had a 0.75 ERA in 12 IP in 2 starts. He pitch very well. But, how many wins did he get? Just one. There is proof that wins don’t prove how good or bad a pitchers preformance was.

Santana has a 3.97 career post season ERA with 32 K and 10 BB in 34 IP. That tells the story, however random and still pointless it may be.

Look, I love Johan Santana and if the Yankees can get him for IPK, the Melkman and another kid, than good for them. That is doubtful, however, and I’m not so sure this is a pursue-at-all-costs move.

NS: What is his definition of pursue-at-all-costs? The Yankees aren’t trading ARod and Jeter for him.

Santana was once a kid. The Twins plucked him out the Houston system, nurtured him in the bullpen for the better part of four years and then he exploded. Why can’t the Yankees stick with their plan?

NS: What does any of this mean? If Phil Hughes is going to be in the bullpen for the next four years, then I want JohaNY.

Name me all the pitchers with $100 million contracts that proved worth the price. Plenty will people tell you Santana is different and maybe he is. He probably is. Or maybe he’s the next Mike Hampton or Kevin Brown or Barry Zito.

NS: Why group together all of the pitchers with $100M contracts? Why is that a measure of how Santana will hold up? Wouldn’t a group of LHP who are <6’0 and <200 lbs and rely on velocity be a better measure of how he holds up?

“Maybe he is.”? Yeah, MAYBE Johan Santana is better than Hampton, Brown and Zito.

PeteAbe, listen up: Johan Santana is really really good and he isn’t “maybe” better than every pitcher in the game, he just IS better than every pitcher in the game.

Do not sign Aaron Rowand

November 29, 2007

The Yankees are apparently willing to consider moving Cabrera, who hit .291 with 58 RBI after taking over as the Yankees’ regular center fielder, because they told the agent for free-agent center fielder Aaron Rowand they would have interest in Rowand if they trade Cabrera. (Source)

A Type-A Free Agent (loss of ’08 1st round pick), career 106 OPS+, played to his 90th Percentile while playing in an extreme hitters park (due for a big regression), he’d command a long term contract and will be 30 in ’08,  why waste the money and a draft pick when Andruw Jones is availible?

Ian Kennedy ranked 26th by MLB.com

November 29, 2007

His buddy Joba Chamberlain may have created more buzz with his big-league splash, but what Kennedy did in his first season of pro ball should certainly not be overlooked. The MiLB.com Overall Starting Pitcher of the Year pitched at three levels on his way to the big leagues. He won’t light up radar guns like Chamberlain, instead relying on outstanding command of four pitches to get hitters out. He did show that despite the plus fastball, he could miss more than enough bats to succeed.

Just when he’ll get a chance to do that in New York remains to be seen. Of the Yankees’ young pitchers, he’s the one most likely to start the year in Triple-A, though there is an outside shot he could begin the year at the back end of the Yankees’ rotation. Either way, look for him to contribute more in the bigs than the three starts he had in 2007. (Source)

Kennedy might be moved for JohaNY this week. While he’s still a Yankee, let’s enjoy it.

One part of the Johan deal that nobody is talking about

November 28, 2007

I have stated before how important it is for the Yankees to have Andy Pettitte come back for 2008 to solidify the rotation.

My question: If the Yankees acquire Johan Santana how does Andy not return?

The Yankees brought back Mariano and Posada and brought in Joe Girardi, all of which are guys Andy has won championships with. That had to have helped.

’08 is the last year in Yankee Stadium, doesn’t he want to send it out the right way?

Wouldn’t adding Johan put Pettitte over the top and force him to return? I think so.

What other way?

November 28, 2007

If I were the Yankees, I wouldn’t make the deal. I know it sounds crazy not to want to add a 28-year-old stud ace lefthander, but the price is simply too high. Dealing Hughes, who has been projected as a top of the rotation guy, is silly. Keep him, and use the $25 million a year to add pitching some other way. (Source: Mark Feinsand’s Blog)

Mark, what other way are the Yankees going to acquire anything close to Johan Santana’s production next year without giving up value? Please, do tell. I’d love to know.

The idea that just because the Yankees have money means they can improve without giving anything up is really dumb right now. That is only a valid argument when there are free agents and there are zero good free agent starting pitchers availible, let alone anyone that would rival the great Johan.

Spending $25M per year on Kyle Lohse isn’t going to make him pitch like Johan.

Sign David Riske

November 28, 2007

The Yankees have “definitely reached out” to free agent right-hander David Riske, said his agent Nez Balelo. Riske, 31, was 1-4 with a 2.45 ERA in 69 2/3 innings with the Kansas City Royals in 2007. (Source)

Not for big money, not for the long term, not as the primary set up guy, why not add another solid arm to the pen (career ERA+ 131)?

AJack ranked 49th by MLB.com

November 27, 2007

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Jackson has always teased with his tremendous potential. He started turning it into on-field performance during the 2007 season. A former basketball standout, Jackson is a tremendously athletic outfielder who, upon being promoted from the South Atlantic League to the Florida State League, responded to the challenge by showing the ability to hit to all fields with power, speed and more defensive ability than he’d shown in the past. Jackson went on to Hawaii Winter Baseball after the 2007 season and continued to impress with his speed and bat. He’ll play the 2008 season at age 21 and could feasibly do it with Double-A Trenton. If things continue to click, he could be a fast riser in the Yankees system. (Source)

This is a pretty big accomplishment considering AJack wasn’t a top 100 prospect prior to the ’07 season. He had quite a breakout season.

That being said, he’s still underrated.

Ladies and Gentleman, the Klap

November 27, 2007

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While George would lord over the Yankees, threatening Joe Torre and the players like a guillotine waiting to be loosed, Hank acts and sounds more like a general manager than an owner. And that begs the obvious question: Is GM Brian Cashman being marginalized as he enters the final year of his contract?

Anyone who would actually ask this question clearly hasn’t paid any attention to the change of direction this franchise has taken since Cash took full control of Baseball Operations in October 2005.

Both parties insist that’s not the case.

Hank Steinbrenner on Cashman: “Brian’s been with us for, what, 16 or 17 years? I can’t make any guarantees, but considering he’s been a lifelong Yankee, I don’t see any reason to make a change.”

Cashman says, simply, “My job has not changed at all” since Steinbrenner began eclipsing him. In fact, Yankees insiders say Cashman is still running the day-to-day operations, answering to Hank and Hal as he once did to George. The only difference is in visibility — or in Cashman’s case, his invisibility. The GM is rarely returning phone calls these days, deferring instead to Hank.

Bob, you wrote these words, why is this a question?

If the experiment fails, it won’t be Girardi who’ll be the casualty, not with a three-year deal as his buffer. It’s Cashman who’ll suffer the consequences. His profile has been reduced, in fact, even when Hank hasn’t been on center stage. It was team president Randy Levine, not Cashman, who conducted the press conference to announce the end of the Torre era last month. Levine insisted, “It was the responsibility of a president of an organization” to explain the details of the contract Torre rejected.

Cashman may have appeared out of the loop, but insiders say Levine volunteered to take the hit for the GM and all three Steinbrenners, knowing the fallout from Torre’s departure would be immediate and savage. But ever since then, Cashman has remained in the background while Hank has become the face and the voice of the Yankees

Blame ARod

November 26, 2007

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