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


The penalties of the past

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 14, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The penalties escalate, and that’s important to know because it explains why the new CBA luxury tax incentives impact the Yankees more than any other team.

The Yankees aren’t starting with a clean slate. They have a track record of exceeding the luxury tax limit, and according to the new CBA, that track record means the Yankees will have to pay more until they reset the clock with one sub-$189 million season.

For now, the decisions of the past are weighing on the decisions of the future.

This morning, Patrick explained the situation as simply as possible, then he asked the big question that’s hung over every move this offseason: Given their financial obligations and roster limitations, can the Yankees really fill in the gaps for 2014 and beyond without going over $189 million?

I’ll ask another question, one that deals directly with this offseason: Are the Yankees going out of their way to avoid the past mistakes that put them in this position in the first place?

Overspending on free agents
Go back to 2007. If the Yankees hadn’t committed massive years and dollars to Alex Rodriguez, the current picture would look much different. Today, Rodriguez’s 10-year contract looks like the worst in all of sports. He’s the most signifcant drag on the team’s latest financial goals. It’s also worth noting that just last year the Yankees had to eat the bulk of A.J. Burnett’s bad contract just to gain a little bit of financial wiggle room.

This winter, the Yankees passed on Josh Hamilton, and seemed to do so without showing even a passing interest. Hamilton is legitimately one of the best hitters in the game, and signing him would have — in theory — given the Yankees an impact bat to help make up for Robinson Cano’s pending free agency. But the Yankees weren’t willing to take the risk on a guy who’s already had significant trouble staying healthy. They also showed no interest in matching the Dodgers massive six-year deal with Zack Greinke.

Trading away prospects
The backlash against Curtis Granderson might not be so overwhelming if not for the fact Austin Jackson had a best-case-scenario season in Detroit. The disappointment in Michael Pineda’s shoulder injury might not feel like such a punch to the gut if not for Jesus Montero being perfectly healthy up in Seattle. The Yankees haven’t always traded away their upper-level prospects, but their two most notable recent standouts are both playing elsewhere. And you might have noticed that the Yankees current roster has a Montero-sized hole at designated hitter.

This winter, the Yankees have seemed hesitant to make a similar eggs-in-one-basket move. In the past, they’ve taken heat for never giving their young guys a real chance to play in the big leagues, and now they’re taking heat for holding onto their young guys instead of trading for a proven bat. Fact is, the Yankees are going to need some young guys in the not-so-distant future. Even Hal Steinbrenner has talked about the need for young players to emerge. Yes, Justin Upton seems to fit perfectly, but if he were to blow out his shoulder in spring training, would we look back at last season’s career-low slugging percentage and say the Yankees should have seen it coming?

Putting veterans ahead of unknowns
Andruw Jones over Justin Maxwell. That was the most recent example of the Yankees trusting a proven, on-the-decline veteran ahead of a young, unproven no-name. I’ve written before that the Jones-over-Maxwell decision was based in some logic. Plenty of people wanted the Yankees to go the other way — and obviously Jones proved to be the wrong decision – but it must be acknowledged that Maxwell had flopped in his previous big league opportunities and was coming off a season lost to injury. The more reliable choice was Jones. The more exciting choice would have been Maxwell.

This winter, the Yankees had a chance to go with an aging veteran ahead of unproven options when Russell Martin signed with Pittsburgh and left 36-year-old A.J. Pierzynski as the clear catching standout on the free agent market. Instead of pursuing a deal with Pierzynski, the Yankees stayed in house. Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli provide some experienced, defensive options, but the real prize is a golden opportunity for Austin Romine. We might also see a Jones-type role go to young waiver addition Russ Canzler.

Associated Press photos

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112 Responses to “The penalties of the past”

  1. Shame Spencer January 14th, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Dammit Chad..

    Repost:

    Shame Spencer January 14th, 2013 at 11:54 am

    randy l. January 14th, 2013 at 11:42 am

    shame -

    have you read nate silver’s book or haven’t you?

    by the way,i don’t you and i have any real disagreement here.

    i see the world in probabilities and not certainties and i’m pretty sure you do too.

    ——————

    I haven’t read his book but I understand PECOTA’s methodology (which is different than Silver’s to some extent, from what I do understand). Again, it’s not about methodology, it’s about the difference in raw data.

    Politics and baseball aren’t the same thing so the value of the statistics are not the same thing and therefore the results can’t be applied in the same manner. You can apply either Silver’s or PECOTA’s methodologies to the same two raw data sets and still be wrong because of the basic differences in data and outcomes. You can compare the probabilities on a nuts and bolts level, sure, but people need to understand we’re talking about two entirely different things and simply applying the same methodology doesn’t give you the same level of accuracy in terms of results. We’re not disagreeing other than my general position that the analogy between the two (probability of elections vs. probability of baseball performance) isn’t a good one.

    I hate you all for making me revisit my statistics courses, btw. Only type of math where you can get two different outcomes and still have neither result be wrong.

  2. Shame Spencer January 14th, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Jerkface January 14th, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Any time Hal wants to have a “hike-off’ I’m ready.

    Maybe lose him in the desert. Or give him some peyote and hope his spirit animal is a big spender.

    ————–

    I think his spirit animal would be a big hairy monster.

  3. MTU January 14th, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Chad-

    IMO that is not what is driving the quest for 189.

    It seems very much like a numbers thing.

    Not some sort of “epiphany” about the way they have doing buisness in the past.

    If there were no penalty from continued spending my bet is that they would continue to do so.

    At least up to a point.

    If the Yankees are unable to self-scout now, or in the future they are in a lot of trouble because it’s just as foolish to try to hold onto all of their prospects as it is to let too many of them, or the wrong ones go.

  4. Bronx Jeers January 14th, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    The Yankees “gun-shyness” that has its root in these mistakes is also hurting them.

  5. DONNYBROOK January 14th, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Cashman’s unending poor personnel decisions, continue to Only be exceeded by his numerous Bad pics courtesy of Chad. Maxwell’s 86ing mentioned above, looks to be repeated with Dickerson. Same old, same old.

  6. MTU January 14th, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Maybe 2014 will be a year this is filled with a lot of changes ?

    And not just on the playing field.

  7. MTU January 14th, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    edit: that is

  8. Phranchise January 14th, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Good post.

    But the main issue is they are unable to unwind some of the bad contracts, take back some trades or develop talent quicker. They made their bed over years, you don’t unwind that as quickly as they are attempting to.

    So we are where we are. CC and Tex were big expenditures that for the most part have panned out and got them a WS in 2009.

    My only problem with the approach is it isn’t an all-in approach now. If we are, then trade Granderson, Hughes and Cano now. And then why would an Upton, young and controllable, not be a peice you want. A few more years at 14 a year? According to the report it wasn’t the prospects but the money turning them off – what?

    I think what is irritating me most is this coy type of attitude now by management and to me it seems so obvious. They aren’t 100% committed to this shift in direction because it would make them less competitive now and less lucrative also. So lose money one way or another.

  9. MTU January 14th, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    IMO Cashman has to get some credit for re-ephasizing building the Farm.

    The first wave was stocked with pitchers and catchers.

    This next wave is stocked with OF prospects.

    The first wave was a mixed bag. Some bad luck, some mishandling, some learning, some success.

    Hopefully this next group will fare better.

    It almost has to for Cashman to survive IMO.

  10. Tackelberry January 14th, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Agree. Alot will depend on the progress this year of guys like Romine, Adams, Almonte and the continued progress of Heathcott, Austin and Williams and Sanchez this year. Also, can Pineda make it back and can Campos come back without needing TJ surgery. A rebound year by Betances wouldn’t hurt either.

  11. Shame Spencer January 14th, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    @craigcalcaterra

    Watched first 45m of “Out of Sight” on the treadmill. Haven’t seen it since ’98. Too bad JLo wanted to be a brand and not a serious actress.
    ——————-

    JLo comparisons are always relevant to the Yankees.

  12. Ys Guy January 14th, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    lets not get too crazy about maxwell. he only managed 300 at bats on the worst team in baseball struck out in 1/3 of his at bats and spent another stint on the dl.

    i wouldnt mind having him on the roster but counting on him as a regular contributor is a bit of a stretch.

  13. DONNYBROOK January 14th, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Clooney carried JLo in “Out Of Sight”. Based on her acting ability, vs. her current net worth, she made the right choice.

  14. G. Love January 14th, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Jerkface,

    I really enjoyed your pinch hitter. Great job putting that all together. Now watch your back for guys in trench coats trying to abduct you for cracking the code of how the Yankees are suddenly putting profits over winning.

    And for the love of God, will the Yankees please get Morse or Upton for blake’s sanity. I’m worried about him. We don’t want him wandering the streets muttering their names late at night.

  15. J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Rich in NJ January 14th, 2013 at 9:48 am

    one thing is for sure, nobody on this blog that i saw predicted #’s for montero last season that were as low as his statistics turned out to be.
    -

    It was foreseeable that he wouldn’t hit as well in Safeco as he would at YS, for which he has a tailor-made swing. Plus, some of mentioned that he might have to surmount a learning curve.
    ///

    This was something I sounded repeatedly in 2011 – I wanted him up reasonably early so that he could get through his learning curve and therefore be more useful to us down the stretch and into the playoffs. As it turned out, he hit out of the box and in the postseason, when given the chance. They were even walking the kid.

    But if he had been here for half or 3/4s of the season, he likely could have hit the ground running, as he did in the late call-up, and then swooned for a period of adjustment, before adapting again. My thought was, we could move the learning curve back and give his bat, having gone around the league a few times, a great chance for success during late-season division chase and in the playoffs.

    The season in Seattle was the learning curve that was bound to come in a first-season player, and he no doubt would have had some valleys last year with us. But, he would have been hitting in a park he was born to hit in, and would have had guys like Alex, Jeter, and Cano to insulate and instruct him.

    I have no doubt he will hit and when he does, he’s not going to look back. The bat is real; the “hype” is based on the hitting mechanics, the bat speed, and an incredible set of wrists.

    Trading that was ridiculous.

  16. Jerkface January 14th, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    lets not get too crazy about maxwell. he only managed 300 at bats on the worst team in baseball struck out in 1/3 of his at bats and spent another stint on the dl.

    i wouldnt mind having him on the roster but counting on him as a regular contributor is a bit of a stretch.

    He murdered lefties and plays good defense on the corners and can handle CF. He doesn’t have to be a regular contributor to help the yankees. He would have filled a big hole on the team *right now*

  17. Phranchise January 14th, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Montero’s learning curve may be a bit better this year when they bring the walls in.

  18. DONNYBROOK January 14th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    You guys expectations were just too high for Montero. For a player’s 1st Full season, I take his offensive numbers without hesitation. The other side of the ball is a different matter Entirely.

  19. J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    MTU January 14th, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    IMO Cashman has to get some credit for re-emphasizing building the Farm.
    ///

    What good is it, though, when he doesn’t seem to know how to value it against what his team needs. He’s traded away three guys from within his system whose presence today would have precluded what currently afflicts this team: age and the necessity, now, to trade important “inventory” to replace what he thoughtlessly gave away.

  20. Ys Guy January 14th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    i did say i woudlnt mind having maxwell on the roster. but he would be another big strike out guy. he’s got a higher strikeout rate than granderson

  21. Shame Spencer January 14th, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Tex representing the USA in the WBC. Was this reported already? Sorry if I’m late to the party.

  22. Jerkface January 14th, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    i did say i woudlnt mind having maxwell on the roster. but he would be another big strike out guy. he’s got a higher strikeout rate than granderson

    Yea he has his flaws. At least he’d be striking out for the league minimum. And that is only a problem if he is left in against righties. Vs lefties he hit .272. It doesn’t matter if you strike out a lot if you hit for a high average & get on base.

  23. Rich in NJ January 14th, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    “IMO Cashman has to get some credit for re-ephasizing building the Farm.”

    He has always talked a good game. His trouble is execurtion.

    “The first wave was stocked with pitchers and catchers.”

    At this point, the yield from that “stock” is meager, and it has been 7 years since he got more control.

  24. J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    DONNYBROOK January 14th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    You guys expectations were just too high for Montero.
    ///

    Were? My expectations of Montero remain lofty, because he has the speed, strength and approach that makes is entirely reasonable to expect big things from him.

    Montero is not Shane Spencer, and there is a reason why he has unilaterally been labeled a virtually “will do” offensive player; no one’s going out on a limb “predicting” this young man’s going to hit. He’s played one MLB season, plus the late call-up with us. Unless he has some unforeseen debilitating injury in his future, I don’t think anyone who has paid attention to him throughout the minors and in his nascent MLB career is going to be surprised when he starts fulfilling those prognostications for him.

  25. Phranchise January 14th, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Also in the first wave was really Hughes. A candidate that if he has another healthy and productive season will probably walk due to money right when he is entering his prime years as a pitcher. So waste of time developing him no?

  26. MTU January 14th, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    JAP-

    Just giving him that portion of his due is all.

    I never said anything about him being a brilliant tactician did I ?

    And trading away the wrong players or failing to properly develop the ones you keep could certainly be valid criticisms. No doubt about that.

    There ceratinly might be room for imoprovement in our self-scouting and I have advocated that as a critical priority.

    If that means Cashman cannot be one to continue then so be it. Guess we’ll find out soon enough.

    ;)

  27. MTU January 14th, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Rich-

    See my post to JAP above.

    ;)

  28. J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Phranchise January 14th, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Montero’s learning curve may be a bit better this year when they bring the walls in.
    ///

    Of course, that’s going to help. He has clobbered some pitches to dead center over the heads of OFs but because of his lack of footspeed, remarkably, he’s often held to long singles. The new dimensions are going to help the bat and also help minimize how slow afoot he is on the bases. He’s also got that first year under his belt now.

  29. Jerkface January 14th, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Not sure pitchers & catcher wave 1 has really worked. We have 2 quality relievers, an up & down starter, no catchers, and we traded 1 pitcher & 1 catcher for stuff.

    I’d grade that as a C or worse.

  30. G. Love January 14th, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    There’s a huge difference between being asked to hit in the middle of the order playing 1/2 your games in Safeco and being asked to hit in the bottom part of our order playing 1/2 your games in YS.

    Wait’ll you see Ibanez’s numbers in Seattle this season unless they moved the RF fence in 300 feet.

    I think the Yankees actually would’ve developed Montero nicely here in that Girardi would’ve tried to match him up, keep the pressure off of him and not promote him until he could no longer be denied. While that approach annoys a ton of us, it does motivate the player to make every at bat count in order to gain the trust and the playing time here.

    Anyway, that doesn’t matter anymore. We’ve got Austin, Stewie, Frankie and Matty Diaz to replace that production and Pineda will be mowing them down for sure in 2014, or 15…

  31. Rich in NJ January 14th, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    If the Yankees want to be able to maximize their chances of being able to field a team with significantly less payroll, now is the time to look into trading Granderson, Hughes, and possibly even Cano.

    But instead, they don’t seem to have a forward looking plan because they remain wedded to the contradictory goals of claiming to be able to win the WS every single year while simultaneously wanting to get younger and cheaper.

    That takes years of superb execution combined with making hard choices about talented veterans who are likely to become cost-ineffective over the life of a long-term contracts. The Yankees don’t appear willing or able to do either, and instead, further restrict limited future payroll flexibility by signing Ichiro for 2014.

    It would be comical if it wasn’t so frustrating.

    We are left with Hal (mis?)leading the fans into believing that it’s all about WS, no matter what, so just trust me, I will spend if I have to, but I shouldn’t have to.

    When, in fact, a coherent plan would lead to a lot more trust.

  32. J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    MTU January 14th, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    JAP-

    Just giving him that portion of his due is all.

    I never said anything about him being a brilliant tactician did I ?

    And trading away the wrong players or failing to properly develop the ones you keep could certainly be valid criticisms. No doubt about that.

    There ceratinly might be room for imoprovement in our self-scouting and I have advocated that as a critical priority.

    If that means Cashman cannot be one to continue then so be it. Guess we’ll find out soon enough.

    ;)
    ///

    I’m just reluctant to give him props for an advantage he willfully then negates with bad decisions.

    I don’t see a change being made, which has kind of anesthetized me to any expectation of anything remotely good coming from him going forward.

  33. ajr91205 January 14th, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    The Yankees don’t want to take risks! In the past ten or so years, they have almost always taken the declining veteran over a young up and coming player. They invested too much trust and money into people like A-rod or Burnett and now all they have to show for it is a huge lump of debt. They need to learn to be patient. Wait for the prospects to grow instead of trading them away as soon as an old and already proven player comes to the market. There are risks and rewards for both scenarios, but keeping the rookies would certainly cost less money and could yield the same results. It’s easy to look back in hindsight to say that the yankees should have done this or that, but in the future they should definitely be cautious.

  34. Rich in NJ January 14th, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    “The Yankees don’t want to take risks! In the past ten or so year”

    I agree in a way, but:

    “They invested too much trust and money into people like A-rod or Burnet”

    Those contracts (A-Rod’s second; his first had almost no risk) were extremely risky.

    So it’s not that they don’t take risks. They take imprudent ones.

  35. Nick in SF January 14th, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    I’m catching up here. So Jerkface is Patrick but Patrick is not Jerkface?

  36. MTU January 14th, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    JAP-

    I always believe in giving a Man his just due.

    Cashman did re-emphasize the Farm even if he did negate some of it’s value by potentailly ill-advised
    actions following.

    The clock is definitely ticking now even if you believe it’s way overdue.

    It is entirely possible you will get your wish next starting next season.

  37. Rich in NJ January 14th, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    “I’m catching up here. So Jerkface is Patrick but Patrick is not Jerkface?”

    You have it down (p)at M.

  38. J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    It’s easy to look back in hindsight to say that the yankees should have done this or that, but in the future they should definitely be cautious.
    ///

    I agree with your take that they don’t like taking risks and will nearly always go with the “veteran presence” over the untested player, even if the latter’s upside easily trumps the vet.

    I don’t think there was much risk, however, when they had the chance to cycle in a young player here and there when the veterans in the lineup were still formidable, or when they could have just had Joba remain in the rotation to work through the kinks, with veterans filling out slots in front of him.

    There was less risk for the Yankees to cycle in a young player here and there than there was for any team; what’s risky is suddenly having to rely on youth because you blew the opportunity to strategically place a high upside young player within a secure lineup or rotation when you had the chance, and now have to do so with the older guys now into the twilight of their careers and nothing to solder the two eras together – there’s your risk. One you now are looking at taking because when you had the perfect scenario to fairly painlessly dovetail those youthful pieces in.

    They brought it on themselves.

    Further, I don’t really get your “hindsight” comment; who’s that supposed to reference? Most here who are complaining about Cashman were critical of the moves, and indeed were warning against such moves before they were made, all along.

  39. Shame Spencer January 14th, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Montero is not Shane Spencer

    ———————

    How dare you take Shane Spencer’s name in vain!! ;)

  40. blake January 14th, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    “I’ll ask another question, one that deals directly with this offseason: Are the Yankees going out of their way to avoid the past mistakes that put them in this position in the first place?”

    The simple answer is yes…..but a good follow up is what about next year when Robinson Cano is a FA? They gonna avoid past mistakes then ?

  41. Shame Spencer January 14th, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    The only reason I have more hope for Pineda’s recovery is because he’s young and his body can theoretically bounce back from the injury… he’s gonna be a big piece this year, good or bad.

  42. Phranchise January 14th, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Rich, said the same thing earlier. In essence by trading Hughes, Granderson and maybe Cano away they rule out making the playoffs next year and fielding a solid team. So if they were 10 games back early in July with a veterans and the injuries that are likely to come, what backlash would we see from the fans. Basically Hal’s successful year, cutting thru the BS of keeping up with his father’s legacy, was last year. Tight race, make it to the playoffs, get through one round and into the Championship series. If they could cut payroll and keep it there seems like he would be content without the World Seires and keep the cash flowing in. More money doesn’t = a WS, but the path they are going down, keeping the team competing like this simply won’t happen.

  43. blake January 14th, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    “There’s a huge difference between being asked to hit in the middle of the order playing 1/2 your games in Safeco and being asked to hit in the bottom part of our order playing 1/2 your games in YS.”

    Totally agree here….Montero isn’t the first promising hitter that Safeco had zapped either

  44. J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    MTU,

    I gave Cashman credit for rebuilding the system a few years ago, when it was still relevant to perpetuating a perennial World Series caliber team. His misuse of assets is almost worse than having a lousy system, because lack of proper use renders his “rebuilding” superfluous.

  45. blake January 14th, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Wonder If LGY’s name is Patrick too :)

  46. Patrick January 14th, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    It’s funny, my real name is Jerkface but my blog name is Patrick.

  47. Phranchise January 14th, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    I am less concerned about Pineda’s recovery and more interested to see if this guy will be a one hit wonder or a real ace in the making. When he was brought in the articles read about his mound demeanor and skill set to be a #1. Then we get him, he’s fat and out of shape, gets in trouble, seems like a very different personality than a focused and mature #1. So that in itself raises it’s own doubts. We shall see at some point. I believe in the end he will be solid and like a 3 which paired with CC and someone else is pretty darn good. I am just interested to see what they do with Hughes.

  48. MTU January 14th, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    JAP-

    I understand where you are coming from.

    Got to out and get some chow.

    Catch you later.

    Good to see you round.

    I haven’t seen YF much. Hope her ankle is healing well.

  49. MTU January 14th, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    edit: Got go out and get. duh.

  50. J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    MTU,

    Having burritos today? If so, have one for me. I could use the burn, given this damp, sunless weather we’re experiencing down here in Central Jersey. :D

  51. yankeefeminista January 14th, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    The Yankees have almost always gone for sure thing over potential with the exception of Santana-Hughes, and that 2009 bullpen. Everything Cash has done post Generation Trey (ugh, hate that name), has been based on overrating age/experience regardless of talent level over youth and the irony is that that “win now” mentality precludes any understanding that youth can do a very good job in terms of winning. I will give props for their sticking with Hughes, but if they lose him as a FA, then why invest all the time and money in him. We need to start extending young players. Interesting to see what the Yanks do with Nova if they don’t try to dump him off as a failure after one “bad” year. Show me patience with the pitchers, please.

    As for Montero, people are acting like the kid stunk this year. He did a good job in a pitcher’s park as a rookie who was also learning to handle a pitching staff. He put up a 98 OPS+ in second half, 120 OPS+ vs. LHP, 117 OPS+ on the road, and 132 OPS+ in over 200 AB’s as a catcher. Sept. 2011 in NYS was tailor-made for him. If you think he couldn’t have/couldn’t be an important bat in our lineup than you are just kidding yourself.

  52. Rich in NJ January 14th, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Phranchise

    I missed that, sorry. I can understand if they don’t want to trade all of them, but to not trade Granderson, who it would seem they have less than zero chance of re-signing, makes no sense if there is the possibility of even a decent return.

    And again, if he really wants to build from within, how much longer does he wait on a GM who has failed to execute a plan that he has had seven years to implement.

  53. chicken little January 14th, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Have been thinking a bit about this: the problem with the Yanks’ way of doing things, particularly often with role players, is that when in doubt the Yanks always pick the veteran who has less long-term upside than the young player. Andruw Jones and Justin Maxwell is the perfect example. Both obviously are flawed players probably not capable of playing full time. However, when judging both players last year at spring training, here is what should have been considered then: At best, what will both give you? Power against lefties, but lots of strike outs. However, Maxwell is younger, can play all 3 OF positions and is controllable for a few years. In essence, like with Gerald Williams, Shane Spencer, Ricky Ledee, etc … he could be an important bench player for 3-4 years (or useful as a piece of a trade). Andruw Jones while there may have been a higher likelihood of a year worth of success (based on past performance), was one dimensional and even if he hit 20 homers would have been a free agent after 2012. I just hope this spring, the Yanks give some of these pickups (like Cranzler) a chance and remember there is more long-term controllable upside in younger players than old geezers. I am not advocating starting Cranzler (as clearly he has flaws), but he (and others) should not be devalued simply because veterans are brought in to fill roles.

  54. J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Pineda was the very definition of “risk”. I hope that nonsense in ST where he left with a busted shoulder and left a pool of sweat on the mound behind him doesn’t keep him from having a true career. I’m certainly not depending on him, however.

  55. Rich in NJ January 14th, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    JAP

    How they handled him in ST was worse than the thought process behind the trade.

  56. blake January 14th, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    I think Monteto has the physical ability to be a star type hitter….always did….but I also always said that hitting in the big leagues is about making adjustments and is as much mental as it is physical if not more so…..so his ceiling will be determined by how disciplined he becomes…..how hard he works…..and how smart he becomes. Miguel Cabrera isn’t Miggy only because he’s got a great swing and is strong…..he’s a hitting genius

  57. Against All Odds January 14th, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Rich in NJ January 14th, 2013 at 1:24 pm
    JAP

    How they handled him in ST was worse than the thought process behind the trade.

    ————————-

    They always have an issue when it comes to pitchers. Guys come into spring with velocity issues and they say no big deal. Player gets hurt and then they panic lol

  58. yankeefeminista January 14th, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    You can’t depend on Pineda; you just have to pray like heck that he recovers enough to be useful if not to make a difference.
    ***
    Hi MTU, thanks for the thoughts. I am doing well, getting stronger all the time! I just asked my physical therapist why I can’t too have an underwater treadmill like Jeet’s. ;) Besides PT, I have been working a lot, so no time to post, always try to get a lot of minutiae out of the way, as I get ready for ST to start. So, still got a month of drudgery to go.

    I have been reading here and there though, and I am very sorry to hear about your sister-in-law. My condolences to you and your family.

  59. Shame Spencer January 14th, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Can’t depend on Pineda at all, but having him contribute this season could really turn things around for us going forward. I still don’t get what was in their heads last year during ST, when the kid was clearly hurting and they let him air it out… They did the same to Hughes the year before and I was scratching my head then too.

  60. yankeefeminista January 14th, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Cash has always coveted those power arms. Who doesn’t love them, but with the young ones comes major risk, unfortunately.

  61. yankeefeminista January 14th, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Shame, well weird that they do that, and kind of demand the max effort velo, then so baby the arms of young pitchers otherwise.

  62. J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    As for Montero, people are acting like the kid stunk this year. He did a good job in a pitcher’s park as a rookie who was also learning to handle a pitching staff. He put up a 98 OPS+ in second half, 120 OPS+ vs. LHP, 117 OPS+ on the road, and 132 OPS+ in over 200 AB’s as a catcher. Sept. 2011 in NYS was tailor-made for him. If you think he couldn’t have/couldn’t be an important bat in our lineup than you are just kidding yourself.
    ///

    Yankeefem – He did go through a second-half surge where it started to fall into place, then late I think he just ran out of fuel, like young players tend to do near the end of a rookie season or in their first couple. I enjoyed watching him hit this year, especially when he goes down and gets a pitch and really drives it, or turns on one tight inside. He will hit pitcher’s pitches… I remember Kuroda, Weaver and Lincecum being flabbergasted that he was able to do damage on a respective pitch thrown by each in given ABs… he just has to lay off the wrong ones. It’ll come. Let’s see if he continues to try to keep that front foot more quiet.

  63. J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Shame, lol. I think I asked you once what your connection to Spencer was, but I don’t remember your answer? :D

  64. Rich in NJ January 14th, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    “They always have an issue when it comes to pitchers. Guys come into spring with velocity issues and they say no big deal. Player gets hurt and then they panic lol”

    And they had already shut him down with shoulder pain. What was the point of making him compete for a spot in the rotation at that point, so close to when the season was starting and with greatly diminished velo?

    That’s just rank incompetence.

  65. blake January 14th, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    “How they handled him in ST was worse than the thought process behind the trade.”

    what the keep trying to throw harder until your shoulder breaks approach?

  66. ac1 January 14th, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I am glad Tex is playing in the WBC. Gives him a few weeks of ABs to warm up so we dont have to wait til June to see him hit. Pettitte, I worry about that….

  67. Shame Spencer January 14th, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Shame, lol. I think I asked you once what your connection to Spencer was, but I don’t remember your answer? :D

    ——————

    I LOVE home runs :D

    I actually just like complicated people, and Shane seemed like one. Sort of a microcosm for the ups and downs of any baseball career. Born in glory then burnt out into obscurity.. I could go Dickens on all of you right now, but I’ll spare you ;)

  68. Shame Spencer January 14th, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    blake January 14th, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    “How they handled him in ST was worse than the thought process behind the trade.”

    what the keep trying to throw harder until your shoulder breaks approach?

    ——————–

    The Yanks haven’t had a great medical approach (not even sure what to call it) in the last couple of seasons… didn’t like what they did with Gardner, Arod, Hughes, or Pineda.

  69. JoeyVegas January 14th, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    By my estimates if you add in 24M for Cano, 12M for Hughes, 4M for Gardner, 5M for Joba, 2M for Logan, you’ve still got 30M to play with. I’d say here are your options, assuming rotation starts with CC, Hughes, Pineda, Nova:

    SP: Nolasco, Maholm, Floyd (10-12M) or PHELPS
    OF: Granderson, Hart, Cruz or Ellsbury (15M-20M) or HEATHCOTT/FLORES/MESA/ALMONTE
    3B: Peralta or Prado (8-12M) or ADAMS/JOSEPH/CANZLER
    C: McCann, Salty (10-14M) or ROMINE

    This presumes no trades. Banking a lot on guys like Aardsma/Robertson/Montgomery/Pineda. I’d love to see Maholm/Prado/Salty or Cruz/McCann.

  70. Ys Guy January 14th, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    ” Shame Spencer January 14th, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    The only reason I have more hope for Pineda’s recovery is because he’s young and his body can theoretically bounce back from the injury… he’s gonna be a big piece this year, good or bad.”
    ====================================
    plus it was done arthroscopically plus there was apparently no rotator cuff damage.

  71. yankeefeminista January 14th, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Fingers crossed on Pineda.

  72. J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Rich in NJ January 14th, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    JAP

    How they handled him in ST was worse than the thought process behind the trade.
    ///

    Hmm. I’ll call it a draw :D

  73. J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    blake,

    Despite the Ks, I’ve seen Montero show discrimination. He’ll also make meaningful contact on pitches he might misjudge, because of the bat path, staying back and because of those wrists. Like I said above, he needs to find that balance between pissing pitchers off and driving their “unhittable” pitches, and laying off ones he can’t put into play meaningfully. Evolution is always the key, but all the skills are in place.

  74. tomingeorgia January 14th, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Mister MTU,
    You back from lunch yet?

  75. J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    I was surprised Rothschild wasn’t more alert when Pineda got hurt. He otherwise always seems to rely on a certain empathetic feel in addition to knowledge. That was disappointing, to say the least.

    Shame, thanks for the colorful reply :D. And you can get Dickensian any time you like, as far as I’m concerned. I welcome it, in fact.

  76. J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Meanwhile, Eben Alexander is driving the neuroscience fraternity nuts, giving the old television monitor a karate kick.

    You go, Eben!

  77. Ys Guy January 14th, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    i sure would like to know how much lance armstrong is being paid for his oprah ‘partial confession’

  78. tomingeorgia January 14th, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    “I know enough of the world now to have almost lost the capacity of being much surprised by anything”
    ? Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

    Do it for you, JAP?

  79. Shame Spencer January 14th, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Ys Guy January 14th, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    i sure would like to know how much lance armstrong is being paid for his oprah ‘partial confession’

    ——————-

    I heard Oprah only wants to get paid in relevancy since she’s lost so much of it after moving off her daytime talk show :D

  80. Shame Spencer January 14th, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    I suppose Lance will take nothing in return but softballs, left and right..

  81. The Mick536 January 14th, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    A-Rod still scares me. Why wait so long to operate? Something had to heal? What? What are we looking at? 15-20 homers?

  82. J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    The trouble is, there are worlds within worlds that Dickens either didn’t know of, or chose not to write about, so that either means he was limited to a material reality, and its outward finitude, or fully in touch with all worlds, and therefore understood that novelty is the soft “rule” of existence, and that being surprised is dependable, therefore, unsurprising. ;)

  83. J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Actually, I recall that Dickens was in sympathy with Swedenborg, so happily, I will assume he was aware of the etherized worlds :D.

  84. Jerkface January 14th, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    A-Rod still scares me. Why wait so long to operate? Something had to heal? What? What are we looking at? 15-20 homers?

    He did pre-strengthening of the area before surgery. The Yankees need 13 HRs to avoid a world of budgetary hurt.

  85. MTU January 14th, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Yes Mister Tom.

    I’m digesting.

    Or should I say my stomach is ?

    Well anyway, I’m back.

    :)

  86. 4TrainNorth January 14th, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I guess not one photo exists of the GM looking like anything other than a weaselly half-man.

  87. MTU January 14th, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    YF-

    Thanks for the well wishes. Glad you’re coming along.

  88. yankeefeminista January 14th, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    BenBadler The Mariners have signed Dominican OF Luis Liberato for $140,000 bit.ly/RSZfXB
    about 1 hour ago

    Carrie Muskat ?@CarrieMuskat
    #Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo to play for Team Italy in World Baseball Classic. Full rosters will be released on Thursday
    Retweeted by John Manuel

    Is Frankie playing?

    Jim Callis ?@jimcallisBA
    That really can’t be possible, can it? @capeleaguecct: It’s 149 days and counting till the Cape Cod Baseball League season opener…

    Planning to attend, Randy?

  89. J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    MTU,

    I would say you’re forward. Thinking, that is :D.

    Hey, I didn’t know of your lost loved one. I am deeply sorry.

  90. yankeefeminista January 14th, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Hi MTU, you are welcome, and thanks for your concern. Good to see you.

  91. Bronx Jeers January 14th, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    The Yankees need 13 HRs to avoid a world of budgetary hurt.

    ———————————————————————-

    Just as follow up to your post…. So those bonuses don’t get spread out for taxation purposes, they’re taxed in the year they’re earned?

  92. Jerkface January 14th, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    So those bonuses don’t get spread out for taxation purposes, they’re taxed in the year they’re earned?

    Signing bonuses are spread out. Individual bonuses & escalators are applied to the year they are earned. For example, if you sign a pitcher to a 2 year deal worth 10 million total 2 of which is a signing bonus, it is a 5 AAV. If that pitcher also has a million dollar bonus for 30 games finished in his first year, if he hits that mark the AAV for year 1 becomes 6 million. The second year is still 5 AAV.

  93. J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    MTU,

    You might appreciate this. At your leisure, as it’s 30 minutes long. Warning: materialists and Newtonians alike might wish to steer clear. :D

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axMDHBGtJMM

  94. MTU January 14th, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Thanks JAP.

    Much appreciated.

    The healing process is underway.

  95. yankeefeminista January 14th, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Prehab is a good idea before surgery. Alex will be stronger during surgery and will hopefully heal faster.

    Any truth to the Matsui rumors? I’d love to see that. Sure wish Yanks had let Jorge catch Mo’s historic save.

  96. J. Alfred Prufrock January 14th, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    MTU,

    Good man.

    I’m on my way out door to walk the ethereal dog :)

    Have a good day, all.

  97. Bronx Jeers January 14th, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    So if Arod falls short of 13 HR this season which is a definite possibility and assuming his career isnt over and he does tie Aaron next season then then 189 shrinks to 183 but would really be around 172MM

    Now I’m remembering that HR off the staircase in right-center at the old stadium that got called a double about 6 seasons back. Imagine he hits 12?

  98. JoeyVegas January 14th, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Did I miss the budget, 2014 planning discussion or do you guys just not care?

    ———————————-
    By my estimates if you add in 24M for Cano, 12M for Hughes, 4M for Gardner, 5M for Joba, 2M for Logan, you’ve still got 30M to play with. I’d say here are your options, assuming rotation starts with CC, Hughes, Pineda, Nova:

    SP: Nolasco, Maholm, Floyd (10-12M) or PHELPS
    OF: Granderson, Hart, Cruz or Ellsbury (15M-20M) or HEATHCOTT/FLORES/MESA/ALMONTE
    3B: Peralta or Prado (8-12M) or ADAMS/JOSEPH/CANZLER
    C: McCann, Salty (10-14M) or ROMINE

    This presumes no trades. Banking a lot on guys like Aardsma/Robertson/Montgomery/Pineda. I’d love to see Maholm/Prado/Salty or Cruz/McCann.

  99. Ys Guy January 14th, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    is there actuallly a matsui rumor or are you just trying to start one?

    nothing on mlbtr.

    it makes no sense anyway.

  100. Jerkface January 14th, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    At those prices you can only really afford 2 out of those 4 groups you’ve listed at free agency prices.

  101. tomingeorgia January 14th, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Mister MTU,
    Reverend Tom, here. Hitching some young folks this afternoon, praying for their future. Man, I love this job. Of course, I have to cook dinner and bus tables, too. It’s 75 and clear, so it’ll be on the veranda. Frabjous day, and I make a little money, as well.

  102. Jerkface January 14th, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    is there actuallly a matsui rumor or are you just trying to start one?

    nothing on mlbtr.

    it makes no sense anyway.

    Its on a japanese website. I doubt MLBTR has a guy who can read japanese working for them. Why doesn’t it make sense? Signing Matsui to a 1 day minor league contract & playing him in a spring training game is cool, and the Yankees did it with Jeff Nelson.

    Matsui cannot go back to Japan this season because his wife is pregnant and they live in the US.

  103. Ys Guy January 14th, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    i think those #’s are off a little.

    there’s also $10M in expenses that count against the LT next year.

    if they sign cano to a $25M aav contract they only have about $25M for the rest of the 40 man after arod, jeter, tex, cc, and cano.

    (im just assuming jeter at about $12M)

  104. ac1 January 14th, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    A-Rod still scares me. Why wait so long to operate? Something had to heal? What? What are we looking at? 15-20 homers?
    ___

    Give me 20 homeruns as long as he gets back to hitting .290 and 100 rbis

  105. MTU January 14th, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Wow Tom.

    It would be easy to hate you right about now.

    It’s around 30ish here and I caught Mrs. MTU’s cold.

    I could use some of that 70.

    ;)

  106. Jerkface January 14th, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    (im just assuming jeter at about $12M)

    Why assume him at 12 million? We know his cost. Its 15.5. And if he opts out its 9+whatever you sign him to so probably 9+15 or more

  107. MTU January 14th, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    New one —->

  108. Ys Guy January 14th, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    i think it doesn’t make sense mainly because he was in NY for his retirement presser and you’d think they would have asked him if he was interested before going through that.

    there’s also the LH heaviness of the roster.

    not that it couldnt happen, it just doesnt sound likely.

    somehow i think mlbtr could find someone to translate for them if nobody speaks japanese.

  109. JoeyVegas January 14th, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    At those prices you can only really afford 2 out of those 4 groups you’ve listed at free agency prices.
    ——————

    Maybe. Depends on which guys – Hart, Peralta, Saltalamachia – might fall on the lower end. Either way, it does seem like there are some options and some room in the budget to bring in some quality players. Hopefully not just bring back Youkilis and Kuroda.

  110. randy l. January 14th, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    “Jim Callis ?@jimcallisBA
    That really can’t be possible, can it? @capeleaguecct: It’s 149 days and counting till the Cape Cod Baseball League season opener…

    Planning to attend, Randy?”

    yankee feminista-

    i love going to cape league games but i work 100 hour weeks in summer so i don’t see that many. it’s baseball at it’s best.
    my favorite time was when a smallish lefty came in and hit about 98 on the guns behind home plate.
    it turned out to be billy wagner. the scouts were all looking at each other like what the hell.

  111. Tar January 14th, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    JF

    Great job on the post. It should be required reading for any journalist who is writing on the subject.

    BTW Nice flattering picture of Cashman, Chad. :shock:

  112. blake January 14th, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    JF,

    Your next mission Is to find out definitively if AAV is carried over when a player is traded

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