The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


MLBTR predictions: How big of a splash to the Yankees need this winter?

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Nov 05, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

This time of year, lists like this one will pop up all over the place. They’re an attempt to not only rank the top free agents on the market, but also to guess where those free agents will sign. These lists don’t give us a ton of concrete information, but I think they’re interesting to see how writers, reporters and fans who closely follow the game — but don’t necessarily follow one particular team — expect the Yankees to handle the offseason. At the very least it’s worth some sort of premature discussion. Agree? Disagree? Does it change your own expectations?

Robinson CanoYesterday, the fine folks at MLB Trade Rumors posted their Top 50 Free Agents list. It was the first of these sort of lists that I noticed. Here are the MLBTR predictions for which big names will sign with the Yankees this winter.

Robinson Cano – Ranked No. 1. It seems most people still consider the Yankees to be the front runners for Cano.

Ervin Santana – Ranked No. 5. He’s the top starting pitcher on the list other than Masahiro Tanaka, who MLBTR predicts will sign with the Dodgers.

Hiroki Kuroda – Ranked 8th. The Yankees would seem to be a strong fit, but that’s assuming Kuroda wants to come back to the States.

Carlos Beltran – Ranked 12th. This would give the Yankees four of MLBTR’s top 12 free agents. That’s a pretty significant splash, whether it feels that way or not.

Grant Balfour – Ranked 25th. This would be the sort of experienced, late-inning depth that the Yankees might want to pair with Dave Robertson.

A.J. Pierzynski – Ranked 33rd. An offensive upgrade at catcher, but the Yankees didn’t seem particularly interested in him last winter.

It’s worth noting that, other than Cano and Kuroda, the Yankees free agents who cracked MLBTR’s Top 50 are Curtis Granderson (ranked No. 13; predicted to sign with the Mets) and Phil Hughes (ranked No. 38; predicted to sign with the Padres).

Obviously stuff like this doesn’t mean much. It’s basically a discuss-among-yourselves sort of list. What’s interesting to me is this: Signing six of the top 33 free agents would have to be considered a big splash, right? But would it be enough for the Yankees to significant improve on 2013? Exactly how big of a splash do the Yankees have to make for you to feel truly confident that they could chase a championship next season? Clearly the Yankees could sign significant pieces this winter, but still need significant bounce-back seasons from some of their returning players (Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia in particular).

Based on the MLBTR predictions:

Lineup
Derek Jeter SS
Carlos Beltran RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixiera 1B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
A.J. Pierzynski C
Ichiro Suzuki/Vernon Wells DH
Brett Gardner CF
The natural problem here is the unknown of Rodriguez. Will the Yankees know his fate in time to replace him? Is it worth signing someone like Mark Reynolds just in case? Presumably either Francisco Cervelli or Austin Romine would be the backup catcher, Eduardo Nunez would have some sort of utility role,  and there would still be a spot for another bench bat. This lineup starts pretty strong — and Gardner is a nice bonus in the No. 9 spot — but that third base question is a big one.

Rotation
CC Sabathia
Hiroki Kuroda
Ivan Nova
Ervin Santana
Michael Pineda/David Phelps
Could be a good rotation, and it would have some depth with several young guys — Warren, Nuno, Ramirez, Banuelos — fighting for spot starts and long relief innings. But the strength of the rotation is going to depend on Sabathia and Nova as much as it depends on any free agent signing. Adding Balfour, and presumably another non-Top-50 reliever, would add some late-inning depth and insurance, while also leaving room for some of the Yankees young relievers to earn some innings and prove themselves.

Associated Press photos

 
 

Advertisement

47 Responses to “MLBTR predictions: How big of a splash to the Yankees need this winter?”

  1. wanzies222 November 5th, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    There’s no denying that opportunities were missed; that’s true in every business in the world. However, what the organization does with what it has learned from those missed opportunities is important. That’s why I believe that Hal, the bean-counter, will see that big-picture, there needs to be some pinstripers hoisting trophies come October.

    It won’t be easy, but there are enough players in the marketplace to assemble a team of mercenaries to get them there til the farm gets rebuilt. Thing is, it’s going to take a lot of them. Not impossible, but, as most have said, it can’t be a half-hearted effort.

    Hopefully, Hal gets it and empowers the baseball people to fulfill it. Likely? Who knows.

  2. Jetrer November 5th, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    I don’t think that team fits under $189M, at least not with ARod.
    With ARod out for the entire season, I think it might fit but there would be little left over (maybe a couple of million or so, if that) for bench, that extra reliever, or a 3B replacement.

  3. Pat M. November 5th, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    wanzies222. Your take on this reminds me of an old pal who once patrolled these LoHud waters and shared his insights which for the most part were real solid. His name SJ44

  4. wanzies222 November 5th, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Pat M. – I don’t know Joe personally, but what I do know of him causes me to interpret your comments as a compliment.

  5. GregD November 5th, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Can we rebuild the farm and sign a bunch of free agents????

  6. wanzies222 November 5th, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    GregD – Ask Hal, he’s in charge of the checkbook. If he wants to build his company’s bottom line, he’ll utilize its resources. They are not currently doing so, IMO.

  7. GregD November 5th, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    wanzies222 November 5th, 2013 at 2:32 pm
    GregD – Ask Hal, he’s in charge of the checkbook. If he wants to build his company’s bottom line, he’ll utilize its resources. They are not currently doing so, IMO.

    ———————————————–

    The one area where they have fallen short where there checkbook would have helped is with IFAs. They have consistently given up their top draft picks while other organizations are collecting them……….

  8. Pat M. November 5th, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    wanzies222. Once again your perspective is acutely accurate. His departure from here was a huge blow in my mind. Great guy who knows the game on so many levels. Hope you continue to stay around and share your thoughts and opinions

  9. wanzies222 November 5th, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    GregD – Valid point. I have always felt that the IFA area was the easiest venue for the Yankees to utilize their muscle, if you will. They did not adjust their strategy to fill in the organizational holes with IFA.

    Unfortunately, they clearly miscalculated regarding the timing of the arrival of their top farmhands; what was supposed to be a transition in 2014 to the youngsters, should, IMO, be put off until the last round of shotty contracts expires in 2017 (A-rod, CC, Teix).

  10. wanzies222 November 5th, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Pat M. – Thank you. Fortunately, that old saying is true about opinions….

  11. blake November 5th, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    It would be just like the Yankees to lose the draft pick to sign 37 year old Beltran and then do nothing else and claim they think it’s a title contending club.

    I think there is a combination of players out there that can make them competitive again and keep that draft pick……with the be able to get them all and make it work…..no clue but this club could compete I think.

    Gardner CF
    Jeter 3B/SS
    Cano 2B
    Soriano LF
    Tex 1B
    Granderson RF
    Peralta SS/3B
    Kubel DH? Or somebody
    Salty C

    CC, Kuroda, nova, Tanaka, Pineda

    Could that team fit under the cap? Maybe if Arod is suspended all year…..it’d be close but it would save the draft pick and make them competitve again maintain financial flexibility

  12. blake November 5th, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    wanzies222 says:
    November 5, 2013 at 2:32 pm
    GregD – Ask Hal, he’s in charge of the checkbook. If he wants to build his company’s bottom line, he’ll utilize its resources. They are not currently doing so, IMO.

    They Yanks lose more money by missing the playoffs than they save by getting under the tax…..now I’m sure Hals goal is to make the playoffs AND play under the luxury tax and that’s fine but the team isn’t ready to do that without a lot of luck and some very shrewd moves this winter.

  13. Pat M. November 5th, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    I’ll tell you what wanzies222, some of the opinions shared around here over the past year or two seem to have more merit than those that have been tossed around in the upstair offices at 161st and River Ave as of late…..

  14. blake November 5th, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    If Alex gets suspended all year then that’s about 33 million extra bucks to play with when you combine his AAV with the 6 million dollar homer bonus.

    That would give them somewhere around 80 million to spend…..

    Cano: 25
    Kuroda: 15
    Granderson: 15 (give him a 3/45 deal)
    Tanaka: 12ish
    Salty: 12ish
    Peralta 10ish

    That’s 89 million so it’d be close….probably couldn’t fit all that under but they could get creative and do something like that and stay under and save the pick

  15. Pat M. November 5th, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    blake…..I think the one outside of the organization that they have to make is Ervin Santana. He’s your 2 and he’s better than Nova. Pineda coming back and sliding into the 5th slot is a key. I think the bidding for Tanaka is going to be far too rich for Hal and his commitee

  16. randy l. November 5th, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    it is very important to keep all ownership and upper management exactly the same for as long as possible.

    everyone knows that bringing in new people with fresh ideas only causes dissension and confusion with everyone on different pages.

    you can’t run an organization like the yankees with bright new young people who actually think for themselves.

    i mean, one of them might even say ” brian, i disagree”, or another, “mr. steinbrenner, that actually makes no sense”,,” or mr levine, no, i won’t do that. it’s unethical”.

  17. Pat M. November 5th, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Tin Cup…..It’s like when a studio hires a director who has final editing and cut control of his film. Hal would need to give that control and power to his next GM and his staff. For all of George’s interrferenc the bottom line was that Mr. Gabe Paul had final cut control and it wasn’t until The Bronx Zoo became front page news that George became the egomaniac that took the club off course in the 80′s

  18. jpb173 November 5th, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    The Yankees need to make a bold and decisive statement ion the first few days of free agency. They need to sign Jhonny Peralta to play 3B and Omar Infante to play 2B, then declare they will not pursue Robinson Cano.

    This will send a signal to the greedy agents and other cheap owners that the New York Yankees are not going to be footing the bill for MLB anymore. The Yankees have built dynasties from the minor leagues before and need to do that again. It may take time but I can’t wait to see the look in the face of the other owners when their stadiums are empty as the Yanks come to town. Also, it will be great to see the panic in the eyes of the players union and agents as they have to try to get their share of the $$$ from some of the other cheap owners.

    Those steps will send a message to the commissioner of baseball that if he wants lower revenues he can continue to enact more luxury tax rules.

  19. wanzies222 November 5th, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Pat M. – I’ve been a lurker, so I can certainly appreciate that sentiment. Not inaccurate, by any means.

    blake – I think, and this is strictly my opinion, that from a business model perspective, the Yankees are at a point where they are going to have to retool and rethink their timeline. They just don’t have the players at the right levels to limp along with the holes that exist.

    That’s why I think, were it me, I would defer (not ignore, defer) the goal of getting under the tax threshold. The “reset button” will always be there, assuming the CBO stays relatively in place going forward. As you suggest, the execs have learned (well, they’ve seen it, so I hope they’ve learned it) that NOT making the playoffs has a dramatic effect on the brand and the bottom line. In their world, that is unacceptable. W-L be damned, it’s about the bottom line for the suits. Which is fine, as you so aptly stated, it’s costly to lose.

    That said, I’ll give you a roster that will, with the additional bennies and 15 home-grown roster spots, may achieve the long term goal (at least it will foster some debate, I imagine…lol):

    C – Navarro, Bell – 4M
    IF – Teixeira, Cano, Jeter, Peralta, Infante, Mustelier – 56M
    OF – Soriano, Chris Young, Hart, Ichiro, Almonte – 32M
    SP – CC, Tanaka, Kuroda, Nolasco, Garza, Johnson – 93M
    RP/SP – Oh Seung-Hwan, Yoon Suk-Min, Hughes (yes, for QO in 2014) – 15M
    BP – 3-4 homegrowns + Robertson, Mujica, Balfour – 20M
    A-Rod – pick a number… best guess – 100 game suspension + 6M bonus – 15M

    That totals 210M, plus bennies and additional roster spots and you’re at about 260M, which, with tax, is about 290M.

    Should be competitive, and retains the draft picks. Also includes a few chips for QO for 2014 (Johnson, Hughes and Hart). The various pieces you don’t see (Warren, Phelps, etc.) are assumed to have been shopped for prospects. Again, the assumption is that one of the few avenues the team has to acquire youth is via it’s pocketbook, which in this case is a two-step process….sell the current assets and buy replacements in FA (but with contracts that don’t go beyond 2017).

    Might work, might not, but I think it gives the organization a chance to retool.

  20. blake November 5th, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I imagine heaven smelling like the baked beans

  21. blake November 5th, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    blake – I think, and this is strictly my opinion, that from a business model perspective, the Yankees are at a point where they are going to have to retool and rethink their timeline. They just don’t have the players at the right levels to limp along with the holes that exist.”

    Yea I agree that this should have been a longer term plan.

    When the new CBA was agreed on the Yankees should have got together and formed a plan to make it happen over a course of several years……there was just no way it could be done in a year or two. The team is too old and their farm system isn’t ready

  22. blake November 5th, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    “blake…..I think the one outside of the organization that they have to make is Ervin Santana. He’s your 2 and he’s better than Nova. Pineda coming back and sliding into the 5th slot is a key. I think the bidding for Tanaka is going to be far too rich for Hal and his commitee”

    I didn’t see him a ton this year but his track record scares me a bit

  23. wanzies222 November 5th, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    jpb – I get where you’re coming from, but, unfortunately, these are generally non-emotional decisions that are being made. Bottom line is all that matters to the decision makers. Several things have effect on the bottom line and in the case of the Yankees, winning, tradition and brand mean more than net profit. Net profit is what has kept the “small market” (read: cheap) owners from spending their own money. As you stated, the Yankees have been feeding those owners for years.

    With that in mind, the Yankees developed a plan to try to “reset” the tax percentage to 17.5%, from 50%, in 2014, while still building the brand and winning championships. Oops. It didn’t work, because when the rash of injuries hit in 2013, they had no top-level farmhands to slide in to the roster. Not only are the AAA guys not there, but the AA guys all had lousy years.

    So, back to the drawing board. The plan was valid, just didn’t work. What the suits DID find out, though, is that the value of the franchise is negatively impacted by the W-L record, because it keeps fans away. Not acceptable.

    That’s why I believe that Hal’s Plan 189 is off the table for 2014. Keeping the draft picks should be part of the long-range plan, to be sure, but they still need players on the MLB roster. And because of that branding, tradition and bottom line orientation, you’ll see the Yankees increase spending dramatically for the next few years.

    Just my opinion.

  24. GregD November 5th, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    blake November 5th, 2013 at 3:01 pm
    It would be just like the Yankees to lose the draft pick to sign 37 year old Beltran and then do nothing else and claim they think it’s a title contending club.

    I think there is a combination of players out there that can make them competitive again and keep that draft pick……with the be able to get them all and make it work…..no clue but this club could compete I think.

    Gardner CF
    Jeter 3B/SS
    Cano 2B
    Soriano LF
    Tex 1B
    Granderson RF
    Peralta SS/3B
    Kubel DH? Or somebody
    Salty C

    CC, Kuroda, nova, Tanaka, Pineda

    Could that team fit under the cap? Maybe if Arod is suspended all year…..it’d be close but it would save the draft pick and make them competitve again maintain financial flexibility

    ______
    Blake, I think that plan has a good chance to get us to the playoffs with a chance to get to the WS

  25. Hankflorida November 5th, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    My lineup would have Choo and Granderson in the outfield with Soriano at DH. I would chalk up this year’s injury to Granderson as a fluke and would prefer to have him as a younger player in a the lineup for 3 years then have Beltran who may be more prone to injuries.
    The question is can Hal stay under the cap and still compete for postseason play, or based on his competition, does he have to spend more to even sniff the Wildcard? My feeling is that he has to open his purse strings because there will be other teams that failed to reach the three playoff spots for this year and will chomping at the bit for next years run.

  26. blake November 5th, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    “With that in mind, the Yankees developed a plan to try to “reset” the tax percentage to 17.5%, from 50%, in 2014, while still building the brand and winning championships. Oops. It didn’t work, because when the rash of injuries hit in 2013, they had no top-level farmhands to slide in to the roster. Not only are the AAA guys not there, but the AA guys all had lousy years.”

    And because they have neglected the aging offense for like 4 years now

  27. MTU November 5th, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Wanzies-

    Which Steve are you ?

    The one with the Blog, or the “other Steve”.

  28. wanzies222 November 5th, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Hankflorida – I think you’re on the right track with opening Hal’s pocketbook, but I also think the future is dependent on having good, quality draft picks. Historically, the top 10 picks in the first round have about a 35-40% success rate (defined as a productive MLB player), the middle picks in the first round, about 20% and the bottom 10 (where the Yankees have been picking), about 15%. Because this draft is so strong, those middle picks (including #18) will equate to a top-10 pick from prior years. So, the chances that that player could actually turn out to be a good player is pretty high.

    Additionally, I believe having players like Choo and Granderson on a MLB roster is a recipe for disaster. Neither one can hit lefties. At all.

    Just my opinion (well, actually, the lefty part is fact….lol).

  29. bigdan22 November 5th, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Imagine a 10 year old tasting ice cream for the first time. That’s what’s its like when you first taste those baked beans.

  30. MTU November 5th, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Tanaka may arrive at our doorstep via a change to the Japanese posting system.

    ;)

  31. wanzies222 November 5th, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    MTU – not sure what you’re referring to… I don’t have a blog. Does that make me “an other Steve”?

  32. bigdan22 November 5th, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    jpb173 November 5th, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    “The Yankees need to make a bold and decisive statement ion the first few days of free agency. They need to sign Jhonny Peralta to play 3B and Omar Infante to play 2B, then declare they will not pursue Robinson Cano.

    This will send a signal to the greedy agents and other cheap owners that the New York Yankees are not going to be footing the bill for MLB anymore. The Yankees have built dynasties from the minor leagues before and need to do that again. It may take time but I can’t wait to see the look in the face of the other owners when their stadiums are empty as the Yanks come to town. Also, it will be great to see the panic in the eyes of the players union and agents as they have to try to get their share of the $$$ from some of the other cheap owners.”

    I think if Vince Lombardi were GM that’s what he would do. Remember that story about when the player came into his office for the first time with an agent (was it Jim Ringo?)? Lombardi said excuse me, left the room for a few minutes, then came back and told the player he was traded.

  33. MTU November 5th, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    AJ P and Jhonny P are good gets.

    And both serve as legitimate upgrades to areas of weakness.

    I’d keep Granderson on the 1 yr deal over getting Beltran.

    No draft picks lost.

    If Cano goes I get either Phillips or Infante.

    And if I really want to shoot for Moon I make a play for Castro over Peralta.

    I’d platoon Almonte and Soriano as our DH.

  34. MTU November 5th, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Yes. Then you are “the other Steve”. As you needed to distinguish yourself from the one w the Blog.

    The one who I remember as being well connected to the Yankees and having excellent knowledge of our MiLB’s.

    If that is you welcome back.

    :)

  35. wanzies222 November 5th, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    MTU – I’m not sure I’d describe it as “connected”… concerned, to be sure. And maybe with an idea as to how it works….lol.

  36. MTU November 5th, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    222-

    If you are who I think you are we used to spend quite a bit of time discussing the MiLB’s together.

    And I always valued your opinion as you seemed to be very much in the know on how the Yankees viewed some of the MiLB kids.

    You can always pretend to be that person if you like.

    :)

  37. scuzzles November 5th, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    I dont want to see the STRIKEOUT machine Granderson anymore. He is ridiculous to watch strinkout 2-3 times a game. We need to turn some of this team over and bring in some new blood. Elsbury would be nice.

  38. wanzies222 November 5th, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Fair enough.

  39. MTU November 5th, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Granderson would provide much needed power and decent D.

    If the choice for 1 yr. is him or Beltran I’ll take Grandy.

    He does not cost us an important draft pick.

    And if he is healthy he will super motivated to try and re-establish his value for a longer term contract.

  40. wanzies222 November 5th, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    MTU – Valid points, but my guess is he finds a 3 year deal worth 45M. No reason to think he’ll break two bones again.

  41. blake November 5th, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    bigdan22 says:
    November 5, 2013 at 3:52 pm
    Imagine a 10 year old tasting ice cream for the first time. That’s what’s its like when you first taste those baked beans.

    They been in the over about an hour and hf and smell so good…..I’m gonna wait the 2 hours then pig out !

  42. Tackelberry November 5th, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    McAnn’s price could soar to 120 mill over 6 years. Thats too much.

  43. MTU November 5th, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    222-

    He may very well.

    In that case we get an extra draft pick in what is expected to be an above avg. draft.

  44. blake November 5th, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Davidoff predicted 3/27 for Salty and 5/85 for McCann.

    McCann is better…..but I’m not sure I wouldn’t rather have Salty at those prices……he’s younger and that’s a big difference in pay

  45. wanzies222 November 5th, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    MTU – Agreed. I would hope that the braintrust is hoping he declines as well.

    blake – For me, I’d be more interested in guys like Navarro and Bello at C. Cervelli and Romaine have some trade value and Navarro and Bello only cost $$… Hal’s $$. Plus, McCann and Salty scare me defensively, so I can imagine how Girardi would feel about them.

  46. Hankflorida November 5th, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Wanzies, we agree that the cap should not be etched in stone, but having Choo and Granderson who can take advantage of the rightnfield porch at the Stadium is a luxury; since I go back to the stone age of baseball in 1941, I can tell you that the two left handed outfielders, Keller and Henrich, who played with DiMaggio were not known to take advantage of left handed pitching but still managed to match Joltin Joe with thirty homers. Many right handed players bat lefty in order to take advantage of playing mostly against right handed pitchers, and the architects who designed Yankee Stadium were aware of the fact that good left handed pitchers were few and far between.

  47. MTU November 5th, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    New one ——->


Sponsored by:
 

Search

    Advertisement

    Follow

    Mobile

    Read The LoHud Yankees Blog on the go by navigating to the blog on your smartphone or mobile device's browser. No apps or downloads are required.

Advertisement

Place an ad

Call (914) 694-3581