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


Dismissed in the spring, Maxwell would have fit this winter

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Dec 22, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

This is an unfair blog post, and I know it, but I just can’t help myself…

Eight months after he was designated for assignment, Justin Maxwell would be a very good fit for the Yankees.

He’s 29 years old. He’s making the league minimum. He bats right handed. He hit .272/.387/.505 against lefties last season. He can play all three outfield positions. He can run, he can hit for power, and he’s had success as a pinch hitter. He’s exactly what the Yankees are looking for in a fourth outfielder, and at this time last year, the Yankees had him on the roster.

Last spring, they let Houston have him for nothing. They let Maxwell go in favor of Andruw Jones.

Nothing about that decision that’s not regrettable.

Now for the reason this post is unfair:

For whatever reason, I spent a lot of time talking to Maxwell last spring. We talked about college basketball. We talked about the places where we grew up. We talked about the International League, where he’s spent time as a player and I’d spent time as a writer. I liked Maxwell. He was friendly, the people I knew in Scranton raved about him, and it was impossible to see a guy with such obvious athletic ability and not think he could be a very good big league baseball player.

But even I didn’t think the Yankees should have kept him over Jones.

Those who did want the Yankees to keep Maxwell conveniently ignored the fact that he had missed most of the 2011 season with an injury, and they ignored the fact that he’d been given several chances in the big leagues only to produce a .201/.319/.379 career slash line. They ignored the fact that spring training numbers are often meaningless, and that Jones had been absolutely perfect for the Yankees in 2011, hitting .286/.384/.540 with an especially good second half.

Given their needs and their roster — and the fact Maxwell was out of options — the Yankees made the decision that made sense, and it hurt them. It continues to hurt them. Maxwell’s breakout season came at the same time that Jones hit rock bottom.

I can’t fault the Yankees for the decision, but I can’t help noticing that Maxwell would look pretty good on this roster right about now.

Associated Press photo

 
 

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59 Responses to “Dismissed in the spring, Maxwell would have fit this winter”

  1. The Return of Stoneburner December 22nd, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    2:44pm: Outfielder Jerry Sands is in the trade, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#TXAky1LJWMZXxj1O.99

  2. Jerkface December 22nd, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Not totally impossible, some of us gave an argument for keeping Maxwell :)

  3. blake December 22nd, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Anybody that can hit LhP would be good right now

  4. DONNYBROOK December 22nd, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Many of us lamented on keeping Maxwell last ST. It ain’t 2nd guessing for us, and it IS Fair to question the Yankee Hierarchy on going with Jones, and throwing away Maxwell. Some of us make appraisals on players, based on what we Actually See, NOT numbers onna spread sheet or slash line. Last Spring, the Eyeball Test had Maxwell head and shoulders ahead of Jones. Maxwell was an Easy choice to make, if based on sight and baseball acumen.

  5. PacoDooley December 22nd, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Grrr, I was really irritated when they let him go and hung on to Ibanez. He out WAR’d Raul by a good deal last year. Just a bad decision that now looks worse in retrospect.

    Worst part, they got nothing for him in return. It was another case of going with the old guy over a young player that had something to contribute.

    I just hope that they don’t bring Ibanez back.

  6. The Return of Stoneburner December 22nd, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Jerkface December 22nd, 2012 at 3:57 pm
    Not totally impossible, some of us gave an argument for keeping Maxwell

    *****

    That you did – what’s fair is fair – - – -

  7. clownthrowindown December 22nd, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Just one more example of how Cashman failed to think ahead to 2013 and 2014. Low risk decision and he still chose the old player rather than taking a chance on potential in a younger, cheaper player. Textbook Cashman move.

  8. The Return of Stoneburner December 22nd, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    3:00pm: The deal is not complete, but it is in the final stages, a Pirates source tells Bowden (on Twitter).

    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#UA6yvVyb55dkbRIH.99

  9. luis December 22nd, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Good afternoon,

    Chad,

    They went with the present in mind rather than the present and the future in mind. Which to me is the worst shortcoming the FO has shown lately. They always go the vet route, even when the youngster is outplaying the vet ( Phelps case comes to mind ). But I agree, he would be perfect for the team right now.

    Voldemort will come back… He fits the profile perfectly… Old, ugly and hairy monster… Well, maybe not hairy ;)

  10. DONNYBROOK December 22nd, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    An outfield with both Ross and Kubel in it? That’s limited on defense, and both players are offensively streaky. Kubel has gotta be traded.

  11. Jerkface December 22nd, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Nunez played SS throughout his minor career and got to play a full season in 2010 in the minors. He played more at his SS position in the minors than Soriano had a chance. Oh and Soriano did touch a little 2b in the majors in 2000 for Knoblauch – Yanks then decided to go the Vizcaino and Sojo route and sent Soriano back to the minors to work on matters. Soriano, if anything, was rushed into the 2b position in 2000 development wise while being jerked around filling in for Brosius one stint. Nunez had far more development time in the minors than Soriano

    Phelps development has not been hurt at all under the Noesi model of pitching out of the bullpen and spot start. Heck – even Ivan Nova was jerked around for a while. A lot of pitchers have started out between bullpen and starting rotation when they first come up. Johan Santana comes to mind.

    This is again, totally missing the point and also just untrue. Look at what you quoted in that huge block of text about soriano: ” but his mind tended to wander, particularly on routine chances. The Yankees were well aware of this, and determined that playing every day was the best way for him to mature. ” Wow, playing every day was the key? Why didn’t they do the same with Nunez? Playing every day in the minors in 2010 does not help Nunez in 2011 & 2012 when he still needs development. Soriano played fulltime in Japan & then full time in the Yankees system. Then in his first year he played FULL TIME. Nunez did not. Nunez did not have a greater advantage in playing time than Soriano, factually UNTRUE. Soriano, in 2000, in the minors played 40 games at 2B in anticipation of moving there full time. In 2001, his first full season, he played every day, got 600 PAs, and played more innings at 2B than Nunez has spent at all his other positions combined across his entire playing career in the majors. In 2000 Soriano spent more innings at 2B than Nunez has spent at 3rd in his entire career including the minors. This is what I’m talking about. Oh and Soriano hardly took over 2B from Knoblauch, he played 3 innings at the position, 3! 3 innings 1 chance and he made an error! LOL.

    As for the second thing I’ve quoted, you simply misunderstand the original argument. Noesi WAS hurt by his move because he was deemed unworthy of starting consideration due to a lack of innings. Cashman himself said they messed up. So instead of having a guy they couldn’t rely on building his innings in AAA they traded him for a pitcher that may never make the majors. Phelps will now have 2 straight years under 150 innings, and he only pitched 120 this last season. Hughes’ dead arm & injuries in 2011 could be blamed on a lack of innings in 09 leading to overwork in 2010. Phelps is now in the same situation.

    Nova was not jerked around. In 2010 he pitched twice out of the pen in an emergency double header. He got sent down & pitched a lot, and when he got recalled he started until sept where he finished out with a 2.1 IP stint in the pen. So 7 starts, 3 relief appearances, and 180 innings total on the season. Wow looks like they built him up quite nicely. Compare that to Noesi who pitched 70 innings total in the majors & minors in 2011. Or Phelps who pitched 120 innings total.

    The Yankees need to condition their starters to be able to handle the longer major league season, you don’t do that by limiting their innings & opportunities.

    You don’t take a guy that needs to play every day, throw him into multiple new positions, and then also not play him every day.

  12. Jerkface December 22nd, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    In 2011 the YAnkees needed to ask themselves if getting 100 slightly better PA out of Nunez was worth losing him as a potential full time fill in. They could have easily went with Pena out of spring, even though Nunez did have a wonderful ST, told Nunez they wanted him to play every day and keep working & then had him working at multiple positions each day in AAA or at 3B or at SS. Instead they gave him sparse playing time and botched his development.

    Part of it is on Nunez for not being able to handle sparse playing time & multiple positions, but the majority of it is on the Yankees for mis-evaluating and mis handling him. And this is not hindsight either, I said they were making a mistake in spring 2011.

  13. jmills December 22nd, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Hi people. Luis, I haven’t said hello to you in a while; we are indeed lucky to breathe baseball! :)

  14. The Return of Stoneburner December 22nd, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Why didn’t they do the same with Nunez?

    *****

    There are so many things wrong with your reply – but i will focus on this – Soriano had barely any time to learn in the minors – compared to Nunez. You SAID Nunez should have been playing in the minors to begin 2011 to get minor league time at SS so if Jeter was hurt he would have been able to fill in – but you continue to miss the point – Nunez had a full season at SS in the minors – he had more than adequate time. Your changing your position throughout – it is more on Nunez than the Yankees for Nunez’s shortcomings – he had more than enough adequate development time b/w 2010 and now plus with winterball and playing SS throughout mostly his development phases. Soriano was jerked around – he was NOT given the same amount time only really out of necessity b/c Knoblauch had the yips. And Soriano was jerked around quite a bit in 2000 before being thrown to the fire in 2001 – if anything – Nunez had MORE development time than Soriano – - – - I cannot argue this point any further b/c you have changed the terms – you wrote that Nunez should have been in the minors practicing SS b/c he did not have adequate time to develop in the majors and was rushed into a utility role – when this could not be further from the point given Nunez had a full season at AAA in 2010 – more development time than was afforded Soriano – the case is simple – Soriano was a better player – - – -it had very little to do with the Yankees showing more development time – if anything again Soriano owes Knoblauch for the opening – though there is a good bet Soriano could have moved to LF if Knoblauch did not have the yips – - – -

    Noesi’s development time was not more impacted than Phelps or other staters in the minors who come up as relievers or spot starters – heck Earl Weaver did it – you PLUS – Noesi made up for development time in high pressure winterball last year when he was mythically attributed high a 90s fastball. And if Noesi needed more development time in the minors – it is on the Mariners to decide that – they thought he was ready to break camp w/ them – it is LAUGHABLE that you can stretch that far to blame Noesi’s 2012 struggles on the Yankees – while we are at it – let’s blame IPK’s less than stellar 2012 on the Yankees as well – and AJAX’s 2011 season on the Yankees as well as Montero’s first year as well – - – -

    Also – Noesi had 17 games in AA – and 3 in AAA in 2010 – it is not that radical for certain pitchers to go from AA to the majors – - – -and perhaps Noesi is what he is – a spot starter reliever – and – wait for it – the Yankees sold high on him – - – -

    It is one thing to discuss – it is another thing if you have such a biased agenda that is taken to seriously – - – -

    And again – Soriano played 2b in the majors – then went back down to the minors – you had it the other way around – - – -

  15. The Return of Stoneburner December 22nd, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    You can wait to respond when I am back later as you did with your previous post bringing back something that was posted this morning b/w 6 and 7 a.m. as it shows you waited for me to show up to bring up that post. I should be back around 7:00 EST, 6:00 CST

  16. blake December 22nd, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    @JimBowdenESPNxm: Pirates and Red Sox have agreed to trade with Hanrahan, Pimental and Sands all involved waiting on rest of deal

  17. PacoDooley December 22nd, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Just re-read this – I assumed that he was ditched in favour of Ibanez, despite the rightly-lefty thing/

  18. jmills December 22nd, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    I have to think up some kind of 400 word Yankee paper for Chad. I think I’m going to write something about Jim Mason hitting the lonely N.Y. HR in the ’76 series. In a way, that meeting was a coming out for Munson who showed he was every bit the catcher as Bench. Get the man in la Hall!

  19. blake December 22nd, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Potentially pretty good pen for Boston

  20. jmills December 22nd, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Blake, you’re an old time catcher and dentist? :)

  21. tomingeorgia December 22nd, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    jmills,
    Pegged blake more as a Jerry Coleman type second baseman. Steady hands, etc.

  22. Jerkface December 22nd, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    I never blamed Noesi’s struggles on it, that is your misunderstanding. I said that Noesi’s use ruled him out as a starter for the Yankees. The Yankees, being a team that is trying to always be in contention, has stricter standards for starters than the Mariners. Cashman himself said they messed up. You are now arguing AGAINST the GM whom you back up so often otherwise.

    Soriano played 3 innings at 2B in the majors. 3! Not games, INNINGS. Thats not anything. And he was still given a fullseason at his position to work it out. Nunez did not! Nunez was not given the same amount of time to learn 3B or OF or any other position except SS he was expected to play in 2011. And he was not played regularly or full time like Soriano was. Its indisputable. The Yankees crushed Nunez by making him an sparsely used bench player. They allowed Soriano to flourish by making him a full time starter. This is the difference.

    Go look & compare Nunez’ 2011 play time to Sorianos 2001 play time, then realize how incorrect you are being.

  23. jmills December 22nd, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Hi Tom! Hope you and yours are well. I thought blake was Mark Belanger at short.

  24. The Return of Stoneburner December 22nd, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I lied – this is my last post before I head out:

    So you have Nunez playing 11 games at 3b in AAA in 2010 – plus some time in winterball I believe (even though he bounced a ball in his face while bunting) – and then ST where he is being groomed for a utility spot – this is on the kid in this situation – he could not handle it – the Yanks are now going to use him back primarily at SS – he is making up for it in winterball for lost time due to his thumb injury – why you want to &^%$ all over the Yanks on this one idk – - – -

  25. blake December 22nd, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    jmills says:
    December 22, 2012 at 4:37 pm
    Blake, you’re an old time catcher and dentist?

    SS and I play a dentist on the Internet :)

  26. Ys Guy December 22nd, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    jmills, aa was on wfan today, thought you might like to check it out:

    (i first thought it was some teenager calling in!)

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/?p.....cid=CBS.NY

  27. tomingeorgia December 22nd, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    blake,
    That’s the way I prefer my dentist: on the internet.

  28. blake December 22nd, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Could the Cody Ross move be because J Upton is demanding a trade

  29. blake December 22nd, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    @JonHeymanCBS: #pirates will get 4 players in trade that is being finalized. They include sands and pimental. #hanrahan

  30. jmills December 22nd, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Tom, I haven’t practiced hammering incisors since ’97, but I’m sure I could throw you a curve. :)

    YS, thanks – got a great bargain book today – ” Old World / New World, Great Britain and America from the beginning “

  31. blake December 22nd, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    @JonHeymanCBS: Hanrahan trade is 6-player deal as constituted. 4 to pitts, 2 to bos.

  32. Ys Guy December 22nd, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    cashman’s big trade is coming….

  33. jmills December 22nd, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    ” Big trade” – YS,….I’ve got the prune juice.

  34. tucker December 22nd, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Whatever the reason for the Cody Ross signing, he is wheeling and dealing in the desert. At leSt it keeps things interesting out here. Not that all fans agree with his moves.

  35. tomingeorgia December 22nd, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    repost:

    Now is the winter of our discontent
    Made glorious summer by this sun of (New) York;
    And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house
    In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
    Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
    Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
    Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
    Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.

    Any day now, any day now.

  36. Ys Guy December 22nd, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    to be honest, every time another ‘name’ comes off the board and we look at the ‘in-house’ possibilities, i get excited. i know some guys will step up to the challenge and others will fail, but this is exciting to me, much more exciting than the yankees have been in a long time.

  37. jmills December 22nd, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Tom, thanks, Sir. I’m sure you’ve seen heartache like I can’t believe.

  38. Ys Guy December 22nd, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    10,000 gallons of maple syrup stolen?!?

    jmills, u guy must be going through withdrawls….

  39. jacksquat December 22nd, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Don’t think that because some names are coming off the board that means the Yankees are going to go with their minor leaguers. They are still plenty of crappy free agents left.

  40. tomingeorgia December 22nd, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Ys Guy,
    10,000 gallons of maple syrup? Having bought some bulk maple syrup lately, I figure that’s worth at least half a million. Where’d it happen?

  41. Jerkface December 22nd, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    So you have Nunez playing 11 games at 3b in AAA in 2010 – plus some time in winterball I believe (even though he bounced a ball in his face while bunting) – and then ST where he is being groomed for a utility spot – this is on the kid in this situation – he could not handle it – the Yanks are now going to use him back primarily at SS – he is making up for it in winterball for lost time due to his thumb injury – why you want to &^%$ all over the Yanks on this one idk – – – -

    Yea and Soriano got 40 games + winter ball + ST + 158 games to work out at 2B. Notice the difference? Nunez only got 10 games in the minors, 7 games in winterball because of the injury, 16 in spring, and then played sporadically during the season. It is an entirely different situation. I am not crapping all over the yankees, I answered someone who replied to a one line comment in a post about Nunez, and then replied to you after you jumped in. It goes back to ST in 2011 when I said the best player talent wise to take north was Nunez, but if I were the Yankees I’d take Ramiro Pena because utility guy on the Yankees simply doesn’t play often enough. That assumption turned out to be correct, and I think a lot of Nunez’s problems defensively come from his lack of consistent playing time at a position.

  42. jmills December 22nd, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    YS and Tom, I hate maple effing syrup! :)

  43. tomingeorgia December 22nd, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    jmills,
    Didn’t mean Canadian maple syrup, I was talking about Vermont, Maine or New Hampshire.

  44. DONNYBROOK December 22nd, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    If I am Arizona, I would deal Kubel and hang onto J Upton. Having both Kubel and Ross in the OF is a disaster waiting to happen Every single inning.

  45. jmills December 22nd, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Tom, I hope its better than our stuff. Going to the winter farms is fun, but I don’t want to eat the misconfuguration :)

  46. jmills December 22nd, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Crap! – ” misconfiguration “

  47. Ys Guy December 22nd, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    actually 10,000 gallons of canadian maple syrup is worth over $20M
    (vermont would be worth twice that!)
    i was stolen from the canadian maple syrup reserve (who knew?) in quebec.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....e-connell#

  48. mick December 22nd, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Shoppach fall in our laps yet?

  49. mick December 22nd, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Looks like Hal wants to reset the roster in 2014.

    Such excitement, I can’t stand it…

  50. jmills December 22nd, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Alright!, get me that stupid syrup and letz’s makes us alls a wholes lots of money ! :)

  51. Ys Guy December 22nd, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    i make the world’s best pancakes, so i have a vested interest in where that syrup went….

  52. tomingeorgia December 22nd, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Ys Guy,
    I pay about $50 per gallon, but that ain’t supermarket prices, for Vermont or New Hampshire, but the again, who else needs a couple of gallons of maple syrup every few weeks? Wouldn’t pay that for Quebec, though.

  53. Against All Odds December 22nd, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Ys Guy December 22nd, 2012 at 6:07 pm
    i make the world’s best pancakes, so i have a vested interest in where that syrup went….

    —————————-

    Whenever I make pancakes the first pancake always comes out like crap.

  54. Ys Guy December 22nd, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    “Whenever I make pancakes the first pancake always comes out like crap.”
    =========================================
    the pancake gods demand this sacrifice of everybody. (but they are genreally ok if you make it a silver dollar pancake)

  55. jmills December 22nd, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Against, how is Phil Collins?

  56. tomingeorgia December 22nd, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    AAO,
    Season your pans.

  57. ghastly December 22nd, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Randy Velarde is availiable….all systems go on a 1 yr deal…

  58. jmills December 22nd, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    New post

  59. pvdrummer2000 December 23rd, 2012 at 12:12 am

    I watched Justin crush the ball all during spring training. I wanted him to make the team last season. He’s a good ball player and a great kid as well. They did him a favor by releasing him. I’m glad he got the chance to play and prove himself in Houston. I wish him the best. He really would be great to have on the team. Too bad he wasn’t a big enough name for the Yankees to have kept.


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