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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


PECOTA predicts a third-place finish

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 28, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Not the most bullish Yankees prediction coming from the Baseball Prospectus PECOTA system, which predicts a third-place finish for the Yankees at 93-69. PECOTA actually predicts the Rays as the American League East winners at 96-66.

Interestingly, PECOTA predicts that the Yankees lineup will actually score more runs (917) than last the team scored last season (915). It’s the pitching staff that PECOTA thinks will take a hit, with the Yankees predicted to allow 789 runs, 36 more than last season and 60 more than PECOTA predicts for Tampa Bay’s young staff.

The Yankees are predicted to easily score the most runs in baseball and finish with the third-most wins. It just so happens that the Rays and Red Sox are predicted to have the most and second-most wins.

Some other interesting predictions: The Nationals finishing better than .500, the A’s beating the Mariners for the American League West and the Twins winning the AL Central with just 82 wins.

A few other news and notes from around baseball…

• Hard to say whether this is a big story or a small story, but USA Today’s Bob Nightengale says Kevin Towers will join the Yankees front office. No doubt that’s a good baseball mind joining the mix, but it’s hard to say how much impact Towers could have.

• Maybe Chien-Ming Wang won’t wait until May to sign after all.

• Former Yankees spot starter Dan Giese, fresh off Tommy John surgery, has signed back with the Oakland A’s.

• Speaking of former Yankees, Steven Jackson and Anthony Claggett each cleared waivers and will go to spring training as NRIs with the Pirates.

• The latest minor league transactions lists just one Yankees signing: INF Fu-Lin Kuo from Taiwan. It’s actually not an especially new signing. More information on Kuo right here. The only other name that stood out from the minor league transactions was former Yankees minor league infielder Kevin Howard, who signed with the Cardinals. It’s old news, but Shelley Duncan’s brother Chris has signed with Washington.

 
 

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198 Responses to “PECOTA predicts a third-place finish”

  1. AlbanyYankee January 28th, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Sorry if this has already been covered but I don’t have time to read each post right now. I think the Yankees are keeping an eye on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays situation and figuring if they can tread water in left with Gardner and other spare parts, that they can go after Carl Crawford in a trade during the season. At least, I hope that’s what they are doing. The Yanks will be fine with what they have. They go 4-deep in the rotation, Hughes will be the fifth starter and Joba will be the set up man. This team looks awfully good to me.

  2. Sandman January 28th, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Cannot possibly believe that the Yankees pitching is worse than last year. That seems incredibly unlikely.

    Cannot also believe that the A’s will top the Mariners either. The Mariners had a great offseason, the A’s aren’t so different.

    I do think that the Nationals might finish over .500 though.

  3. Tom in NJ January 28th, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Nationals and Reds with 82 wins?

  4. dee January 28th, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Didn’t they also predict the Mets winning the Division last year? HA!

  5. Joe from Long Island January 28th, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    How did PECOTA do last season?

  6. Pat M. January 28th, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    They maybe trading for Damon come July

  7. Phil the Thrill January 28th, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    I think the Yanks have almost always outperformed their Pecota projection.

  8. Wave Your Hat January 28th, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    From the last thread:

    Tricia and I don’t agree often so when we do I’m pretty sure we have it right.

    Did you know that, according to Herodotus at least, the ancient Persians never agreed on a law until they had approved it both sober and drunk? That seems like a good test to me (and Tricia, maybe I’m the drunk one so that’s a neutral statement).

    Back in December, when all this negotiating was supposedly taking place, it wasn’t clear what Damon’s worth was. Since Damon hasn’t signed a contract, we still don’t know, in fact.

    However, there is absolutely nothing to show that Cashman thought he could make an offer Damon would take, at that time. So he didn’t mess around, he didn’t negotiate and waste time, he signed NJ and Javy.

    Only time will tell if Cash was right or wrong, but there’s no reason to believe he was serious in the Damon offer. other than if Damon had agreed right away to Cashman’s price.

    Tricia (and I) are right, and those who disagree are in this case wrong.

  9. carlo January 28th, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Anyone know how pecota AL East rankings looked pre season last year?

  10. tampayank January 28th, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    “Sandman January 28th, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Cannot possibly believe that the Yankees pitching is worse than last year. That seems incredibly unlikely. ”

    lots of inning pitched b/c of the World Series run….fortunately the Yanks have more experienced/older pitchers but there could be a drop off..I actually posted this earlier…thought the projection was interesting…I could see the Rays in the playoff mix

    And the Rays will not trade Crawford to another AL East team

    Yanks will have to get him as a FA if they want him but that’s assuming that he doesn’t sign an extension with the team he may be traded to mid season if the Rays decide to do that.

  11. Nick in SF in Larkspur January 28th, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Cashman the prankster?

    Sure thing.

    :roll:

  12. Tom in NJ January 28th, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    “How did PECOTA do last season?

    Joe, not very good:

    Red Sox: 98 wins.
    Yankees: AL Wild Card.
    Rays: NOT in playoffs with 92 wins.
    Indians win the AL Central;
    A’s win AL West.
    Mets, Cubs, D’backs and a WC tie in NL.

  13. Wave Your Hat January 28th, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    “How did PECOTA do last season?”

    Order of finish in the AL East right, but it underestimated the number of Yankee wins. However, PECOTA makes no claim that it will exactly predict the number of wins, there will always be variance.

  14. Guru Man January 28th, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Kind of hard to fathom 3rd place with this team?

  15. Wave Your Hat January 28th, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Tom in NJ, I don’t think the final PECOTA had the Sox finishing first?

  16. Chad Jennings January 28th, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Apparently this was PECOTA’s prediction last season:
    NYY 99-63
    BOS 96-66
    TB 95-67
    BAL 76-86
    TOR 73-89

  17. Tom in NJ January 28th, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Perhaps not Wave.

    I only found it 2nd hand from here:

    http://www.danshanoff.com/2009.....tions.html

  18. tampayank January 28th, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    the AL East is brutal

  19. Wave Your Hat January 28th, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    tampayank-

    PECOTA has Andy in a major decline (to about a 4.85 ERA), and remember PECOTA never liked Wang that much.

  20. Wave Your Hat January 28th, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Chad, that jives with my recollection. Thanks.

  21. Rich in NJ January 28th, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    PECOTA’s projection for AJ is probably off, and I don’t think that Gaudin will pitch the 101 innings that PECOTA projects.

  22. CB January 28th, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Projections are only as good as the inputs and assumptions underlying them.

    This is only the first round of PECOTA projections so they are going to change as they go through fine tuning the models. Perhaps the most difficult thing to project is playing time and BP will continue changing that as they refine their projections.

    As such, it’s best to take these projections with a big grain of salt and I’d guess BP would agree with that.

    That said, the notion of the Yankees allowing 789 runs is highly unlikely.

    If you look at the average Runs Allowed per 9 innings for the yankees staff many are just puzzling. CC allowing 4.13 runs/ 9. Mariano allowing 3.6/9. Phil Hughes allowing 4.57 runs/ 9 innings while throwing out of the pen?

    The key thing here is that these are estimates for runs allowed – not earned runs (or some FIP/ tRA derived run estimates).

    Its ulikely that the projections would place any of those pitchers earned runs allowed at those levels. I haven’t seen that data but it’s likely that there is a significant projected gap between the yankee pitchers’s projected earned runs and runs allowed.

    As such, it seems that Baseball Prospectus modeling involves the following dynamics:

    1. They are projecting the yankees defense to be poor to very poor.

    2. They are projecting that the yankees bull pen will be very poor.

    3. They are projecting Andy and Mariano to have significant age related declines in 2009.

    A couple of things on each of these points.

    On the defense – measuring defense at baseline is very difficult – trying to project defense is even more problematic. This is particularly true because the defensive stat BP uses – defensive efficiency – isn’t based on play by play data. Instead its an aggregate. I believe this is the defensive data they add to PECOTA.

    On the bull pen – I just don’t buy it. First of all if the BP likely models the bull pen as if it will be static. But if the yanks pen is bad they’ll upgrade it in season as they did last year. Second, many of the yankees bull pen arms don’t have long track records but are very talented (e.g. Hughes and Robertson) and BP seems to be building in estimates that don’t take into account the true talent of those younger pitchers.

    On Mariano and Andy – projection models often underestimate their performance for reasons related to how models account for balls that are or aren’t put into play.

  23. Wave Your Hat January 28th, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Remember, PECOTA advances younsters, and declines oldsters, based on PECOTA’s analysis of comparable players. In other words, unlike some other systems, PECTA will decide that a rookie or 2nd year player will have a breakthrough, ot that some apparently steady older player will start to decline, based on what other players similar to that rookie or older player actually did.

    My guess is the Rays get a huge bonus for their youngsters, and the Yanks are getting penalized for their older guys.

    Surprisingly, the Sox are being projected to score about as many runs, and give up almost exactly as many, as they actually did last year.

  24. Wave Your Hat January 28th, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    CB, it looks to me like the bullpen projections are very preliminary. I think they have just about everyone pitching 55 innings, for one thing.

  25. m January 28th, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    I might be ripping open a wound that was closing up, but is it possible that the Yankees wanted Damon but at bargain basement price? If what SJ is saying is true, that the Yankee principles were trying to convince Damon while closing the vault while reaching for the penny jar, then I can’t really blame Damon. Quite simply he was out of the price range.

    SJ, without revealing too much (wink, wink) how hight were the Yankees willing to go?

    I still go with the Yankees wanted Damon, but not willing to do what it’d take. So that means he wasn’t a must-sign.

  26. Wave Your Hat January 28th, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    CB-

    I think on future iterations of PECOTA those runs allowed totals are going to drop. It looks to me like it may be projecting too many runs scored overall?

  27. m January 28th, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    PECOTA didn’t like Wang? Is putting Hughes in the bullpen? I don’t like that PECOTA too much.

    This is like Hollinger vs Stein doing NBA rankings. Numbers vs. Actuality.

  28. whatever January 28th, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    this was posted on another website so maybe i can shed some positivity here even though in my heart im still not happy about it.

    “Damon had 5 errors vs 0 errors for Winn
    Damon’s arm is -4.2 runs below average vs Winn’s 1.4 runs above average
    Damon’s range is -3.7 runs below average vs Winn’s 13.8 runs above average
    Damon’s UZR is -9.2 runs below average vs Winn’s 16.5 runs above average
    Damon’s UZR/150 games is -12.1 runs below average vs Winn’s 20.1 runs above average

    All those numbers in
    1117.2 innings for Damon and 220 putouts
    1191.0 innings for Winn and 282 putouts

    While Winn still had 141 Hits, 33 doubles, 5 triples, 16 steals. Not exactly hapless at the plate for a #9 batter.

    And Winn played in a pitchers park in San Francisco and still had that excellent defense while Damon was in Yankee Stadium.

    No doubt Damon is the better offensive player but Winn is not clueless at the plate in the 9 hole

    Johnny Damon had 550 at bats vs 538 at bats for Winn
    Damon had 155 Hits vs 141 hits for Winn
    Damon had 36 doubles vs 33 doubles for Winn
    Damon had 3 triples vs 5 triples for Winn
    Damon had 24 homeruns (17 at home, 7 away) vs 2 HR for Winn
    Damon had 12 steals vs 16 steals for Winn

    To look at strictly as Winn v Damon is very poor when the Yankees also added Curtis Granderson, Javier Vazquez, Nick Johnson.

    Winn is not playing the same role on offense as Damon did, Nick Johnson is

    Winn is more comparable to say Melky Cabrera from last season’s lineup.

    But folks want to look at everything in black and white to placate themselves that the Yankees are going to be invincible.

  29. Wave Your Hat January 28th, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    m-

    It is early days yet and PECOTA had to guess which of Joba or Hughes would be in the pen. You can’t hold that against the system. PECOTA updates its projections, so if things change on that front PECOTA will change its projections as well.

    My guess is, if PECOTA swapped Phil’s and Joba’s roles and recalculated, as of today the projections would come out the same.

  30. whatever January 28th, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    MEMO TO YANKEE FANS: RED SOX REG SEASON TICKETS GO ON SALE ON JAN 30th.. BE SURE TO FILL UP FENWAY WITH THOSE YANKEE HATS THIS SEASON!

  31. Rich in NJ January 28th, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    I don’t think there is any mystery about the Yankees’ stance on Damon. They were willing to discuss something like two years at 7m per year, but at that point in the negotiations, Boras/Damon was only interested in entertaining offers in that were close, in terms of AAV, to what Damon made in 2009.

    If there is an issue with flexibility, it is that Cash wasn’t willing to let Winn sign with the Nats as he waited to see how low Damon’s ultimate price would be.

    He said on YES that he hopes that Damon doesn’t sign for less than he offered. I think that says it all.

  32. Nick in SF in Larkspur January 28th, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    m, what you suggest seems much more common-sensical than the ‘Cashman was crossing his fingers when he made the offer to Damon even though I don’t believe he even made an offer’ theory.

    I don’t think Cashman plays games and I don’t think he would tip-toe around an offer if he wasn’t prepared for it to be accepted or wanted it to be accepted. Which is not to say that he thought it WOULD be accepted.

    And I don’t even know that 2 years/$14 is such a bargain basement price, in hindsight. But clearly looked like that to Damon/Boras.

    It seems elementary that Damon had one value to the Yanks before they signed Nick Johnson and then a much lower value after. Which seems about right to me.

  33. Chip January 28th, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Well if PETCOA is putting the Yanks in third I guess we can just move on to 2011.

  34. lets go yankees January 28th, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    “SJ, without revealing too much (wink, wink) how hight were the Yankees willing to go?”

    ——————

    I am not going to speak for SJ, but I imagine it was 2/14. I do not know what is so hard to understand about the fact that the Yankees are working under a strict budget this offseason (not directed at you m). If they had offered Damon a more lucrative deal, it would have severely hindered them in constructing the best team possible or getting to the projected win total they wanted to be at.

    Cashman at the start of the offseason said pitching, pitching, pitching and then LF. More then 7 million for Damon (per year) almost definitely means no Vazquez. Pitching was clearly the priority, but that does not mean Cashman did not want Damon. It just means that pitching was a greater priority and he was not willing to sacrifice that for Damon, so he offered him the best deal he could.

    Also the premise that 2/14 is not a “serious” offer or an offer that shows Cash did not “really want” Damon, is very flawed.

    If Damon had accepted the 2/14 offer, wouldn’t everyone on here believe without a doubt that Cashman wanted Damon on the team? If that is the case, logically you cannot make the argument that Cashman did not want Damon

  35. Wave Your Hat January 28th, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Chip=

    PECOTA only has a three game difference between the Rays, Sox and Yanks. Its margin of error is probably bigger than that. So all PECOTA is saying right now is that the AL East will have the AL’s three best teams, and it is going to be a dogfight.

    Now, is that really so shocking?

  36. CB January 28th, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    “it looks to me like the bullpen projections are very preliminary. I think they have just about everyone pitching 55 innings, for one thing.”

    They are. That’s what I was referring to with projections and playing time.

    Perhaps the biggest variable in projections is how one orients depth charts and playing time.

    And that’s what the modelers are going to play with from here on out.

    One of the reasons why I find CAIRO particularly useful for the yankees is because SG has substantive knowledge of the team. As such he can model playing time better than BP does.

    I noticed the bull pen innings as well. Hughes is only going to throw 59 innings next year? Mariano is only going to throw 55? That seems highly unlikely. In turn those innings get filled by lesser arms.

    And that’s why the runs allowed are relatively high. I can’t imagine projections based on ERA or FIP or tRA would lead to analgous findings.

    So the likely gap between RA and say ERA is at least in part generated by those bull pen assumptions.

    I also think their defensive projections are likely off the mark.

    I’m not particularly concerned by these projections. The runs allowed estimates don’t pass the sniff test for me quite honestly.

  37. m January 28th, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Nick,

    Absolutely. According to SJ’s timetable, the courting was going on as recently as this weekend. Doubt that $14M/2 was still lying around on the table (if in fact it ever was).

    Was it $2M? $5M? I could see why Damon would walk away from that. But knowing how lukewarm his market is, I think he’d take $7M. If indeed, it was stil on the table.

    WYH,

    Haha. Just joking about hating a computer model. But I don’t think any human analyst would go 1)Rays 2)Red Sox 3)Yankees. Maybe based on what happened in 2008 (some did last season), but not after we beefed up our rotation 2 years in a row. That’s where the “get real” comment came from.

  38. CB January 28th, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    “PECOTA only has a three game difference between the Rays, Sox and Yanks. Its margin of error is probably bigger than that. ”

    I should have mentioned this as well.

    PECOTA’s error bar for wins is around 8-9 wins.

    So the difference in the standings between the top 3 teams is largely absorbed in the error rate and issues of estimate precision.

  39. Wave Your Hat January 28th, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    “If Damon had accepted the 2/14 offer, wouldn’t everyone on here believe without a doubt that Cashman wanted Damon on the team? If that is the case, logically you cannot make the argument that Cashman did not want Damon”

    Cashman wanted Damon at Cashman’s price. I’m sure we all believe that. The next question is, did Casnman believe when he made the offer that Cashman’s price would be acceptable to Damon?

    None of us know that, of course, and that’s where the argument starts.

  40. m January 28th, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    lets go Yankees,

    SJ may dispute this, but I doubt that offer was still out there. Facing the prospect of playing for Oakland, Tigers, Rays, et al for 1yr/$5-6M I doubt he’d pass on that.

    Boras said that the Yankees never entered negotiations or something to that effect. Looks like he’s trying to place it squarely on the budget (in order to deflect from the fact that Damon’s value/market has drastically dropped).

  41. Kevin S. January 28th, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Regarding the PECOTA numbers, we have to remember that those aren’t definitive predictions, just a weighted mean of thousands of simulations. In some cases, the Yanks will be pretty healthy. In others, they’ll get bit in the rear, and that’s just one of the variables. I’d guess the PECOTA gives each team at least a 25% shot at winning the division, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was 30% each. Posting the projections without the variance is kind of worthless.

  42. CB January 28th, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    “Remember, PECOTA advances younsters, and declines oldsters, based on PECOTA’s analysis of comparable players. ”

    PECOTA projections are also becoming somewhat precarious for the yankees in particular because they have three key players on the roster who have very, very few historical comparable players anymore.

    Jeter, Mo and Posada are becoming bigger and bigger outliers every year. As such their estimates are likely becoming limited by issues of sparcity because what players do you model their games after at this age? There are just very, very few data points to determine the comps from.

  43. lets go yankees January 28th, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    m,

    I agree. I thought you were asking about how high they were willing to go initially, not recently

  44. Pat M. January 28th, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    What was Cameron’s deal with Boston 2 / 13 ??? So is Johnny Damon worth less or more than that ????

  45. Rich in NJ January 28th, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    “Cashman wanted Damon at Cashman’s price. I’m sure we all believe that. The next question is, did Casnman believe when he made the offer that Cashman’s price would be acceptable to Damon?”

    I don’t think that even Cashman knew the answer, but given the gulf between the parties, I think the answer is likely that he suspected that the offer would be declined.

  46. Rich in NJ January 28th, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    “What was Cameron’s deal with Boston 2 / 13 ??? So is Johnny Damon worth less or more than that ????”

    Probably, because of the questions about his defense. DH are a lot harder to find than CF.

  47. Rich in NJ January 28th, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Edit: DH are a lot EASIER to find.

  48. m January 28th, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    lets go yankees,

    Yes, after NJ signed or even more recently (in light of what SJ mentioned).

    Thanks for clarifying that!

  49. CB January 28th, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    “Posting the projections without the variance is kind of worthless.”

    It really is. It’s a very good example of the relatively limited statistical methods used in baseball. Fangraphs does the same with their projections.

    You rarely every see any estimates of variance or error rates for any of the stats.

    People would likely react very differently to the projections if instead the PECOTA estimates were presented this way:

    1. Tampa Bay: 96 wins plus/minus 9 wins
    2. Boston: 95 wins plus/ minus 9 wins
    3. Yankees: 93 wins plus/minus 9 wins

    Basically all one can conclude is that the models themselves don’t allow for the precision required to separate those three teams.

  50. Wave Your Hat January 28th, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    “Jeter, Mo and Posada are becoming bigger and bigger outliers every year. As such their estimates are likely becoming limited by issues of sparcity because what players do you model their games after at this age? There are just very, very few data points to determine the comps from.”

    Absolutely.

    Take a look at PECOTA’s projections on Posada. It is projecting him for 400 ABs, and big declines in OBP and SLG. How many comps are there for Posada? Almost none. When you get down to it, it’s basically guessing when it comes to Jorge. He’s sui generis.

  51. m January 28th, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Pat m,

    Good question! Damon is worth more than Cameron, but not necessarily more than those terms.

    Damon’s calling card is getting on base and being consistent. Cameron’s is good defense.

    I think everyone can agree that Cameron for 2 years at any price is a head scratcher.

    The dagger in Damon’s career is going to be his body. Ironic, huh?

  52. Boston Dave XXVII January 28th, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    I’m not sure which is more ridiculous:

    a) Montero being the 19th best prospect

    b) PECOTA suggesting the Yanks are most likely 3rd

    c) Mariano Rivera will pitch 55 innings with a 3.5 ERA

    d) anything Scott Boras has said over the past 2 days

    stop the madness!!!

  53. Boston Dave XXVII January 28th, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    “Damon is worth more than Cameron, but not necessarily more than those terms.”

    ————-

    looking at the past 4-5 seasons, how much better is Cameron than Randy Winn?

    a little, but not 3-4 times more (1/$2M vs 2/$15.5M) :)

  54. Boston Dave XXVII January 28th, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    and Cameron is older!

  55. Rich in NJ January 28th, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    “I think everyone can agree that Cameron for 2 years at any price is a head scratcher.”

    I disagree. On YES tonight, Cashman described CF as a “premium position.” He said that Damon wanted the same money in bad economic conditions even though he no longer plays a premium position.

    Cameron still does, and shows very little signs of any defensive decline.

    That’s why he’s worth more than Damon, and worth two years.

  56. Boston Dave XXVII January 28th, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    My superior statistical model:

    1) Yankees 100 wins (+/- 8 wins)
    2) Red Sox 95 wins (+/- 14 wins)
    3) Rays 92 wins (+/- 27 wins)

    its all hogwash

  57. lets go yankees January 28th, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    I agree with Rich, that Cashman did not know the answer to that question and also had doubts that it would be accepted.

    However, Boras is a really smart guy that does not often make mistakes. Cash read the market and determined the appropriate value for Damon. Good DH’s like Mats and NJ were getting 5 million, so a guy who could also play the field a couple times a week should get a little more then that. Unfortunately, Boras made a mistake and him and Damon could not come to grip with reality.

    I think there is an argument to be made, that given how good of an agent Boras is, Cash expected him to make the right decision and advise Damon to accept the offer.

  58. m January 28th, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Cash was trying to make a point. He had Melky in the position until Melky Gardner took over.

    Can anyone remember off the top of their head the last time Damon was a regular in CF for the Yankees?

  59. Rich in NJ January 28th, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    “looking at the past 4-5 seasons, how much better is Cameron than Randy Winn?”

    Cameron has had a WAR of > 4 in three of the last four season. Winn has had one season with a WAR of > 4 in the last four seasons. In two of those seasons, his WAR was < 2.

    Cameron has been a much better player.

  60. lets go yankees January 28th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Wave,

    Can we agree that Cash wanted Damon back, but not at the cost of the overall construction of the team (by paying too much or dragging the negotiations)?

  61. Rich in NJ January 28th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    “Cash was trying to make a point. He had Melky in the position until Melky Gardner took over.”

    His point was that playing CF confers additional value. Damon can no longer play CF. As a result, he has lost value.

  62. Boston Dave XXVII January 28th, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    eh, WAR uses UZR (which I think is a bunch of garbage)… so that doesn’t work for me.

    Cameron is surely better, but not 3x better.

    there is no unified stat to measure a player, so WAR isn’t enough anyway.

    If we get Winn of 2009, sure. If we get Winn of 2007 or 2008, he’ll be a ridiculously better bargain than Cameron.

  63. lordbyron January 28th, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Kevin Towers is a great addition and will be productive in securing new talent via draft and trades, especially pitchers.

  64. xxx January 28th, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Oh magical, mysterious PECOTA, will I ever find my dream girl?

  65. Phil the Thrill January 28th, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    I suspect BP is losing money and subscribers and are looking to be a little more controversial to try to reclaim interest.

  66. Tarheelyank January 28th, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    “What was Cameron’s deal with Boston 2 / 13 ??? So is Johnny Damon worth less or more than that ????”

    Pat M

    Also Abreu 2 years at @19mil.

    With these numbers I don’t what anybody is worth anymore. I will say if I was choosing up sides on the playground– I pick Damon first.

  67. Boston Dave XXVII January 28th, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    “Kevin Towers is a great addition and will be productive in securing new talent via draft and trades, especially pitchers.”

    ————

    I sure hope so. It seems like a great addition.

  68. Boston Dave XXVII January 28th, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    ““What was Cameron’s deal with Boston 2 / 13 ??? So is Johnny Damon worth less or more than that ????””

    ————

    I believe it was 2/$15.5M

    Rich in NJ is right on this one. It’s hard to compare Damon and Cameron because of defense and position.

    If Damon got $15.5M, it’s hard to argue that it would have been a bad deal, except in this market.

    Perhaps if Damon signed early like Cameron did, he’d have gotten it. Instead, he waited to try and get more and teams moved in other directions and spent their budgets.

    Now, Damon is “worth” maybe $5M, because that’s the most a team is going to offer… maybe less.

  69. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 28th, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    I would think Kevin Towers would unquestionably have a good impact, Chad.

    PECOTA? Give me a break, lol

  70. Rich in NJ January 28th, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    “eh, WAR uses UZR (which I think is a bunch of garbage)… so that doesn’t work for me.”

    What stat(s) do you want to use?

    Irrespective of your personal preferences, the market for each player reflects that Cameron is a significantly more valuable player than Winn. I doubt that every team in interested in either player utilized WAR or UZR. But they came to the same conclusion.

  71. Boston Dave XXVII January 28th, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    bottom line – this Yankees team is good. really really good.

    if they have any problems, they’ll have the opportunity to fix them.

    I sure don’t see another team that is clearly better than they are. I can live with that.

    go Yanks!

  72. ortforshort January 28th, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    Bottom Line: Cashman didn’t get it done. Randy Winn \ Bret Gardner are in left field rather than someone useful. Even a one armed, aging Damon is light years ahead of that mess. As for Kevin Towers. San Diego has stunk for years. Exactly what does he bring to the table other than a putrid resume?

  73. Rich in NJ January 28th, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    “Bottom Line: Cashman didn’t get it done. Randy Winn \ Bret Gardner are in left field rather than someone useful”

    I dislike the Winn signing, but to say that Cashman didn’t get it done as a result of one bad move is to miss the forest for the trees.

  74. David in Cal January 28th, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    I’m wondering if Kevin Towers recommended Winn. Any thoughts?

  75. xxx January 28th, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    fwiw, my ouija board predicts the Yanks are going to win 126 games next year.

  76. Boston Dave XXVII January 28th, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Rich in NJ,

    I’m not gonna argue this one. You may very well be right – certainly on the market values at hte time they signed.

    I guess I personally think Cameron is less likely to be “worth” his contract than Winn is.

    Winn only needs to be a useful bench player to justify a 1 year $2M deal.

    Cameron can’t decline much if at all to justify his.

    That’s all.

  77. m January 28th, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Rich,

    I think we’re on different pages. I’m trying to say that signing Cameron to 2 years at his age for that price was wacky.

    Someone (you?) came back with Cash’s quote about CF being a premium position.

    And I said that Cash was trying to make a point (presumably about Damon). But he doesn’t really practice what he was preachin because we’ve had Cabrera/Gardner in CF since Bernie left.

    So that was my roundabout way of saying that paying Cameron that much money is Wow! when we’ve been getting away with the $400K-$2.1M to play a premium position. ;)

  78. Wave Your Hat January 28th, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    let’s go yankees-

    I can’t say you’re wrong, but I don’t think back in December Cash had much hope Damon would agree.

    Also, don’t forget, in addition to NJ Cash probably already has his eye on picking up Javy. That limited what he could offer for Damon. And I really believe that Cash wanted to improve his pitching more than solidify his offense (don’t forget that like us Cash also had to watch Wang and Mitre go out to pitch and probably sweated through the 3-starter playoffs just like we did).

    That means Cash had only limited money for Damon, He may have offered the $7MM (if in fact he ever did) at the time thinking himself it was below market. Remember, just because Cash may have turned out to be right doesn’t mean he knew it at the time.

    Life is complicated, isn’t it?

  79. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 28th, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Rich, – exactly what does it say to you? It says to me that if Damon signs for less than what Cash offered, that Cash thinks that Damon just wasn’t going to take a pay cut and that the Yanks really had no shot. Boras charged a premium to the Yankees for Nady (lol, Nady……please) and he didn’t exactly negotiate with the Yankees with Damon. I think SJ mentioned previously that Cash appears to have been frustrated by Boras this off-season and if so, I don’t blame him. I do hope Damon signs for less than the Yankees offered to stick it to Boras for his intransigence (not that I blame him wholly for this – Damon is the client). I would guess Cash is hoping he doesn’t have to deal with Scott anytime soon

  80. Phil the Thrill January 28th, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Wow.

  81. Pat M. January 28th, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Judging by the money that was being passed around for players in Damon’s claasification, the 2/14 offer could be considered slight in some eyes……Matsui is getting 6.5 for being the Angels DH….He’s a premier DH, but still it’s more than Damon is going to get…..If the Yanks really wanted to take Damon back, there would have or should have ( judging from past Free Agent signings ) been some compromise between 2/14 & 2 / 20….Yanks wanted him only on their terms and nothing more….Bottom line, he wasn’t that real important to them going forward …2011

  82. Nick in SF in Larkspur January 28th, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    The market is fickle… these salaries are determined by moments in time, which teams have which needs… CC was incredibly fortunate that his free agency came when the Yankees valued him so highly… Tex was very fortunate that both the Red Sox and the Yankees wanted him… Bobby Abreu, on the other hand, was very unfortunate but was able to increase his perceived value to his new team.

    Like I said before, Damon had one value to the Yankees when the DH spot was open and I think a much lower value afterwards.

    Pat M, how about these Cal Bears! I told you, Jorge Gutierez would make them better.

  83. Phil the Thrill January 28th, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    I think the Yanks improved over last year’s team, and I was one of the few people I know who was calling for them to win over 100 games even when they got off to the tough start. I could see them running away with the East and winning 110 games or so.

  84. Nick in SF in Larkspur January 28th, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    oooh, Kung Fu Panda is dropping the puck in San Jose.

    Baseball is coming!

  85. m January 28th, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    moreover, Cameron’s deal shouldn’t be used as a comp.

    Different positions. Damon’s breaking down. Cameron’s a way better defender. The CF market was Rodeo Drive boutique and LF market was the flea market.

  86. Bronx Jeers January 28th, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Thanks Chad and a big thanks to CB for helping us sort through this stuff.

    You may be a crappy umpire but your a top notch analyzer! :wink:

  87. Rich in NJ January 28th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Pat M

    I think that Cash even offered Damon a second year (assuming he did) was a supreme compliment given how much he wants to be a factor in the 2011 free agent market, and the degree to which his pre-existing contractual commitments (as well as new contracts for Jeter and maybe Mo) could hamper that pursuit if he is forced to keep the payroll at or near $200m.

  88. randy l. January 28th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    “An independent evaluation by the website Vegas Watch showed that PECOTA had the lowest error in predicting Major League team wins in 2008 of all the best known forecasts, both those that were sabermetrically based and those that relied on individual expertise.[34] In 2009, however, PECOTA lagged behind all the well-known forecasters.[35]“- wikepedia

    ” It should be noted that in 2008 the average error was 8.5 wins”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PECOTA

    so percota predicts 93 wins for the yankees.

    if they are as off at the same rate as they were in 2008 with the 8.5 wins avg error then that means that according to percota the yankees should win between 84.5 and 101.5 games.

    so those odd folks at BP wasted all that brain power to come up with that.

    who on this blog couldn’t have done that off the top off their head?

  89. Wave Your Hat January 28th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    “The CF market was Rodeo Drive boutique and LF market was the flea market.”

    m nails the 99 MPH fastball right on the black…

  90. Steve T January 28th, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    The yanks seem like a better regular season team but not sure if they are a better playoff team in 2010.

  91. Pat M. January 28th, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Nick in SF…I’m engrossed with the Boston / Oralndo game as I’m giving away 3…..I have UCLA & The Cal-Berkley Bears tonight plus 4 points

  92. Wave Your Hat January 28th, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    randy, you made my night. I’m a stathead and I couldn’t help laughing right along with you.

  93. Boston Dave XXVII January 28th, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    “The yanks seem like a better regular season team but not sure if they are a better playoff team in 2010.”

    ————

    they should be if MLB doesn’t give them as many off days in the playoffs to allow for a 3man rotation. I really like the Vazquez addition and Joba or Hughes could be huge as well.

    (assuming they make the playoffs, no offense to PECOTA, of course)

  94. Phil the Thrill January 28th, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    I think they’ll probably be a better post season team than they were last year. They’re experienced again. Btw, the Yanks, historically, have tended to win WS in groups. There aren’t too many, if any real, stand alone championships.

  95. Rich in NJ January 28th, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    The biggest threat to the Yankees, like most teams, is health, but maybe more so given that many of their key players are over 35.

  96. Steve T January 28th, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    boston dave – Good point about days off. Did mlb announce changes to the playoff schedule?

  97. Bill January 28th, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Here’s a question for all you computer nerds out there. Is there a good baseball game for PC? I don’t seem to recall any baseball games for PC coming out in the last 5 or so years. But, I’m hoping I’m wrong.

    Thanks!

  98. Pat M. January 28th, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Randy I, I’ll wait until the Vegas people come out with their over / under’s….And at the end of the season we’ll compare there sucess rate to the percota people…..Just seems to me when there’s money on the line things seem to tighten up a little…..If the percota folks were making their predictions with money, they’d be out of business

  99. m January 28th, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Pat m,

    Good game! Sorry, Boston Dave. ;)

  100. Steve T January 28th, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Arod was unreal in the playoffs last year and that prob won’t happen again. Hopefully swish, cano and even Tex get better. I have to replay the games because it’s hard to believe how good he was.

  101. lets go yankees January 28th, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    “The yanks seem like a better regular season team but not sure if they are a better playoff team in 2010.”

    ———————-

    Pitching wise, they are definitely better. They are not going to be able to get away with a 3-man rotation again, so Javy is a huge addition to the “playoff roster”

    Offensively, who knows? Pretty much the only guy who you can always count on to perform in the playoffs is Derek and he is such a rare case. The playoffs are such a small sample you never know what you are going to get. Tex, for example was brutal last year. Matsui has had his fair share of awful playoff series. The same case with Damon. I remember quite a few people on this board wanting to bench Damon during the Division Series last year when he looked terrible.

    Whatever, Ken Rosenthal or Heyman may say, these guys do not ALWAYS perform in the playoffs. In fact, Damon’s playoff resume is not very impressive when you look at it. His playoff OBP is .328. His OBP during his supposed legendary 04 playoffs was .297…

  102. CB January 28th, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    “so those odd folks at BP wasted all that brain power to come up with that.

    who on this blog couldn’t have done that off the top off their head?”

    randy,

    This is a somewhat technical point that I can’t entirely explain on a blog but you’ve hit on an important point that’s often overlooked with projections.

    Last year some projections placed the yankees to win around 100 games. They wound up winning 103. Not bad.

    At the same time, however, how unlikely was the prediction? In effect, there are only do many ways that a teams record is free to vary.

    What I mean by that is this. Without any prior specific knowledge one could, with a high degree of certainty, predict the yankees are going to win between 85 to 105 games. I’d say there is a 95%+ chance the yankees win total falls in that range in 2010. It’s probably higher – like 99%. But let’s just call it 95%.

    So even though it’s a 162 game season and there are mathematically many different potential records a team could have (as limited by the 162 game schedule) practically a team’s win total is likely going to fall in some 20 game range.

    So predicting the correct win total for a team is on the order of a 1 in 20 chance just by random (or psuedo-random) luck. That’s a 5% chance. You could effectively draw blindly from potential records and be right 5% of the time. Which is pretty good.

    Models are developed on historically data and are implicitly going to be conditioned along those lines.

    A model (or a person) could pick the exact win total for a team and that “correct” prediction easily could have been due purely to random chance.

    This is a general issue in many kinds of measurement systems. You can get agreement in expectations by pure chance.

    In more sophisticated analytic methods this issue is taken into account.

  103. randy l. January 28th, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    “randy, you made my night. I’m a stathead and I couldn’t help laughing right along with you.”

    wave your hat-

    i’m all over the charts on what i think about baseball prospectus. it composed of a very strange group of people. i’m trying to make light of some of the silliness because humor is a lot healthier than anger.

    nate silver , the originator of the percota projections is obviously a very brilliant guy who has hit the heady world of big time politics with his projecting 49 out of 50 wins in the 2008 presidential election. that appears to be his main interest now.

    baseball is a game and i guess it just hits me wrong for someone like silver to spend a major part of his life figuring out things that the average knowledgeable baseball fan knows intuitively.

    it’s a game . it’s fun.

    how many people are going to get to the end of their lives and say” i should have spent more time on algorithms .

  104. DaSaint007 January 28th, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Come playoff time, the bench will be strenghtened significangtly, as will the bullpen. Really, not much is needed. This team is poised to win the WS in bunches, whether in 2010 or 2011 and beyond.

  105. ray (sox fan) January 28th, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    All I can say is wow!

    Obviously I am not even a Yankee fan, but I think it is crazy for anyone to predict a third place finish for the Yankees this next year.

  106. CB January 28th, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    “if they are as off at the same rate as they were in 2008 with the 8.5 wins avg error then that means that according to percota the yankees should win between 84.5 and 101.5 games.”

    One other point on this issue – it is true that the range for these estimates is very large.

    But that is an issue of precision not validity.

    In essence even though the range of games that might be one is 84.5 – 101.5 not all of those potential win totals has an equal probability of occurring. That’s the value of the model.

    When the model predicts 93 wins it’s essentially saying that this is the highest probability outcome with the range being from 84.5-101.5.

    The yankees probability of winning 93 games is higher than their probability of winning 84 games. 93 is the best point estimate per the model at this time.

  107. Rich in NJ January 28th, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    “Come playoff time, the bench will be strenghtened significangtly, as will the bullpen.”

    What’s wrong with Hughes or Joba (or both if one is the 5th starter come playoff time), Marte, D Rob, Aceves, and Melancon to set up Mo? I think the pen is the least of their problems. Maybe they will add a LH reliever, but that’s it.

  108. Steve T January 28th, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Joba is truly an xfactor. Imagine if he puts it together next year and becomes a front line starter. Scary thought for the rest of league.

  109. stuckey January 28th, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    “But folks want to look at everything in black and white to placate themselves that the Yankees are going to be invincible.”

    Some do, others understand there is no such thing as invincible in professional sports (women’s college basketball perhaps) and that the reason they play the games and it’s so much fun is because there is no sure thing.

    Anyone convincing themselves (or wanting to) that the Yankees are a sure thing, or conversely that they’re weaker than last year are ALL drinking from the same well.

  110. lets go yankees January 28th, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    “Come playoff time, the bench will be strenghtened significangtly, as will the bullpen.”

    ————————–

    Bench: I agree they will probably add a spare part along the way, but they barely used their bench last year. Hairston got 8 at bats and Hinske got 1.

    Bullpen: Do not agree at all. Right now, their potential playoff bullpen looks incredible. They will have potentially both Hughes and Joba there (at least 1), Robertson, a shut down lefty in Marte, and the best closer of all time. What else do they need?

  111. EricNS January 28th, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    PECOTA who?

  112. Bronx Jeers January 28th, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    Vegas like the Yanks to repeat.

  113. Wave Your Hat January 28th, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Randy L-

    I laughed because you were good humored about it and your example WAS funny, but there is actually quite a lot to be learned from these projections even if there is a large margin of error.

    Let’s say the Yanks are predicted to win 93 games, with an 8 game margin of error. Let’s also say the Sox are predicted to win 95, and let’s say the Orioles are predicted to win 79 (I don’t know they were, just an example). We’ll leave the Rays out for simplicity. All with an 8 game margin of error.

    Based on that, the Orioles could win as many as 87, and the Yanks lose as many as 85. Does that mean that the Orioles likely as not will finish ahead of the Yanks? Fortunately, no.

    According to the model, the Yanks are more likely to win 93 than 92, more likely to win 92 than 91, etcetera. But at some point, it becomes extremely unlikely that the Yanks will win such a small number of games. We semi-randomly pick that point, and that’s our margin of error.

    Same for the Orioles. The chances that the Orioles will finish at the top end of their range, and the Yanks at the bottom end of theirs, are quite low.

    However, when you do the same for the Sox, the overlap between the possible outcomes for the Yanks and Sox is very large, compared to the overlap of possible outcomes for the Yanks and Orioles.

    For me it was a wake-up call because I thought the Yanks would project to a 100 win team. 93 wins says that I might have been underestimating the chances of decline of a number of our guys. Who knows? But I think there’s a lot of use to it.

  114. Bronx Jeers January 28th, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    And didn’t somebody say that Damon was supposed to add a couple of wins to their total?

    Now look. They’re out of the playoffs by 2 games!

    The seasons ovah! Cancel your cable and sell those tickets quick!

  115. m January 28th, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Ouch!

    “The book closed on Johnny Damon a long time ago, actually.”

    http://web.yesnetwork.com/medi.....id=7151155

  116. pat January 28th, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    m

    Is this the answer to the question you are asking?

    “However, as The Post reported today, Damon called the Yankees in the middle of last week, and Yankees executives floated a one-year, $6 million deal with $3 million deferred with no interest. The idea was that if Damon approved of that, Yankees officials would see if Hal Steinbrenner would relent and increase the budget specifically to keep Damon. But Damon never responded and the Yankees yesterday signed Randy Winn for $2 million, closing the door on Damon.”

  117. Captain Chaos January 28th, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    OK, anyone that is going to pick the A’s over the Mariners I have questions with….

  118. Bronx Jeers January 28th, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Sort of interesting from that Cashman interview is the open casting he envisions to fill that 5th starter spot.

    He mentions 5 names.

    So if Mitre has the best Spring, he’s got the 5th spot?

    I’m not really buying it.

  119. randy l. January 28th, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    “When the model predicts 93 wins it’s essentially saying that this is the highest probability outcome with the range being from 84.5-101.5.”

    CB-

    i understand that the yankees are much more likely to win between 93 and 98 games than they are to win between 85 and 90 games . i understand the concept that there is a number of wins that has the highest probability.

    i guess i’m just saying intuition comes pretty close to the mathematical models BP is putting out.

    i use concepts based on my intuition more than i use strict numbers and percentages. for instance when i’m planning on projection my business year i try to do scenario thinking where i imagine 5 possible outcomes and plan for all of them.

    i did this last year when i thought the range that my business could be down could be from 10-50% percent down. i thought the most likely number was 25%. so more planning went into that. but i made plans if it was down 50% also.

    as it was we were only down 15%. had i not planned for the 50% possibility, we would have been down probably only 10% because it ties up resources to cover the possibility of being 50 % down.

    i guess i’m saying that numbers and percentages are great but you have to have some feel for the concepts and not get lost in the numbers alone like they are some kind of absolute.

  120. lets go yankees January 28th, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    “We had a strong desire to bring Johnny back, but not at all costs”

    “We had money allocated for Johnny…We put a value on Johnny. We shared that opinion of what that value was”

  121. hardwired January 28th, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Abe PECOTA was awesome as Fish on Barney Miller. I’m not loving his 2010 Yankees prediction, however.

    I don’t see how a team that went 11-4 against the best baseball had to offer in the 2009 post-season is suddenly going to turn into an also-ran just one year later.

  122. randy l. January 29th, 2010 at 12:01 am

    wave your hat-

    i think you can tell sabermetrics gets me a little revved up from time to time. humor is definitely the way to go when at all possible. better for my blood pressure.

    i think what you’re saying is there must be something in the numbers that pecota is using that you haven’t factored into your own feeling for where the yankees will be.

    i suspect it’s in the aging/declining player projections. rivera, posada, and jeter are better each year than would be expected. we’re counting on that again next year.

    posada being the one who i think would be most likely to fall off a bit.

  123. KO January 29th, 2010 at 12:27 am

    Clearly, there are some pretty giant flaws in that prediction system.

    It’s not taking into account decline of said hitters above. It projected the Yankees to score even more runs (which they won’t). Their lineup will be a tad weaker, but hardly noticeable.

    What is ridiculous is somehow saying the Yankees pitching will be worse in 2010. We lost Phil Coke and Bruney out of the pen, those players are nothing special, they are easily replaceable and will not be missed. Considering they also added a bona fide #2 or #3 starter for a lot of teams, Javy Vasquez, their rotation will be that much deeper and talented. Next year’s version of the Yankees will be pretty similar to last year’s, only the pitching will probably be even better, not inexplicably worse.

    Having looked more closely at the overall projected standings, I probably wasted time even responding to this. The sheer fact that the Nationals are somehow predicted to finish ABOVE .500, renders the entire system laughable. What a joke that somebody actually endorses this. I will be sure and send some comments their way when most of that garbage is proven wrong.

  124. james January 29th, 2010 at 12:33 am

    Were gonna win 100 plus and coast all year it will be wonderfully boring

  125. CR9 January 29th, 2010 at 12:34 am

    Anybody read the ESPN Insider article on the top 100 minor leaguers?

    At number 10, Jesus Montero receives backhanded compliments.

    At 18, Casey kelly receives praise as having 3 above average pitches and elite control. Elite control is rare among high schoolers, which Kelly had, and his control has followed him to the minors.

  126. Bob Michaels January 29th, 2010 at 12:34 am

    If the Yankees need more outfield production, they will simply go out and get it, payroll be damned!

  127. KhanArtist January 29th, 2010 at 12:36 am

    Derek Jeter SS
    Nick Johnson DH
    Mar Teixeira 1B
    Alex Rodriguez 3B
    Jorge Posada C
    Curtis Granderson LF
    Robinson Cano 2B
    Nick Swisher RF
    Brett Gardner CF

    CC Sabathia
    AJ Burnett
    Javier Vazquez
    Andy Pettitte
    Phil Hughes

    David Robertson
    Mariano Rivera

    Check. Mate.

  128. DaSaint007 January 29th, 2010 at 12:54 am

    I say the bullpen may be strengthened for the following reasons:

    Mo is Mo. He’ll be fine.
    Marte? Which one will he be?
    Logan? Really?
    Robertson. Should be ok. Should be.
    Melancon. Needs to step up to display the talent we know he has.
    Aceves. Warrior. Fine with me.
    Joba? Starter or Reliever? If he’s a starter, then Hughes is in the pen, and that’s great. Or vice versa.

    Still, there are questions, particularly from the left side.

  129. Pat M. January 29th, 2010 at 12:56 am

    I just cannot see Giradi hitting Johnson in front of Texeria…..Just too slow on the bases…..I’m still on the record saying that Granderson will hit behind Jeter…

  130. Rich in NJ January 29th, 2010 at 1:00 am

    “I just cannot see Giradi hitting Johnson in front of Texeria….”

    I once thought that A-Rod would hit in front of Teix because of the same logic.

  131. Pat M. January 29th, 2010 at 1:07 am

    Rich in NJ…..But Rich, Johnson & Texeria hitting in the 2 & 3 hole will simply jogjam the bases……It’ll be station to station baseball in slow motion…..Granderson has to hit 2nd, otherwise the amount of dp’s will be stagering

  132. KO January 29th, 2010 at 1:26 am

    granderson should hit 2nd against righties, Cano or Swisher should hit 2nd against lefties

  133. Buddy Biancalana January 29th, 2010 at 1:28 am

    Kepner has a nice piece on the current Yanks roster.

    http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/.....more-20993

  134. pistol pete January 29th, 2010 at 1:41 am

    Granderson is a possibility in the 2 hole but as you said strictly batting left handed. I really think he’ll bat 6th, it takes pressure off him and is more of a power position. Cano can’t bat second, no plate dicipline, doesn’t take enough pitches. Khan Artist’s got the line up right. Johnson will clog the base paths, but although slow, is an intelligent instinctive base runner. Taking a lot of pitches and getting tons of walks should help Tex and Arods rbi. I hope he stays healthy, he has a great obp.

  135. Pat M. January 29th, 2010 at 3:06 am

    Curtis will provr on msrch that he can hir effectivly from both difrs of the box, and will hit 2nd,,,,Nark more words…..Soeed at the top of the Yankee lineup is their formula for sudess…..Johnson’s obs nubers are a by roduct of being pitched around, snd yet he still whiffs more than he walks…..and he’s so very slow, just not as slow Texeria, who many want hitting behind Nick……..It’s noy going to happen

  136. Crawdaddy January 29th, 2010 at 5:13 am

    A good article about the Cashman/Boras dispute regarding the Damon negotiations. It has direct quotes from Cashman that the Yankees did indeed made an offer to Damon back in December and that Damon/Boras rejected it so he moved onto NJ.

    Also, Cashman said he and Boras are fine and will do business again one day. That it’s only business with only a difference of opinion regarding what transpired while Boras trys to do damage control.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/spo....._john.html

  137. Crawdaddy January 29th, 2010 at 5:28 am

    A Sherman article that basically says the same thing that the Yankees offered Damon 2/14M and that they made an offer to NJ so whomever accepts first gets an agreement. Damon/Boras didn’t accept and countered with 2/20M and the rest is history as NJ accepted the Yankees offer.

    Nothing more to add as Damon/Boras misread the Yankees seriousness in sticking to their budget and it cost them probably the best offer Damon will receive this offseason.

    I don’t think Damon gets 7M for one year now as no team really has to bid against themselves without the threat of the Yankees.

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

  138. Rick January 29th, 2010 at 6:19 am

    Predictions are guesses. The Yankees have a very good team. Their front four are very good. The outfield has a different look. Better defensively but maybe not offensively. Gardner if he plays regularly brings the speed dimension to the Yankees. It is conceivable he could steal 40 bases if he gets on which means he must hit about .250/.260.Watch for Montero as DH by June especially if brittle bones Johnson goes down. Tex and ARod will need to have good years.

  139. JeterJobaCanoFan2010 January 29th, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Repeat, just because and I so heartily agree.

    Steve T
    January 28th, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Joba is truly an xfactor. Imagine if he puts it together next year and becomes a front line starter. Scary thought for the rest of league.
    ————————————————————
    Joba has shown that electricity and one year of recuperation from his shoulder injury should allow him to show his stuff.

  140. Macfan January 29th, 2010 at 6:35 am

    AL East: Will put real standings in ()
    1.Boston 98-64 (#1 New York 103-59)
    2.New York 97-65 (#2 Boston 95-67)
    3.Tampa Bay 92-70 (#3 Tampa Bay 84-78)
    4. Toronto 81-81 (#4 Toronto 75-87)
    5.Baltimore 76-86 (#5 Baltimore 64-98)

    AL Central:
    1.Cleveland 84-78 (#1 Minnesota 87-76)
    2.Minnesota 79-83 (#2 Detroit 86-77)
    3.Detroit 78-84 (#3 Chicago 79-83)
    4.Kansas City 75-87 (#4 Cleveland 65-97)
    5.Chicago 74-88 (#5 Kansas City 65-97)

    AL West:
    1.Oakland 82-80 (#1 LA 97-65)
    2.Los Angeles 79-83 (#2 Texas 87-75)
    3.Texas 73-89 (#3 Seattle 85-77)
    4.Seattle 70-92 (#4 Oakland 75-87)

    NL East
    1.New York 93-69 (#1 Philadelphia 93-69)
    2.Atlanta 88-74 (#2 Florida 87-75)
    3.Philadelphia 88-74 (#3 Atlanta 86-76)
    4.Washington 77-85 (#4 New York 70-92)
    5.Florida 74-88 (#5 Washington 59-103)

    NL Central
    1.Chicago 95-67 (#1 St. Louis 91-71)
    2.Milwaukee 83-79 (#2 Chicago 83-78)
    3.St. Louis 80-82 (#3 Milwaukee 80-82)
    4.Cincinnati 79-83 (#4 Cincinnati 78-84)
    5.Houston 66-96 (#5 Houston 74-88)
    6.Pittsburgh 65-97 (#6 Pittsburgh 62-99)

    NL West
    1.Arizona 90-72 (#1 LA 95-67)
    2.Los Angeles 84-78 (#2 Colorado 92-70)
    3.San Francisco 79-83 (#3 San Fran 88-74)
    4.Colorado 78-84 (#4 San Diego 75-87)
    5.San Diego 74-88 (#5 Arizona 70-92)

    After seeing that was their predctison for 2009 (compared to reality on planet Earth) excuse me while I laugh.

    They got 6 of the 8 playoff teams wrong. :) LMAO. That system is beyond awful.

    Some more comedy for you

    Kelly Johnson PECOTA projection: .278/.362/.460
    Manny Ramirez PECOTA projection: .271/.365/.436

    LOL. Who sits down and comes up with this hot sh!te.

  141. Fran (the original) and OPPC member January 29th, 2010 at 7:24 am

    When Cashman did not trade for Santana a few years ago he was thinking ahead to signing CC as a free agent the following season. With LF, I think that Cashman is again thinking ahead to the free agent class next season and is simply holding the spot for Carl Crawford.

  142. qiantom January 29th, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Does PECOTA predict results of each individual games? It is hard for all three teams of AL east to get that many wins considering how many times they have to play head to head.

  143. upstate kate January 29th, 2010 at 7:39 am

    I agree Fran, I think Cash is holding off for next year, or perhaps mid season. And BTW, congrats to your Jets for making it to the play offs :)

    thanks Macfan for posting those 09 results.

  144. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Craw,

    Dont worry, we will have people say, Cashman didn’t make a “real” offer to him.

    Sometimes, folks look for conspiracy theories where none exist.

    They were no phantom or illegitimate offers.

    They wanted him back on terms they could live with.

  145. Frank January 29th, 2010 at 8:02 am

    “Johnson’s obs nubers are a by roduct of being pitched around”

    Pitched around?? He’s Nick Johnson. Nobody’s pitching around Nick Johnson.

  146. GI Joe January 29th, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Macfan

    HA! thanks for the laughs. I had no idea stats could be so funny!

    Clevland in 1st place — HA!

    Boy, they sure blew their Angels projection.

  147. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 29th, 2010 at 8:12 am

    The “problem” is that the media thinks the Yankees should have re-signed Damon at whatever price Damon wanted…….and when they used to do that, the media would kill them. How is anyone to have any respect for these people?

  148. Frank January 29th, 2010 at 8:18 am

    “The “problem” is that the media thinks the Yankees should have re-signed Damon at whatever price Damon wanted…….and when they used to do that, the media would kill them. How is anyone to have any respect for these people?”

    Some seem to (see: Lupica, Mike), but most have suggested that Boras/Damon or as culpable, if not moreso, as the Yankees are in this not coming together.

  149. Frank January 29th, 2010 at 8:18 am

    *ARE as culpable

  150. blake January 29th, 2010 at 8:20 am

    “Not the most bullish Yankees prediction coming from the Baseball Prospectus PECOTA system, which predicts a third-place finish for the Yankees at 93-69. PECOTA actually predicts the Rays as the American League East winners at 96-66″

    Thats hilarious.

  151. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day January 29th, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Frank, I won’t count Heyman since he’s in league with Boras, but Rosenthal torched the Yankees and apparently so did the guys on MLB network. You know it’s going to be worse if Damon signs for less than the Yankees offered, even though (a) the Yanks couldn’t wait any longer, rightly so and (b)it’s doubtful Damon would have signed for that price for the Yankees

  152. upstate kate January 29th, 2010 at 8:35 am

    yeah well they also predicted the Angels to be last in the west. I don’t think they will win the west this year, but last? unlikely.

  153. upstate kate January 29th, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Betsy
    you are so right, whatever the Yankees did in regards to Damon would be wrong according to those guys.

  154. blake January 29th, 2010 at 8:38 am

    If Cashman thought he could get Damon for 6 or 7 million bucks then I think he would have. I trust that he made an informed decision.

  155. randy l. January 29th, 2010 at 8:44 am

    “AL West:
    1.Oakland 82-80 (#1 LA 97-65)
    2.Los Angeles 79-83 (#2 Texas 87-75)
    3.Texas 73-89 (#3 Seattle 85-77)
    4.Seattle 70-92 (#4 Oakland 75-87) ”

    macfan-

    PECOTA was really wrong with the AL West- to the tune of 15 games off their predictions on three out of four teams.

    even with the yankees , PECOTA predicted the yankees finishing with 97 wins and they finished with 103 wins.

    But that was a prediction based on wang pitching and we know what happened there.

    i have a question for you sabermetrically inclined folks on the blog . does PECOTA make a prediction on a team based on the players the team has in january or does it factor in some teams will make changes better than other teams as the season progresses.

    for example, it’s a given the yankees will make changes if a problem with injury or performance happens. a team like pittsburgh won’t make much of an adjustment.

    is this ability to adjust on the fly factored in with PECOTA?

    if it’s not , it’s no wonder that it’s so off with some teams.

  156. Erin January 29th, 2010 at 8:46 am

    GreenBeret7
    January 28th, 2010 at 6:56 pm
    Erin
    January 28th, 2010 at 6:09 pm
    I wouldn’t mind the Cervelli jersey

    ————————————————————

    I’m not sure that you quite understand the process of the jersey auction, Erin. Cervelli doesn’t come with the jersey.

    **************
    GB, I just saw this from last night. LOL

    If I pay extra, will they send Cervelli along with the jersey??? ;)

  157. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Betsy,

    You can’t lump everybody in the media together.

    Some, like Rosenthal and Lupica, have the opinion, “if the Yankees really wanted him, they would pay whatever it takes to get him”.

    Well, that sounds nice but, it makes no sense.

    Johnny is a soon to be 37 year old LF/DH. Does that mean you just pay whatever you want to get him? That’s bad baseball business.

    If the Yankees did that, not only would it have been bad business, Lupica and Rosenthal would be saying, “There go the Yankees again, just spending wildly”.

    Most of the members in the media who have reported on this topic see it for what it is. Damon and Boras badly misjudging the market. The Yankees holding firm to an offer they believed was satisfactory enough to secure the player.

    An offer BTW, that is still the HIGHEST offer Johnny has had to date.

    What all the conspiracy theorists and ill informed folks can’t explain logically to me is, if the Yankees made the highest offer to Damon, and he rejected it, why should the Yankees make a HIGHER offer? It would make no sense.

    This isn’t Brian Cashman’s first rodeo with Scott Boras. He knows how Scott operates. Drag it out as long as you can, watch other options go by the wayside, and wait until all that’s left standing are one team and his client. Then, Scott goes in for the kill and gets his number.

    Brian was unwilling to do that and signed Nick Johnson instead. Its not more complicated than that.

    They gave it one last last week and over the weekend. Brian wasn’t going to insult Johnny and offer him 2 million. That was NEVER on the table. They were trying to get Johnny and Scott to give them a number they could live with for one year. They never got a straight answer out of Scott. He was still pushing 2/20 and talking about “mystery teams”.

    If the Yankees didn’t want him back, they wouldn’t have gotten Hal on his honeymoon to talk to him and see if he could break the logjam.

    They weren’t going to overpay for him and in the end, Johnny felt he couldn’t live with that and everybody moved on.

  158. blake January 29th, 2010 at 8:52 am

    When Boras negociates does he actually use the words “mystery team” or does he just say I’ve got some other teams interested. The minute he said “mystery team” I would laugh at him.

  159. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Erin
    January 29th, 2010 at 8:46 am
    GreenBeret7
    January 28th, 2010 at 6:56 pm
    Erin
    January 28th, 2010 at 6:09 pm
    I wouldn’t mind the Cervelli jersey

    ————————————————————

    I’m not sure that you quite understand the process of the jersey auction, Erin. Cervelli doesn’t come with the jersey.

    **************
    GB, I just saw this from last night. LOL

    If I pay extra, will they send Cervelli along with the jersey???

    ————————————————————

    Yeah, but, you’re gonna have to lease him back to the Yankees on game day in case he has to catch.

  160. blake January 29th, 2010 at 8:54 am

    If a Randy Winn somewhere between 2008 and 2009 shows up to spring training then it was a good sign. If the 2008 Randy Winn shows up to Spring Training then it was a fantastic sign.

  161. Erin January 29th, 2010 at 8:57 am

    GreenBeret7
    January 29th, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Yeah, but, you’re gonna have to lease him back to the Yankees on game day in case he has to catch.

    ************************
    Oh, no problem. Wouldn’t want to make him miss a game :)

  162. Billy Z January 29th, 2010 at 8:58 am

    The Yankees wanted Damon back as the primary DH. When Johnson signed, bringing Damon back meant putting him in LF in addition to making the team too lefthanded. Too much is being made of his departure,IMO. The team should be fine without him.

  163. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Erin
    January 29th, 2010 at 8:57 am
    GreenBeret7
    January 29th, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Yeah, but, you’re gonna have to lease him back to the Yankees on game day in case he has to catch.

    ************************
    Oh, no problem. Wouldn’t want to make him miss a game

    ————————————————————

    You’re a real team player, Erin. Not everyone would sacrifice so much for the common good.

  164. jennifer January 29th, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Mike Stupica at it again. Yankees are dammed if they dammed if they don’t! It is Johnny Damon’s fault that Johnny Damon isn’t a Yankee right now, NOT Cashman’s or the Yankees! As Cash aptly said last night. When they signed Damon to a 13 per contract he was a center fielder, is no longer a center fielder. And lets not compare Damon to Alex. Alex is one of the best players in the game. Damon is not. Really why does the Daily News employ this fool?

    http://www.nydailynews.com/spo.....tml?page=1

  165. Frank January 29th, 2010 at 9:01 am

    “Frank, I won’t count Heyman since he’s in league with Boras, but Rosenthal torched the Yankees and apparently so did the guys on MLB network. You know it’s going to be worse if Damon signs for less than the Yankees offered, even though (a) the Yanks couldn’t wait any longer, rightly so and (b)it’s doubtful Damon would have signed for that price for the Yankees”

    “The Yankees miscalculated. Damon miscalculated. Both will be poorer for it.”

    That was the closing sentence in Rosenthal’s piece, which would imply some culpability goes to Boras/Damon, but I’d agree his tone was more along the lines of smacking the Yankees, specifically citing players Damon is as good or better than getting as much or more than the Yankees best offer to Damon. Didn’t see the MLB Network guys so I can’t comment on it.

    One thing I think is true is that some of the media, in particular the national guys, are struggling with the notion that the Yankees operate on a budget and that with a new sheriff in town that budget may not be as pliable as it has been in years past. Truth of the matter is the Yankees have always operated on a budget. However, this might be the 1st time that the budget was the difference between a player of some note being a Yankee or not being a Yankee. I think some of the media is baffled by it.

  166. Chip January 29th, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Blake -

    If the 2008 Randy Winn shows up then he’ll be the starting LF come opening day and represent one of the best bargains of the winter at 2 mil.

    Boras is again complaining about the way Cashman handled the Damon negotiations. What this tells me is that Damon is ticked at Boras for messing this up (when in reality the blame lays with Johnny for not assuming more control of his future).

    In the end, I have no problem with the way Cash handled this. He looked at what Johnny brought to the table and decided that for half the money Johnny originally wanted and the same 7 mil that the Yankees were willing to commit to Damon for this upcoming season he could get better defensively in the OF (Winn/Gardner) and still get a very capable number 2 hitter/on base machine in Nick Johnson.

    Either way you want to look at it, it’s done and time to move on.

    Sounds like the Yankees will sign either Baldelli or Thames in the next few days to a minor league deal – I would imagine that whichever one they sign will probably make the team out of spring training. I also assume that the Yankees want Hoffmann to stick with the club or else they wouldn’t have targeted him in the Rule V draft.

    When you put those things together it makes me more certain that Brett Gardner will actually not make the big club at all – whether he’s traded or just assigned to AAA I don’t know. But I do know that the Yankees consider both Hoffmann to be better defensively than Gardner and both he and Golson are plus base runners, younger, and with greater upsides than Brett.

  167. Joe January 29th, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Is Winn a good player or is this Tony Womack all over again?! This is what so many Yankee fans in my office are wondering.

  168. jennifer January 29th, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Stupidest line of the article

    But if the Yankees wanted Johnny Damon, he’d still be here. They didn’t. He isn’t.

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/spo.....z0e0gs8th6

    So we should pay him 20 million a season so he signs with us.

    The line really should be.

    The Yankees tried their hardest to get Damon to re-sign, but they certainly weren’t going to bid against themselves if no one was making an offer. If Damon truly did love playing in NY, he’d be holding a press conference this week to announce his new contract with the Yankees. But it has always been about money for Johnny Damon, he goes where the highest offer is, not where he enjoys playing.

  169. Doreen January 29th, 2010 at 9:08 am

    The difference, to me, is this. The Yankees love Damon – love everything about him. But this time around, he is not seen as the difference maker. The Yankees don’t believe they need Johnny Damon to win. And that’s why they didn’t break the bank.

    Last season, Cashman was able to get Hal to open the vault for Teixeira because Tex was seen as that difference maker, not just for one year but for several, and if the Red Sox got him it would definitely have an impact on the division. Can anyone honestly say that Johnny Damon, at this stage of his career, is going to have the same type of impact as Teixeira?

    I’m not saying Damon is not a good player. He’s just not the player you break the bank for anymore. That’s the difference. And that’s what the media is not focusing on.

    They’re also forgetting that in the month of September, Damon struggled mightily in spite of getting ample rest. He was not hitting those easy HRs to right field in September.

  170. Chip January 29th, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Jennifer -

    Deep breath. In and out, in and out…better?

    Look, Lupica is what he is, he’s been bashing the Yankees for years.

    Damon would have been a nice addition to the club, but you know and I know that the Yankees don’t need him. And we also know that we’re not talking about an in his prime stud player. Damon is a poor defensive outfielder and take him out of Yankee Stadium and he’s nothing special offensively either.

    Lupica and these others have to write something though and there’s no money in saying, “hey, the Yankees made the right move here. They are younger and better defensively then they were last season. They have a deeper rotation and a deeper pen than they did last season,” and move on.

    The only thing I find amusing is that when teh Red Sox let Bay go and sent Lowell to the bench in favor of Cameron and Beltre they were lauded for looking at improving their D. Yankees do virtually the same thing and it’s a disaster according to the media.

  171. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Re: Boras….

    I’ve known Scott for over 20 years. He’s a brilliant guy. He really is. He understands baseball as well as most of the GM’s and owners in the game.

    That said, he has his own way of doing things and it can rub people the wrong way. That isn’t so much the problem. Its when he overestimates a market (which he did in this case), it can hurt a player in a big way.

    He really wanted to represent my nephew. I think he felt he had an edge because of our relationship and knowing that I would be heavily involved in the process.

    I chose to go in another direction. I went with Sam and Seth Levinson, two men I didn’t know at the time but respected their work tremendously.

    Why did I do it?

    Scott’s reputation with draftees is to drag it out to the end and get the bonus money at the 11th hour. His feeling (shown to be correct in many cases) is that its the best way to get the most money.

    My feeling was, my nephew needed to sign quickly and play. His best chance to get to move through a farm system quickly was to play almost immediately. He was coming off a great year at BC, his confidence was at an all-time high, and I felt it would give him a leg up by playing early.

    The goal is to get to the majors and not garner the biggest bonus check.

    The Levinson’s felt the same way. Scott didn’t. So, I went with the Levinson’s.

    They did a great job getting him signed signed early. He still got over slot money when you factor in his bonus and benefits. That early start has put him on the fast track (if he can hit FSL pitching) to possibly be in AA a year out of school.

    Scott’s methods work in many instances. However, not all player situations are the same and you need to take that into consideration when making these decisions.

    I think the Yankees and Yankee Stadium were a perfect fit for Johnny at this stage of his career. This is an instance where IMO, Scott should have used better judgment and gotten a deal done in December for Johnny with the Yankees.

    Instead, he rolled the dice. Absent a “mystery team” ready to meet his number, he rolled snake eyes.

  172. Doreen January 29th, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Johnny will enjoy playing wherever he plays, and that’s one of the things that makes him so likeable. Right now, it makes him infuriating to Yankees fans, though. ;)

  173. Joe January 29th, 2010 at 9:12 am

    True about Lupica, and I believe he referred to Theo as a genius. UGH.

  174. jennifer January 29th, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Chip- I know I shouldn’t get all worked but but it is so annoying when that buffoon is a hypocrite. He has two sides written to every story depending on what happens. If the Yankees bid against themselves and signed Damon. His story would be the Yankees spend wildly and bid against themselves for an over the hill player. Go on about his awful defense, and how his numbers are pumped up by Yankee Stadium.

  175. jennifer January 29th, 2010 at 9:16 am

    If Damon signed with the A’s (as is rumored to be one of the teams interested) his numbers will take a nose dive with that foul ground. Johnny will not have the same year that he did in 2009. Everyone knows that his numbers were inflated by the short porch in right, well everyone except Scott.

  176. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Doreen,

    I disagree. If Johnny goes to a place like Oakland, he will be miserable.

    He loves the big stage. He will be out of there by mid-season.

    Its not good work by an agent to make a guy like Johnny Damon a journeyman guy, bouncing from team to team, at this stage of his career.

    Especially when he had a great situation in NY.

    Its a headscrather for the Yankees as well as the fans. I don’t think anybody in the front office thought he would turn down the 2 year deal because they knew it was going to be the best deal he could get.

    Its one of those headscratching situations where you are left wondering, “what was he thinking”?

  177. stuckey January 29th, 2010 at 9:21 am

    “Johnson & Texeria hitting in the 2 & 3 hole will simply jogjam the bases……It’ll be station to station baseball in slow motion…..”

    The guy hitting 4th has a .576 career slugging %. He’s a HR and extra base hit machine.

    The premium here is getting guys ON BASE in front of him, which Johnson and Teixeira do in spades.

  178. Louisiana Lightning In A Bottle January 29th, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Take these new age statistical models with a grain of salt, they are one part of the entire analysis on a player. If WAR and UZR were the gospel that some people will tell you that they are – then we could all sit around and play strat-o-matic rather than playing the games.

  179. 86w183 January 29th, 2010 at 9:24 am

    There’s nothing that bothers me more than hypocrisy. No one has been more critical of Yankee spending than Lupica, no one. Now the phony little dwarf decides to take cheap shots at Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman for fiscal sanity.

    As for PECOTA, it is the baseball equivalent of a Jedi Mind Trick. It only is effective on the weak minded.

  180. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 9:25 am

    As much as I would like to have seen NYYs keep Damon, Matsui and Cabrera, they have managed to come close to replacing the offense and picked up a top rated #4 starter (he would be a #2 or #3 with most teams at worst), plus picking up considerable outfield depth for the minor league system. This was all done at almost half of the salary cost.

  181. Erin January 29th, 2010 at 9:25 am

    GreenBeret7
    January 29th, 2010 at 8:59 am
    Erin
    January 29th, 2010 at 8:57 am
    GreenBeret7
    January 29th, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Yeah, but, you’re gonna have to lease him back to the Yankees on game day in case he has to catch.

    ************************
    Oh, no problem. Wouldn’t want to make him miss a game

    ————————————————————

    You’re a real team player, Erin. Not everyone would sacrifice so much for the common good.

    *******************
    Thanks GB!! I would never keep him away from the Yankees :)

  182. Doreen January 29th, 2010 at 9:26 am

    SJ44-

    I think he would have been much happier in NY, no doubt abut that. And I can be wrong (I don’t know him personally), but he seems like the type of person who will make the best of a situation. That’s pretty much where I was going with that.

    No doubt, this was not how this should have played out. Damon was not assertive enough with his agent. This time around, it didn’t need to be about getting a megadeal, just the BEST deal with the team he wanted.

  183. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 9:31 am

    If you look at their changes, it isn’t as bad as some would make it out to be.

    Damon vs. Granderson. To me, Curtis is Johnny at a younger age. Yes, he has to hit lefties better. I think Kevin Long will help him in that regard. Overall though, I think Curtis is a all around better player than Johnny at this stage of their respective careers.

    Melky vs. Winn. This is basically a toss up unless you are in the camp Melky has a higher ceiling than he has shown. For one year, I think both guys are a tossup because I’m not of the opinion Melky is a soon to be all star.

    Matsui vs. Johnson. This is where it gets dicey. Both guys have injury issues. Matsui is a great clutch RBI guy with power. Nick has a high OBP and sees a ton of pitches.

    I’d have to go with Matsui on this one.

    When you add Javy Vasquez to the mix, which deepens the starting staff in a big way, its hard for me to buy any statistical analysis that says the Yankees will be worse defensively and pitching-wise in 2010.

    Its why I take all these kinds of things with a grain of salt.

  184. jennifer January 29th, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Doreen

    But didn’t Damon say that he had his worst year in Oakland? If that is where he ended up going, and if it were for less money than the Yankees I don’t see him being happy.

  185. Erin January 29th, 2010 at 9:35 am

    New post- Pinch hitting: Mark Braff

  186. 86w183 January 29th, 2010 at 9:37 am

    SJ —

    It’s also more than a little significant that Vasquez, Granderson, Johnson and Winn will combine to make about $ 25 Million which is less than Damon and Matsui combined for a year ago.

    Younger, cheaper, better defensively and more athletic plus a quality starting pitcher is undeniably a significant improvement.

  187. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 9:38 am

    I don’t think Damon will go to Oakland. That park would almost kill his offensive numbers, which would reduce his value on a new contract. I can’t really see him in Tampa unless they unload Burrell, and that’s unlikely. Not sure of the financial situation in Detroit, but, I doubt that it’s good. Maybe the Mets make a run at him. Perhaps he signs with Baltimore and that allows them to move Wigginton for pitching help.

  188. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 9:39 am

    That would be moving Wigginton or Scott.

  189. Doreen January 29th, 2010 at 9:40 am

    jennifer,

    He’s not in Oakland yet. Maybe he goes somewhere else. Maybe he’ll be miserable. Maybe he’s just deal with it and hope to get out by August 31.

    I’m just going by what he’s said. No hard feelings and moving on. Sounds like a guy who can make the best of a situation.

  190. randy l. January 29th, 2010 at 9:41 am

    sj44-

    for what it’s worth scott boras has never bothered me. he comes with a solid baseball background having been a minor league player himself. he probably would make a good gm , but there’s no way he’d take the pay cut necessary .

    he used to have a good reputation for helping minor league players in general. does he still or was that just in his early career?

  191. Bronx Jeers January 29th, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I originally thought Damon’s market price was set the day the Angel’s signed Bobby @ 2yrs/19 mil.

    And Johnny may be indeed “worth” 9-10 mil per year for two years but the Angels need Bobby much more than the Yanks needed Johnny.

    And the “demand” for Johnny was simply not there at that price. With no demand for a product? The price naturally drops.

    2 yrs/14 mil was a good contract for a player that had no real offers and nothing on the horizon.

    What I wonder is if it was Boras who recommended turning it down or if it was Johnny who said no.

    My gut tells me it was Johnny. I just think Boras is far too adept to be asleep at the wheel like that.

  192. Bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes January 29th, 2010 at 9:48 am

    i guess i’m saying that numbers and percentages are great but you have to have some feel for the concepts and not get lost in the numbers alone like they are some kind of absolute.
    ======

    “The letter kills, but the spirit gives life.”

  193. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 9:48 am

    86,

    Very good point.

    Randy,

    He still does a lot for older players and minor league player.

    The guy is 100% into the game. His offices in Newport Beach are like a baseball laboratory.

    Same can be said for Sam and Seth Levinson in Brooklyn.

    IMO, those two firms are far and away the best in the game.

    They just go about their business different ways.

  194. G-C January 29th, 2010 at 10:28 am

    A lot of the reason PECOTA is projecting a dropoff in the pitching staff has to do with Joba Chamberlain. Last year the system projected him as one of the best 4-5 starting pitchers in baseball, and as the best on the Yankees staff, Sabathia included. That’s not the case anymore.

  195. G-C January 29th, 2010 at 10:28 am

    A lot of the reason PECOTA is projecting a dropoff in the pitching staff has to do with Joba Chamberlain. Last year the system projected him as one of the best 4-5 starting pitchers in baseball, and as the best on the Yankees staff, Sabathia included. That’s not the case anymore.

  196. JXD January 29th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    In my mind the most interesting thing is that the AL East winner is projected with 96 wins and the third-place team has 93. That’s incredibly close.

  197. bryan January 30th, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Look, I love Mo, Jeter and Posada as much as any Yankee fan. With that said, people need to recognize that their being outliers to date in one sense INCREASES the likelihood of their declines. They’re only human, folks.

  198. bullshiz April 4th, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    yeah yanks in 3rd behind the rays? what the hell is pecota anyway? If your going to make a prediction you should at least take the resposibility in making an educated one. The PERCOTA predictions are an insult to the game and the MLB network should be embarrassed for even satisfying these blind guesses by airing them.


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