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Waiting for a bargain?

Posted by: Sam Borden - Posted in Misc on Dec 24, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

It has become a popular theory that the longer that Matt Holliday and Jason Bay remain on the market, the greater the chance that the Yankees (or Red Sox) will swoop in and take one of the high-priced free agents on some kind of bargain deal.

There’s nothing wrong with this logic; in a lot of ways, it makes sense. I just still don’t think it will happen.

Is Holliday a great player? Sure he is. But even if the Yankees were willing to give ANOTHER long-term, huge-money deal to a position player, I’m not convinced that Holliday is worth it. The Yankees stretched themselves last year for Teixeira, who has an OPS+ of 141 from 2004-09, and averaged 39 homers and 127 RBI per 162 games during that time.

Holliday, during the same six-year period, had an OPS+ of 137 while averaging 31 and 119 (much of it in power-friendly Coors Field). Close, to be sure, and pretty fantastic but even at a “bargain” price it’s hard to justify the Yankees taking the leap. The Cardinals have already reportedly offered Holliday a contract for approximately $16 million a year for up to eight years – an offer that didn’t apparently didn’t interest Holliday/Scott Boras.

Assuming they “settle” for something around that initial offer if the market is as depressed as some people think, you can certainly understand the Yankees still not being interested. They targeted their blockbuster deal a year ago and went the extra mile to get Teixeira (and obviously it paid off, at least so far).

Is it a lock they won’t get Holliday, too? Never say never. But even at “bargain” prices you can’t blame the Yankees for shopping elsewhere.

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114 Responses to “Waiting for a bargain?”

  1. stuckey December 24th, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Dear Matt Holliday,

    Please sign with St. Louis soon.

    This topic got old a week ago.

    Sincerely,

    Stuckey

  2. CR9 December 24th, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    John Buccigross is the most disgusting human being in the world.

  3. Sam Borden December 24th, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Stuckey: I can’t complain too much because it’s decent blog fodder during the slow holidays but in general, I agree with you. When you’re talking about $120 million, what’s the hold up????

  4. Frank December 24th, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    “John Buccigross is the most disgusting human being in the world.”

    What’d he do? Go knuckle deep up his nose with his index finger or something?

  5. OC Yankees Fan December 24th, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    If you are looking for bargains, I’ll bet you can find plush Rally Monkeys real cheap . . .

    Angel fans are blue this year, and thankfully very quiet.

    Nothing worse than band-wagon fans while they on the wagon. But most of them have moved on to the Lakers, and likely won’t be back until the Angels are in ALCS championship again.

    And that looks like something which is a long way off.

  6. CR9 December 24th, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    He made fun of Rex Ryan for what was obviously a joke, and a darn good one at that.

    You’d think Buccigross might act like he’s been there before, as a Patriots fan, and leave the Jets alone, since the Jets have been losers for a long long time (Just like the Pats were pre-cheating).

  7. Erin December 24th, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    At the beginning of the off season, I thought that Holliday would sign with someone very quickly, and the Halladay situation would drag out all winter. Oops.

    At least my prediction that Andy would be the first FA the Yankees signed came true. ;)

  8. stuckey December 24th, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Sam,

    I know blogs are a beast that require many daily feedings, and the cupboard can get bare in the off-season.

    It wasn’t really directed at you guys. But it would be nice of the Yankee Universe in general could just move on.

    And on that note, I still think people shouldn’t sleep on Ankiel.

    The guy had off the charts defensive metrics in LF in limited action. Offensively, he could be this year’s Swisher and given the market, might be had for a 1 year song.

    Maybe you can Chad can look into him a little bit, help nudge the conversation along?

  9. Erica - always OPPC - Bring Johnny Back!!! December 24th, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Dearest Brian Cashman-

    Thank you for the fine work you have been doing this offseason. However, I do not believe your work to be done. In the spirit of the Christmas season, why not give our good friend Johnny Damon a revisit and come to a deal. I do believe the price could be right. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

    Sincerely Yours,
    Erica

  10. stuckey December 24th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Dear Erica,

    Do you think asking Damon to come back for a 3rd of what he felt he was worth is a wise idea?

    I think Brian Cashman in fact has a legitimate point.

    Sincerely,

    Stuckey

  11. blake December 24th, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Because they aren’t talking about $120 million.

  12. Frank December 24th, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    “He made fun of Rex Ryan for what was obviously a joke, and a darn good one at that.”

    Rexy makes himself a easy target, but picking on perennial losers is weak.

  13. Erica - always OPPC - Bring Johnny Back!!! December 24th, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Dearest Stuckey-

    I am very selfish. And Johnny Damon needs to play somewhere in 2010. So far the amount of interest he has gathered from other teams equals a lump of coal in a Christmas stocking. So if it comes down to returning to the Yankees for a pay cut, playing elsewhere for a paycut, or not playing at all. I think the choice is obvious.

    Sincerely Yours,
    Erica

  14. DaSaint007 December 24th, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Dear Brian,

    Thank you for taking care of the pressing needs again this offseason. We’ll do fine with our current roster, and we’re looking forward to next offseason when you can start really shopping again.

    Saint

  15. pat December 24th, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    “This topic got old a week ago.”

    Agreed. Although the Joba to the pen will probably be the next topic once LF gets settled and that got old 2 years ago.

  16. Thurman December 24th, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    I still think Kei Igawa plus (Juan Miranda or Colin Curtis) plus another mid-level prospect might return DeJesus from KC

  17. stuckey December 24th, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    At least Jeter bought us some time on the when does he move off SS talk.

  18. murphydog December 24th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    As Frank pointed out earlier this morning, if in fact the Sox sign Bay, then given age and cost Cameron would almost certainly be moved. But it would be a desperation move and everyone would know that.

    Cameron to the Yankees? Not likely. The SOX would never do anything to help the Yankees and the Yankees feel the same about the Sox.

    Don’t know who else would like to take on Cameron’s contract but if anybody’s interested, it’s 15.5 mil if I remember correctly.

    So, Theo, when you are negotiating with Bay just throw about half of Cameron’s salary on top of Bay’s demands; to trade Cameron under these circumstances, you’ll get next to nothing back plus you will have to throw in cash to get someone to take Cameron off your hands.

  19. Erin December 24th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Erica-I made a late request to Santa that Johnny Damon be resigned. Hopefully he got it in time :)

  20. Javy can't hang December 24th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Bay will be a Yankee. Merry Christmas.

  21. DaSaint007 December 24th, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Met’s could use Cameron in LF.

  22. Joe Vogel December 24th, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    “And on that note, I still think people shouldn’t sleep on Ankiel.

    The guy had off the charts defensive metrics in LF in limited action. Offensively, he could be this year’s Swisher and given the market, might be had for a 1 year song.”

    Mr. Stuckey, I know Nick Swisher (I don’t really), and sir, Rick Ankiel is no Nicholas Swisher (my best Lloyd Bentsen).

    Ankiel is an impatient hitter with a low walk rate, while Swisher is a player with real value due to his excellent peripheral numbers (walks and XBH’s). Even though Ankiel may occasionally stick a long homer or make an impressive throw, his value is pedestrian. At this point in his career (age 30), he is about to enter his 2nd division nomadic phase (hello Pirates and Royals).

    Best Regards, Happy Holidays (Hopefully and not likely Matt H.)

  23. vinny-b (NJ and Granderson - thank you Cashman!) December 24th, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Bay will never be a yankee. Cashman is intelligent

  24. vinny-b (NJ and Granderson - thank you Cashman!) December 24th, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    the Tampa faction is not longer in charge

    praise God

  25. Bill Porter December 24th, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Met’s could use Cameron in LF.

    Is that James Cameron or Cameron Diaz or will they work something out with the Sawx?

  26. JD December 24th, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Sam,

    Good analysis on why the Yankees will likely refrain from pursuing Holliday. What are your thoughts on whether the Sox will go after a “bargain” deal with him?

  27. Erica - always OPPC - Bring Johnny Back!!! December 24th, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Erin
    December 24th, 2009 at 1:09 pm
    Erica-I made a late request to Santa that Johnny Damon be resigned. Hopefully he got it in time

    *********

    Thats why you’re my buddy! :-)

  28. crawdaddy December 24th, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    My repost:

    One name that hasn’t been talked about alot that Cashman might be considering due to low cost is Reed Johnson. Now, he would be mainly a right-handed platoon in LF with Gardner, but his splits against left-handed pitching is really good and from what I can remember about him, he’s not a bad fielder that can also play CF.

    Anyhow, here are his career splits.

    http://www.baseball-reference……er&t=b

  29. vinny-b (NJ and Granderson - thank you Cashman!) December 24th, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    man, just go with Gardner

    stop the garbage suggestions (Vlad, Dye, Reed Johnson etc)

  30. Joe Vogel December 24th, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    vinny-b (NJ and Granderson – thank you Cashman!)
    December 24th, 2009 at 1:13 pm
    the Tampa faction is not longer in charge

    Agree in whole (although I thought the power shift primarily occurred at the end of the 2005 season). Did you find it curious that at the end of Game 7, Levine was the one standing on the podium lapping up the attention while Cashman was nowhere to be seen? I’m not suggesting that Cashman should have paraded himself about, but Levine’s contribution seems to have been more negative than positive.

  31. bru December 24th, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    It’s just so tempting. Among the best ways to properly value players is through a metric called Wins Above Replacement. WAR is rather simple: It takes a player’s offensive and fielding statistics and translates them into an easy-to-digest number. The Yankees’ players were worth a combined 56.9 WAR last year. A team of replacement players – solid at Triple-A, not good enough for the major leagues – is projected to win 46 games a year. Add the 56.9 and 46, and New York was expected to win 102.9 games. The Yankees went 103-59.

    Now, the system isn’t perfect. The leader in batting WAR last year was neither Albert Pujols(notes) nor Chase Utley(notes) nor Mauer. It was Ben Zobrist(notes). Still, it’s a useful tool, and when it says Holliday was worth 5.7 wins last year – 13th among position players – that sounds about right.

    Already this offseason the Yankees have replaced the seven wins they lost from Johnny Damon(notes), Hideki Matsui and Melky Cabrera(notes) with 12.4 from Vazquez, Curtis Granderson(notes) and Nick Johnson(notes). The Red Sox have done even better: Bay’s 3.5 wins – so low because fielding metrics crush his value – and Alex Gonzalez’s 1.2 wins have been replaced by 12.7 from Cameron, Lackey and Marco Scutaro(notes).

    To add a Holliday or Bay would be the division-changing move of the offseason, though it seems the Yankees and Red Sox are playing a never-ending game of anything you can do, I can do better. And as disconcerting as that is to fans of the 17 teams without nine-figure payrolls, the paying customers who cringe at the Yankees and Red Sox adding the two best available players as luxury items, it’s a reality that is changing no time soon.

    The presence of either team could prompt the Cardinals and Mets to up their offers, making all of this moot in practice. In theory, it will live on as long as the Yankees and Red Sox continue to do what only they can: value shop with tens of millions of dollars.

  32. bru December 24th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    the above article by jeff passan

  33. vinny-b (NJ and Granderson - thank you Cashman!) December 24th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Joe:

    yes the transition took place when Cashman’s contract was up a few yrs ago (2005 right?). There is a wonderful quote Cashman made that day, and every move he makes is fullfilling his statement

  34. crawdaddy December 24th, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    “man, just go with Gardner

    stop the garbage suggestions (Vlad, Dye, Reed Johnson etc)”

    They still need ML outfielder depth so having Reed Johnson play against lefty pitching isn’t a garbage suggestion with his career splits.

  35. Joe Vogel December 24th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Bru,

    WAR is a useful tool, but it is limited to a retrospective analysis as opposed to a prospective one. It fails to consider whether or not the WAR will be replicable going foward. Despite this, it is still a useful metric for grading relative performances across positions.

    Cheers

  36. Mark in Tampa December 24th, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Sam,

    You compare their OPS+, and then say that Holliday compiled his numbers in hitter friendly Coors. The idea of OPS+, as you know, is to make the stat ballpark neutral. To say Holliday is not worth it at a ‘bargain’ price of 1/2 total contract value of Teixeira is short-sighted to me. Especially when their numbers are so close.

    Further, I think Holliday is better than either Crawford or Werth, the two best in 2010-11. He is likely cheaper, because of the current market. Plus, you would have him in left this year, as well as the following years. You have to wait with a hole in left for the other guys.

  37. MaineYankee December 24th, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    The RS can’t trade Cameron till sometime in June unless he okays it.

  38. Stephen December 24th, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Gardner and Hoffman will be our LF platoon, whether or not the fans like it.

    Cashman has no interest in another long term deal, or signing aging players who can’t field (Damon, Dye, Vlad). DeRosa already has a better offer on the table from SF that we won’t match.

    At best, we might bring in a Reed Johnson-type as a bat off the bench and who could start against some lefties.

    But Cashman is perfectly content with Gardner in LF and getting the majority of the starts there, and fans are just going to have to get used to it.

  39. GreenBeret7 December 24th, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    GreenBeret7
    December 24th, 2009 at 12:56 pm
    Thanks for the kind words and wishes, guys. I really appreciate the sentiments. all is going well except for one thing. Is it tacky to be sniffing ashtrays?

  40. pat December 24th, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    I’m warming up quickly to the idea of giving Nady a shot considering the other low cost alternatives.

    Is he projected to have medical clearance to start the season?

  41. bru December 24th, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Joe Vogel
    December 24th, 2009 at 1:25 pm
    Bru,

    WAR is a useful tool, but it is limited to a retrospective analysis as opposed to a prospective one. It fails to consider whether or not the WAR will be replicable going foward. Despite this, it is still a useful metric for grading relative performances across positions.

    Cheers

    ——————————————————–

    holliday will add i believe about 5-6 wins to the team & holliday will be a bargain this year not to mention next year fa are going to cost as much or more

    adding 6 wins for 16-18 million a year is a steal

  42. Gardy is God December 24th, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Buster_ESPN Heard this: Mark DeRosa is leaning toward taking the two-year offer from the Giants. Not a done deal, though.

    ——————

    YES! We’re getting closer to Gardner in LF. One by one, all the pipe dreams are leaving the market… just need to get Holliday/Bay off the market soon, so fans will stop talking about them as if they are realistic….

  43. Mark in Tampa December 24th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    “WAR is a useful tool, but it is limited to a retrospective analysis as opposed to a prospective one.”

    Every stat, when used by itself as the sole basis for an argument, is limited. It is not possible for a single atat to tell the whole story.

    OPS+ is a good stat to use, but it is very limited as well. First, it is of course going to be skewed towards the players who play in tougher ballparks, and the calculation involves multiple assumptions. Any calculation using assumed values is susceptible to errors in results.

  44. Jake December 24th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    We don’t need Hoffmann AND Reed Johnson… both serve the exact same purpose. Great defenders who can hit righties, but not lefties. At least sign Hinske or someone if you want to keep Hoffmann on the 25 man. No need to have 2 guys who only hit lefties.

    If one of our starters goes down, we’re going to have a major blackhole in the lineup.. considering 70% of starters are righties anyway and Reed Johnson or Hoffmann can’t hit them.

  45. bru December 24th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Mark in Tampa

    i agree

    holliday if we can get him for 16-18 million would be a steal

    why not get the 6 wins now when we are going to pay as much or more next year for them?

  46. Corey December 24th, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    I cant believe people want Gardner in LF. No offense to you prospect lovers, but cmon. May as well just kept Melky and put hughes and chamberlain in the rotation.

  47. Rockks December 24th, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    So much for DeRosa wanting to play for a winner and willing to take less to come to the team he grew up rooting for. As usual, a player is going where the $$$ is.

  48. Mark in Tampa December 24th, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    “Is it tacky to be sniffing ashtrays?”

    Not as tacky as licking them.

  49. Joe Vogel December 24th, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    vinny-b (NJ and Granderson – thank you Cashman!):

    I may be limiting myself to psychoanalytical drivel, but bear with me. Cashman arrived as an intern with the Yankees in 1988, and I believe followed them closely prior to that. He had a ringside seat for what I refer to as the ultimate lowpoint in George Steinbrenner’s largesse aimed at achieving short-term goals at the expense of long-term stability: the period from the mid-80′s to the early 90′s. I believe this experience demonstrated to him that even the most financially capable franchise can be driven into the ground and relegated to moves of desperation on an annual basis (see the current Mets) if the player personnel moves are made on a short-term impulsive basis. In sum, I believe his greatest strength has been his ability to not pull the trigger on many tempting deals that could have temporarily put the Yankees over the top.
    A perfect recent example is Johan Santana. If the Yankees would have traded for him prior to 2008, they likely would have made the playoffs (and C.C. would not be a Yankee). However, a number of high-end, cheap players would have been sacrificed (some combination of Hughes, Chamberlain, Jackson, Tabata, Montero, Betances).

    I’m thankful for Howard Spira, the low-level scumbag George had spying on Dave Winfield. Was it not for his carelessness in getting caught and George subsequently suspended, who knows, perhaps Jeter, Williams, Rivera, Pettitte, and Posada would have been traded for Bonilla, Coleman, Viola, and Langston). Thank you Howard, thank you.

  50. Christina25 December 24th, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Cameron is not going anywhere. He is going to play CF.I find it odd that the Red Sox is still interested on Bay. I say that Bay’s agent leaked this rumor in hopes of landing a bigger contract from another team. The way the Red Sox signed Lackey without anybody knowing until he had a physical,I find it unlikely that they will say something about Bay. I dont even want Bay on the team. His defense stinks. I rather wait until next year when Crawford and Werth are free agents and sign one of the them than give this guy 4 years.

  51. Corey December 24th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Joe in regard to the Santana deal…..

    NY now has Granderson, Swisher and Vazquez for players that were going to be moved in the Santana deal. I’d say Cashman did fine for himself. 3 > 1

  52. GreenBeret7 December 24th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Mark in Tampa
    December 24th, 2009 at 1:35 pm
    “Is it tacky to be sniffing ashtrays?”

    Not as tacky as licking them.

    ————————————————————

    Thanks for that lasting image, Mark. I suppose that would cure my desire fore a cigarette,

  53. vb03 December 24th, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    The Dodgers are probably still wincing at letting Jason Werth walk for virtually nothing.

  54. JJ December 24th, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    But I do believe that – at the moment – the Yanks are emphasizing staying under $200 million for a payroll and being strong on defense; and they feel that Gardner – perhaps with Johnson or Rule 5 pick Jamie Hoffman as a righty caddy – would be one of the best defensive left fielders in the sport. And that other part of Yankee history is that during the Joe Torre dynasty they never really had a steady left fielder with hardly stars such as Chad Curtis, Rickey Ledee and Shane Spencer all being regulars at some point during championship seasons. In other words, you don’t need an All-Star everywhere.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/.....cTnhKzNzAN

  55. DT - OPPC member December 24th, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I can’t think about Wins Above Replacement, without hearing Motown in my head.

    WAR, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin.

  56. Joe Vogel December 24th, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    holliday will add i believe about 5-6 wins to the team & holliday will be a bargain this year not to mention next year fa are going to cost as much or more

    adding 6 wins for 16-18 million a year is a steal

    Bru:

    The home/road splits scare me (they are staggering). The rate per year is tolerable, but the number of years needed to get the signature on the contract is what I find problematic. Four years at that rate would be safe, but he isn’t likely signing for less than six. My brother (a Cardinal fan) and I both agree that he’s going back to St. Louis. They clearly have the greatest need (creating the greatest market for him), but he won’t be a bargain at six years/$100 million. He’s already 30 y/o (in Jan.), and I shudder to think of carrying him at $18 million per year during the final 2-3 years of the deal as he is in his decline phase (He has the long-term potential of being a really lousy OF as he ages).

    Good Tidings

  57. bru December 24th, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    we lose one big bat & we have 2 massive holes & if the rs add holliday’s 5.7 wins on top of their already added 12.7 wins compared to our added 12.4 wins then it is almost like when we added tex last year

    right now we our neutral in added players
    holliday will change that for a very reasonable contract

  58. Mark in Tampa December 24th, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    “Thanks for that lasting image, Mark. I suppose that would cure my desire fore a cigarette,”

    Just trying to help any way I can.

    “fore”

    Apparently, though, you are itching to get out on the golf course and break a few windows on neighboring houses.

  59. E-gawa December 24th, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    stuckey
    December 24th, 2009 at 12:49 pm
    Dear Matt Holliday,

    Please sign with St. Louis soon.

    This topic got old a week ago.

    Sincerely,

    Stuckey
    ———————-

    Thank you.
    I second this.

    Matt Holliday has become very very very very OVERRATED this offseason.

  60. Gil L December 24th, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    the yanks & cliff lee – a preview…

    simple deduction.
    1) when cashman wants something to stay a secret – it does (e.g. javy vazquez, curtis g…)
    2) we’ve been flooded with info the past few days that the yanks were hot and heavy for cliff lee, both before and after the seattle trade
    3) clearly, this info is coming from the yanks. why?
    4) simple – the yanks are sending lee a loud and clear message – “don’t sign any extention, because after this season we’re coming for you, and we’re bringing the brinx truck with us”

    if lee maintains his level of production in 2010, and i believe he will as he is in a contract year, i’m quite sure he’ll be in pinstripes in 2011.

  61. dee December 24th, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    At this point, I doubt we are getting Holliday or Bay, but I also won’t believe anything Cash says until they are signed elsewhere. I know we’ve done a lot of trades this winter, but maybe Cash is working on another trade. Maybe someone like Cody Ross, Doumit, DeJesus…around that type?

  62. Mike December 24th, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Didn’t we go through this experiment just last year?

    Gardner mashed in ST (wow what a shock!) and beat Melky out for the job. Then within 2 weeks, Melky had the job and Gardner was a bench player. Girardi then selectively put Gardner in the lineup against pitchers who wouldn’t embarrass him, or when Damon/Swisher needed some time off occasionally.

    So he accumulated his numbers by Girardi picking his spots to put him in. He wasn’t playing every day. Melky was.

    So take Gardner’s numbers before injuries with a grain of salt. Girardi won’t be able to “hide” Gardner anymore if he is the starter, considering 70% of pitchers throw right handed, and a guy like Reed Johnson can’t hit them.

  63. Phil the Thrill December 24th, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    wCR+, the new one from fangraphs actually sees Holliday as a little better than Tex. wCR+ properly weights OBP which is more important than SLG, OPS+ is flawed because it sees them as equal.

    btw, I told you guys the other day Reed Johnson was in the mix cause he can hit lefties.

    Meanwhile, I still think we’ll swoop on Holliday. We need younger bats like his, Tex’s, Granderson’s and Cano’s to create a bridge between the decline of Po, Jeter and ARod and the rise of Montero and the other prospects with “Yankee bats.”

  64. Sam Borden December 24th, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Mark in Tampa: The mention of Coors was in reference to just the HR and RBI totals; obviously OPS+ isn’t relevant to that.

    My point was more that the Yankees are, understandably, apparently averse to giving another position player a crazy-long (six-plus years) deal, and that they probably chose wisely in going with Tex over Holliday. To me, you can’t blame them for not being interested in another $100-plus million player who is slightly below Tex’s talent level only one year later.

  65. murphydog December 24th, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    And I can’t read WAR without thinking Seinfeld…

    Jerry: Hey ya know what I read the most unbelievable thing about Tolstoy the other day, did you know the original title for “War and Peace” was “War–What Is It Good For?”!

    Elaine: Ha ha.

    Jerry: No, no.. I’m not kidding Elaine it’s true, his mistress didn’t like the title and insisted him change it to “War and Peace”!

    Elaine: But it’s a line from that song!

    Jerry: That’s were they got it from!

    Elaine: Really?

    Jerry: I’m not joking!

    http://www.seinfeldscripts.com.....logist.htm

  66. Pat M December 24th, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    GB, I was talking to George Breet yesterday, he looks like he’s only put on about 10 pounds since his playing days…..I bet he could just walk up to the plate and drill a double to leftcenter……George says, after all these years watching Mariano Rivera, he still doesn’t have a stratergy or a hitting approach to solving that riddle…..He always say the Goose was the Man from the pen, but he does say for 3 outs , Rivera is the greatest of all time…………..Merry Christmas ol buddy

  67. DT - OPPC member December 24th, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Pat M – I truly hope that was George Brett. (sounded a bit like the Seinfeld episode with John Voight’s car) ;-)

  68. Mark in Tampa December 24th, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Re: Holliday

    I did not even consider him a possibility at this time last year. I thought he was just a Coors creation, and not worth it at nearly any price.

    After the trade to Oakland, his immediate performance seemed to bear that out.

    He did perform much better as the season went on, even in a terrible ballpark with nobody around him.

    I was very impressed by his hitting in a neutral park in St Louis, on a playoff team with a decent lineup. Impressed enough to have some interest, but still no way for what he was asking for.

    Now that the numbers have come down from 8/180M to 5/85, it seems like a no-brainer. Especially since we don’t have a great option batting 5th. Jorge is probably best there, but he will only play 115 games or so.

  69. bru December 24th, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Joe Vogel

    i agree 6 years pass but he will not get the money he thinks he will

    he turned down over 20 million a year from colorado

    what a mistake

  70. vinny-b (NJ and Granderson - thank you Cashman!) December 24th, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    “relegated to moves of desperation on an annual basis”
    ——————————————————–

    Joe: nice post. Not drivel. The above statement particularly rings true. Which we know was happening in the post-dynasty years (2002-2005). In addition to what you mentioned it is apparent at this time Cashman learned relief pitching is volitile, and i believe the consistent need for starting pitching was also enforced to him. Not to mention, the ability to have personel in the high levels, to enable the organization to fill an emergency MLB need without resorting to a Terrance Long, etc

    merry Christmas to everyone!

  71. Joe Vogel December 24th, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Corey
    December 24th, 2009 at 1:38 pm
    Joe in regard to the Santana deal…..

    NY now has Granderson, Swisher and Vazquez for players that were going to be moved in the Santana deal. I’d say Cashman did fine for himself. 3 > 1

    Corey:

    He absolutely stole Swisher (an undervalued talent) did very well with Granderson and Vazquez (although Vizcaino may come back to bite him). I believe one of Cashman’s greatest strengths is his ability to always deal from a position of leverage. By always being cognizant of the long-term (not over-sacrificing the minor league talent), he is rarely left with a hole in the lineup or rotation that must immediately be filled at any cost where other teams may exploit him (see again the current Mets). He has used his financial advantage to take on a number of overpriced contracts (although not always at full price) that other teams were forced to liquidate for fractions on dollar in terms of actual financial expense and the talent required in trade to acquire them (See Abreau, Rodriquez, Swisher, Granderson, Vazquez).

  72. GreenBeret7 December 24th, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Mark in Tampa
    December 24th, 2009 at 1:45 pm
    “Thanks for that lasting image, Mark. I suppose that would cure my desire fore a cigarette,”

    Just trying to help any way I can.

    “fore”

    Apparently, though, you are itching to get out on the golf course and break a few windows on neighboring houses.

    ————————————————————

    I wouldn’t mind playing golf, but, I’m prohibited by law from wielding a dangerous weapon.

    I see that you’ve noticed the rest hasn’t improved my typing and spelling skills.

  73. Mark in Tampa December 24th, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Sam,

    I agree, I wouldn’t want to the Yankees sign Holliday for 6/100+ either. But the most concrete # I have heard is 5/80 from the Cards, and an old 5/82.5 from Boston. If nobody goes higher than that, couldn’t the Yankees get him at 5/85?

    Maybe Boras is going by the ability to pay rule? Cards can only afford 80 or so, so that is OK for them; but the Yankees should be able to afford 150 or more, so they can’t have him for less than that.

  74. bru December 24th, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    i just can’t see holliday getting 100 million

    only a few teams in it & the yankees & rs will be carefull

    5 yrs/90 million maybe

  75. Mark in Tampa December 24th, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    “NY now has Granderson, Swisher and Vazquez for players that were going to be moved in the Santana deal. I’d say Cashman did fine for himself. 3 > 1″

    Not only that, they got those 3 while only giving up 1 player who had value to the Major League club.

  76. GreenBeret7 December 24th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Pat M
    December 24th, 2009 at 1:49 pm
    GB, I was talking to George Breet yesterday, he looks like he’s only put on about 10 pounds since his playing days…..I bet he could just walk up to the plate and drill a double to leftcenter……George says, after all these years watching Mariano Rivera, he still doesn’t have a stratergy or a hitting approach to solving that riddle…..He always say the Goose was the Man from the pen, but he does say for 3 outs , Rivera is the greatest of all time…………..Merry Christmas ol buddy

    ————————————————————

    Pat, that guy used to annoy me every time he batted. As natural a hitter as I’ve ever seen.

    I wonder if Gossage sends him Christmas cards?

    I’m going to look up and see what Brett hit against Lyle and Guidry.

    Have a very happy holiday season to you and your family, Pat.

  77. Sam Borden December 24th, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    At 5 for 90, that’s an AAV of $18 million – to me, that’s still too steep. Is it a better value of his worth? Probably. But I think the Yankees can absolutely get by – and by that I mean, “win the World Series” – with someone far cheaper in LF. Don’t forget, the Yankees won WS with Chad Curtis/Shane Spencer types in LF …

  78. murphydog December 24th, 2009 at 2:04 pm

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    Jerry: Yes I do.

    Woman: What is it?

    Jerry: It, uh, rhymes with a female body part.

    Woman: What is it?

    Jerry: Mulva…

    She leaves the apartment. Jerry follows and tries again:

    Jerry: Gipple?

    And again:

    Jerry: Loleola?

    Nope. He goes back inside and goes to get something out of the refrigerator, but before the fridge light can even go on, a light goes on in Jerry’s head and he rushes to the window to catch the Mystery Woman before she gets out of earshot.

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  79. Phil the Thrill December 24th, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    I was typing too fast above it’s wRC+ now wCR+. Sorry. RC is for runs created.

  80. Phil the Thrill December 24th, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Sam,

    back in the `90s the AL East was not the division it is now. Plus back then the Yanks had Straw and Rock Raines available to spot Curtis in key situations.

  81. Jeff NJ December 24th, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    I finally got around to looking back at the posts from a year ago re the Tex signing that Chad referenced and I found my post

    “Jeff NJ December 23rd, 2008 at 7:28 pm
    This signing is outstanding. I personally am having the best year ever:

    Giants won the super bowl on my birthday
    Had my first kid, a great little boy
    Won my fantasy football league last night
    And now the Yankees are champions of the off-season signing the top three free agents on the market.

    2008 is going to be a tough year to follow. GO YANKEES!”

    On that note let me just say 2009 was up to the challenge and has been as good as a year as 2008. Once again one of my teams won the championship. My kid has aged to 18 months and has provided me with so many memories and fun moments to last a lifetime. Also, my fantasy football team is in the championship this week.

    2010 is going to be a tough year to follow. GO YANKEES!

  82. ko December 24th, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Cashman is far from a genius. The outfield is in total disarray. No left fielder. A centerfielder who can’t hit lefties and a rightfielder who can’t hit breaking pitches. Get a mediocre lefty who throws a breaking pitch and you’ve got an outfield that gives you three automatic outs in the lineup. You’ll see plenty of shlock lefties dominating the Yankees next year if no more moves are made. As far as the starting rotation. Vazquez was a nice pickup, but the Yankees need another veteran starter badly. I recommend Bedard or Sheets. Those of you who have short memories don’t recall the Yankees getting stuck year after year with Ponson, Rasner, Karstens, Giese, Gaudin, Mitre, Small, Chacon, etc. as members of the Yankee starting rotation. It would be nice if Cashman would get it right one of these years. Relying on Hughes or Chamberlain as a starter, with the Yankees resources, is poor management. Neither one of them have given any indication that they can be a useful part of a big league rotation. Do it the old fashioned way, put them in the pen, give them an opportunity when it arises and let them pitch their way into the rotation. Handing Hughes or Chamberlain a starting spot is ass backwards – Cashman’s forte.

  83. Joe Vogel December 24th, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Pat, that guy used to annoy me every time he batted. As natural a hitter as I’ve ever seen.

    Reminds me of the greatest book on hitting of all time, “The Art of Hitting .300″ by Charlie Lau (and ostensibly George Brett the chief pupil). And yes, Ted Williams’ “The Science of Hitting” does take a backseat to it.

  84. Jeff NJ December 24th, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    whoops I meant to end it with 2009 is going to be a tough year to follow. GO YANKEES!

  85. Corey December 24th, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I still can’t wrap my head around Posada/Granderson protecting A-Rod. Its kind of making me nervous to be honest.

  86. Rick December 24th, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    If we are down to reed johnson….let’s sign jerry hairston as a platoon with gardner… hairston is a better offensive player and he gives you flexibility. please no reed johnson..no power no nothing…

  87. mick December 24th, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Banya, Newman, Soup Nazi, Fragile Frankie Merman, Putty, to name a few Murph…the best, jerry, the best.

  88. Phil December 24th, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Exactly, Sam. And they won with an average LF in those days…and they didn’t even have an A-Rod bat in 2000 to pick up slack.

  89. Rick December 24th, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    If Reed Johnson is the answer in left….don’t even bother let gardner play…he is young and has speed to burn.

  90. steveoh December 24th, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    David DeJesus

    http://www.fangraphs.com/leade.....38;month=0

  91. Joe Vogel December 24th, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Ko:

    Many of the situations you described (“Ponson, Rasner, Karstens, Giese, Gaudin, Mitre, Small, Chacon, etc. as members of the Yankee starting rotation”) were a result of the type of behavior I described that occurred from around 2000-2005. You may counter that these players were playing post that time, but the effects of the philosophical change takes time to create a fully functioning farm system. The Yankees are now nearing the point where their minor league inventory is such that they can pick and choose which talent they wish to stick with and alternatively they can use some to fill other needs via trade. In sum, no longer are they dealing from a position of lesser leverage.

    You wouldn’t by chance be a disillusioned Orioles fan.

  92. Pat M December 24th, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    GB, Over the years I’ve got to know George in a very casual way by way of Charity Golf Tournaments….He knows of my baseball background, and that I’m a Lifer Yankee fan….He always reminds me of his upper tank shot off of The Goose back in October 1980 & the of course I have to remind him of Chris Chambliss blast off of Mark Littel in October 1776……He has said in the past that when the calendar reads August 2nd, he devouts a moment of silence for Thurman Munson…..Good guy, just orbits his tee shots , but is an average or so golfer…..

  93. Ninja Burglar December 24th, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    I saw an interesting idea over at The Yankee Universe about the front office possibly leaving LF somewhat open in terms of a long term deal at the position to leave a spot for a possible Jeter move in the future, maybe after his new contract.

  94. Joe Vogel December 24th, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    At this point in his career, I think Reed Johnson is closer to bagging groceries post-retirement than platooning in LF for a contending ballclub (considering the market for attorneys, I probably am too).

  95. Phil December 24th, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    And LF becomes a moot point if the starters aren’t solid throughout the year. If CC is CC, Pettitte’s elbow holds up, Burnett manages to find some consistency, Vasquez pitches to his career marks, and Hughes or whomever holds down the five spot can make servicable starts…the production out of LF will matter little.

    Happy Holidays Chad and Sam! Thank you for all the insight into the Yankees’ world.

  96. Joe Vogel December 24th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    A George Brett comment:

    As much as I worshipped my boyhood idol Don Mattingly, Brett deserved the ’85 MVP more (and Rickey maybe even more). However, Mattingly was absolutely jobbed in ’86 when Clemens won.

  97. bru December 24th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    happy hollidays to all

    sam,chad,josh & every fellow yankee fan & blogger

    we at times might bicker & have a difference in opinions but one thing we have in common is we are fans of the best sports team on the planet

    go yankees

  98. Erica - always OPPC - Bring Johnny Back!!! December 24th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    new thread :arrow:

  99. austinmac December 24th, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Sam,

    I understand the Yankees not wanting to spend more money for Holliday. It is their money, after all. Please likewise understand that as a fan I don’t want the Yankees to “get by’. I don’t see the downside of having control over a quality player for five years.

  100. ortforshort December 24th, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Swisher was not a steal (maybe for the White Sox). He’s a seriously flawed hitter. He can murder fastballs, but can’t hit a breaking pitch. One difference between him and most guys who can’t hit a breaking ball is that he won’t swing at one. If you’ve got a good pitcher, who can get three of them over for strikes, Swisher is dead meat. See last year’s playoffs. Granderson was also not a steal seeing how he has morphed into a platoon player. He is unable to hit lefthanders. Vazquez was also not a steal seeing how the Yankees got him for only one year (at 11 million) for three young players, two of whom may be pretty good. Also, if the Yankees don’t land any other outfielders, then losing Cabrera was a big loss. He would have been the righty half of the Granderson platoon and he at least has a chance against guys who throw breaking pitches for strikes and would have platooned with Swisher there, as well.

  101. barry December 24th, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Oh how I miss Pete. Since when did a reporter, report his opinion.

  102. maxcz December 24th, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    merry xmas to everyone!

    i know alot of you guys do not want Holliday?
    but who protect Arod? now that Matsui is gone…
    Posada??

  103. Francis Isberto December 24th, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Bargains is for guys like Bobby Abreu and Hideki Matsui (who are amazingly both with the Angels). I don’t see Bay or Holliday giving in. Their high demand will still be the same.

  104. DOUG December 25th, 2009 at 12:00 am

    waiting for a bargin i say trade for best up and coming outfielder now that being CRIS COGHLAN of the marlins. right now would be the best bargain cause he’s only going to get better, plays both outfield corners and has all the tools needed. he would be a great YANKEE!

  105. profman December 25th, 2009 at 12:29 am

    ko is correct. cashman always gets his pocket picked when trading for pitching. see lilly for weaver .or ohlendorf for marte. or bruney for hoffman. does anyone really believe that hoffman is capable of being a bench player in the majors when he simply cant hit a curveball. the dodgers would have kept him on the roster considering his low cost if he could hit anything but a fastball. cashman surrendered bruney for nothing when the yankees had at least 2 places on their roster just to save money is insulting to yankee fans like myself who pay over 20000 for tickets and the highest concession prices in baseball.

  106. roger December 25th, 2009 at 3:30 am

    Goose Gossage and Bud Selig very much want to put a haze around Mariano Rivera. They wish they didn’t have to deal with the fact of his existence. One way they deal with it is to say he’s in the ‘modern’ era of i inning closers, bunched together with every other schmo. When do they talk about Gossage’s post season and all star record? He had his share of opportunities and he blew most of them. When it mattered most, Gossage for whatever reason, did not do the job. As far as his main bragging point of multi innings, he only did that for a few years, after which even if he did pitch multi innings, he blew most of them. For a number of his later years, his outings were mostly just a few outs. This year’s post season is just over, with all the multi inning appearances Mo put in, and already they can’t wait to get back to saying he’s a 3 out pitcher. Goose Gossage gave up 2 homeruns in 1 inning in a World Series. Even after his manager told him to walk one of the guys. He apparently doesn’t have the mental toughness required for big spots. Durability over a career includes all star and post season. Gossage didn’t measure up. Mo has had plenty of outings of more than 3 outs, and/or coming in with men on base in regular season, and that’s not to mention 1996. The other teams always know there’s a chance he will come in before the 9th inning. As someone else said this year, he’s worlds away from the 3 outs and hit the food spread types.

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