The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Considering what comes next

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 06, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte

While we’re all waiting for an Alex Rodriguez decision to be announced, I can’t help wondering what might happen after the decision is announced. If Fredric Horowitz settles into one of these categories, how might the Yankees respond to their sudden clarity?

No suspension
Seems incredibly unlikely, but if the arbitrator decides that Rodriguez can’t be suspended without a positive test — and doesn’t buy into the obstruction stuff — then Rodriguez could be a fully available player on Opening Day. That leaves Rodriguez as the regular third baseman (might need regular days off, but he’s not going to be a platoon player), which leaves Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts to essentially split time at second. The Yankees infield would be, essentially, complete. In fact, they would likely be finished adding significant position players unless they trade away either Brett Gardner or Ichiro Suzuki. Also, it would be nearly impossible to imagine keeping the payroll beneath $189 million, in which case, they might as well blow the luxury tax threshold out of the water in bids for Masahiro Tanaka and bullpen pieces.

50 games
Given that everyone else involved with Biogenesis accepted at least 50 games, this might be the lowest reasonable expectation for a Rodriguez suspension. Biogenesis is treated as his first offense, the CBA stuff is thrown out, and Rodriguez misses roughly two months. That’s not enough to save significant money toward the luxury tax threshold, and it might not be enough for the Yankees to make a significant move toward filling the hole at third base. A right-handed guy like Mark Reynolds or Jeff Baker or Placido Polanco might still fit as a platoon player for a while, leaving the Yankees to choose between cutting Johnson, Roberts or that right-handed hitter after Rodriguez returns. It’s not an ideal suspension for the Yankees because it doesn’t do enough one way or the other.

100 games
We’ve twice seen Manny Ramirez play in minor league games while serving a suspension, so I have to assume Rodriguez would be allowed to do the same, meaning he would be eligible to return after exactly 100 games (having, in theory, already gotten himself into game shape). That would likely put him in the Major League lineup in late July, right before the trade deadline. That means four months without him, which would basically force the Yankees to construct their team as if he weren’t coming back at all. Hard to game plan for something that’s probably going to happen in late July. That might mean a guy like Reynolds would get a longer look, or it might — with the money saved from the A-Rod contract — prompt the Yankees to be more aggressive in trying to convince Stephen Drew to play various position for a year. Even a 100-game suspension might not be enough to get beneath $189 million.

162 games (or more)
For the sake of this exercise, there’s not a huge difference between 162 games and 211 games. Either way, you have to wonder whether Rodriguez would ever play again after missing a full season and trying to come back when he’s approaching his 40th birthday. One year or more would seem to put Rodriguez’s future in real jeopardy (as if it’s not there already). For the Yankees, it just might spur them to legitimately try to stay beneath $189 million. Still seems incredibly unlikely, but the conversation is far more viable if Rodriguez is completely off the books for a year. Here’s one other thought: It’s hard for the Yankees to suggest Derek Jeter move to third base while they’re uncertain whether they’ll have Rodriguez (what if he actually agreed, and suddenly that position were occupied). If Rodriguez is definitely finished for the year, though, I wonder if the Yankees might try to convince Jeter to move while offering the shortstop job to Drew. No reason to think that’s going to happen — the Yankees have adamantly said Jeter is their shortstop — but moving Jeter to a new spot would be a lot easier if the Yankees knew for certain that third base were going to be available. The free agent market doesn’t offer a good third base solution, but it does have a good shortstop.

Associated Press photo

 
 

Advertisement

62 Responses to “Considering what comes next”

  1. mick January 6th, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Why not what Braun got?

  2. Yankee Trader January 6th, 2014 at 9:13 am

    I was at this game. Mantle was recovering from an injury, the Yankees are behind in the 8th inning. He comes in as a pinch hitter, and gets a hearty reception in Baltimore. Boom he hits the game winning homer and gets a standing ovation from the entire crowd. He later claimed in his book that he had tears in his eyes as he rounded the bases. I certainly did!

    http://www.baseball-almanac.co.....6309010BAL

  3. Mike Ri January 6th, 2014 at 9:22 am

    see you in 50 games Arod

  4. 4TrainNorth January 6th, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Does anyone else have a crazy feeling it’s going to be zero games?

  5. Cashmoney January 6th, 2014 at 9:28 am

    you have to wonder whether Rodriguez would ever play again after missing a full season and trying to come back when he’s approaching his 40th birthday.
    ——
    Well, that’s precisely what Jeter is plan to do. Alex has probably 70 mil reasons to play even if he is suspended for 211 games. It’s extremely unlikely that he won’t try to play.

  6. Giuseppe Franco January 6th, 2014 at 9:30 am

    It is now -17 degrees in the Chicagoland area with a windchill of -40 to -50.

    The government has restricted the roads to emergency vehicles only or you will be ticketed.

    Not sure I’ve ever seen that in my lifetime.

  7. Madrugador January 6th, 2014 at 9:32 am

    For the record, I am going with the 100 game suspension for Arod.

  8. Cashmoney January 6th, 2014 at 9:33 am

    GF, stay warm and inside.

  9. raymagnetic January 6th, 2014 at 9:33 am

    When did Jeter miss an entire year :???:

  10. Yankee Trader January 6th, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Chad

    I know Brian Roberts is officially a Yankee. Is the contract for Matt Thornton official yet? If it is, the Yankees might either be within a million under or over the 189M threshold.

    The Yankees still have holes to fill, especially with their pitching. J-face has researched the new CBA and the revenue disqualification proceeds would nowhere be near the earlier figures stated by Joel Sherman- maybe more like 35M for all three years, and that even might be a stretch.

    If the Yankees want to improve attendance and concession revenues they need to field a competitive team. As of now, their pitching from A to Z or from Sabathia to Robertson, have some large ? Marks.

  11. Cashmoney January 6th, 2014 at 9:35 am

    LY Ray, Jeter had 73 AB, played about 17 games.

  12. raymagnetic January 6th, 2014 at 9:38 am

    He still played though. He also played in the minors.

    If AROD misses a year without playing competitively he’s through.

    I don’t know and don’t care what his suspension will or won’t be however.

  13. Ys Guy January 6th, 2014 at 9:40 am

    ” Mike Ri January 6th, 2014 at 9:22 am

    see you in 50 games Arod”
    —————————————-
    i got you down for 100 in the pool, did i get that wrong?

  14. Mike Ri January 6th, 2014 at 9:43 am

    YS Guy _–

    lol lol … (although my gut now says 50 ),,,, its too late to change now . .i’ll stick with the 100 games

  15. Ys Guy January 6th, 2014 at 9:44 am

    the collective wisdom of the board says arods suspension will be 105.43 games (he comes back in the 5th inning of the 106th game i guess)

    (if i count cashmoney it’s 79,050 games)

  16. Cashmoney January 6th, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Ys, Arod definitely won’t be playing if he is suspended for 79000 games. I will kick in that 50 later in case he is trying to come back as a 70 year old.

  17. yankee21 January 6th, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Please put me down for a-rod getting 65 games.

  18. Mottsx January 6th, 2014 at 9:49 am

    If A Rod is suspended 50 or 100 games he can technically start the season in AAA correct?

  19. Cashmoney January 6th, 2014 at 9:49 am

    pardon me, the math is slightly off, It should be Arod attempt to come back as 527 year old. He maybe done by then.

  20. Ys Guy January 6th, 2014 at 9:51 am

    cashmoney, you never know, i think he’s way out in front of the hgh therapy fad….

  21. Cashmoney January 6th, 2014 at 9:52 am

    I think so Mottsx.

  22. blake January 6th, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Chip says:
    January 5, 2014 at 10:10 pm
    Blake -
    what did you think about the notion of dealing Soriano (who doesn’t want to DH) and signing Morales?

    Chip,

    Sorry I fell asleep….yes I know it was like 10:00 ;) . Id rather have Soriano be honest

  23. Ys Guy January 6th, 2014 at 9:54 am

    i believe arod can play in the minors but he wont be getting paid for it. so he’ll likely just do a rehab assignment IF the yankees let him.

    if he gets 162 he will be eligible for the PS, so i expect the yankees to immediately announce after a 162 game suspension that they will not add him to the PS roster. (like the giants did with melky)

  24. blake January 6th, 2014 at 9:54 am

    So gotta figure that if they are gonna release the Arof result they’ll do it today or wait until Friday or later…..with the HOF announcements set for Wednesday I doubt they want to cloud that with PED crap…..of course this is MLB and PEDs always take priority

  25. Ys Guy January 6th, 2014 at 9:56 am

    i assume horowitz will give mlb and arod’s people a head’s up at least a day before the announcement. And i also expect that that news will leak immediately. So I think we’ll know the announcement is coming a day before it does.

  26. Ys Guy January 6th, 2014 at 9:58 am

    i know mlb would like for this not to coincide with the HOF announcement, but realistically this is time-critical information for the yankees and arod, so he should not be waiting to announce it on PR reasons.

  27. DONNYBROOK January 6th, 2014 at 10:05 am

    MLB is ALL about PR. Get real. The fallout from whatever the suspension turns out to be, will be a Minimum of 48hrs. That means at the Earliest, the end of this week.

  28. mick January 6th, 2014 at 10:32 am

    It is now -17 degrees in the Chicagoland area with a windchill of -40 to -50.
    ====================
    Is this a one day affair or will it warm up tomorrow?

  29. yanks61 January 6th, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Yankee Trader January 6th, 2014 at 8:05 am
    Here’s another interesting article I found this morning Yanks61:

    “In 1947, there was a verbal agreement for The Yankee Clipper and The Kid to swap teams. What would have been the consequences of this historic trade?”

    ——————————————————————————————

    YT, yes, I knew about that. I didn’t read your attachment, but from what I remember both Yawkey and Topping had been drinking hard at the WS when they concluded the handshake trade that they both reneged on when they had sobered up the following day.

    There’s no question that Mantle’s career would have been different and the Yanks would have definitely won that trade.

    Funny, but in spite of having gone to close to a hundred games during Mick’s career, I only once saw him hit a HR – and that was the massive shot he hit into Death Valley in the WS against Pitt (game 3 in which Richardson it a GS and had 6 RBI’s and Ford pitched a 12-0 shutout.)

    Have a great day everyone.

  30. Ted Nelson January 6th, 2014 at 10:51 am

    “Well, that’s precisely what Jeter is plan to do. Alex has probably 70 mil reasons to play even if he is suspended for 211 games. It’s extremely unlikely that he won’t try to play.”

    ——————————————————————

    Agreed. Unless the Yankees cut him and no other team signs him (and I don’t think that either would happen), I don’t think A-Rod is going anywhere. Regardless of what else people may think of him, the guy is one of the hardest working and most determined players in the history of baseball. I would imagine that missing a year would make him more hungry to play, not less.

  31. Ys Guy January 6th, 2014 at 10:52 am

    my point was that horowitz (who does not work for mlb) should not wait and that it should not be up to mlb.

  32. Ys Guy January 6th, 2014 at 10:53 am

    i dont assume that derek jeter has decided this will be his last season.

    for that reason i dont expect him to accept being moved to 3B unless Arod is released or settles his contract.

  33. Ted Nelson January 6th, 2014 at 10:55 am

    “i know mlb would like for this not to coincide with the HOF announcement, but realistically this is time-critical information for the yankees and arod, so he should not be waiting to announce it on PR reasons.”

    ————————————————————————

    I have no experience with the arbitration process, but I don’t think that an impartial arbiter could be concerned with MLB’s PR even if he wanted to be.

  34. Ys Guy January 6th, 2014 at 10:55 am

    i saw mantle hit two homers vs. the senators, i believe it was that memorial day game 86 said he was at.

  35. Chad Jennings January 6th, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Yankee Trader January 6th, 2014 at 9:34 am e

    Chad

    I know Brian Roberts is officially a Yankee. Is the contract for Matt Thornton official yet? If it is, the Yankees might either be within a million under or over the 189M threshold.

    The Yankees still have holes to fill, especially with their pitching. J-face has researched the new CBA and the revenue disqualification proceeds would nowhere be near the earlier figures stated by Joel Sherman- maybe more like 35M for all three years, and that even might be a stretch.

    If the Yankees want to improve attendance and concession revenues they need to field a competitive team. As of now, their pitching from A to Z or from Sabathia to Robertson, have some large ? Marks.

    I actually didn’t think the Roberts signing had been officially announced. Maybe I just forgot all about that one. As for spending, I think the team is already better than last season, but what happens with Tanaka is going to make a big difference in defining this offseason.

  36. blake January 6th, 2014 at 10:57 am

    I actually didn’t think the Roberts signing had been officially announced. Maybe I just forgot all about that one. As for spending, I think the team is already better than last season, but what happens with Tanaka is going to make a big difference in defining this offseason.”

    I think the offense is…..the pitching is worse though and at the moment I wouldn’t call it a net improvement…..that could change still though

  37. Your Worst Nightmare January 6th, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Ys Guy ………….. Arod, 162 games please

    Forever would be better but 162 for the sake of the pool

    TIA

  38. Ted Nelson January 6th, 2014 at 11:17 am

    “I think the offense is…..the pitching is worse though and at the moment I wouldn’t call it a net improvement…..that could change still though”

    ————————————————-

    Based on what would you not call it a net improvement?

    The Yankees managed 10.4 fWAR from position players last season. Next season’s regular line-up is projected for roughly 18 by ZIPs without A-Rod (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs.....k-yankees/). They have various bench options who are also projected to be above replacement level.

    Their P staff managed 18.5 fWAR last season and is projected for roughly 13 in 2014 by ZIPs.

    So that’s a 7.5+ fWAR improvement among position players and a 5.5 fWAR fall for the P staff.

  39. Ys Guy January 6th, 2014 at 11:18 am

    i dont think the pitching is down that much. phelps can replace hughes (slight upgrade) and then pineda/nuno/manban can replace phelps, so it’s just a matter of replacing pettitte in the rotation. Tanaka should be an upgrade, santana too. ubaldo?

    the lineup is better already. the #3 is down but there are upgrades all over the rest of the lineup. and switch hitters. the bench is better but will likely change alot before camp opens.

    in the bullpen, drob was better than mariano last year, and girardi has been the master at building the bridge to the closer, so i see very little decline there. a solid set up man (who may already be here) is all they need.

    the infield defense could be shaky but if joe uses ryan in late game situations it improves greatly.

    get a starter, an eig, another lefty for the BP and let’s go!

  40. Your Worst Nightmare January 6th, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Whoever mentioned Arod being able to play minor league games thanks for that. I didn’t really think of that angle.

    Yeah he goes to play at one of the lower levels getting in game shape, then injures himself down there and goes straight to the DL when his suspension is over.

    Game … Set … Match !

  41. blake January 6th, 2014 at 11:22 am

    “Based on what would you not call it a net improvement?”

    Based on losing Pettite, losing Mo , and Kuroda being a year older. If they replace those guys then we can talk but right now I don’t think they are much better than 2013 overall because the rotation is such an unknown and the bullpen is very thin…..the offense is better….the pitching is worse.

  42. blake January 6th, 2014 at 11:25 am

    So based on your fWAR they are like 2 wins better than 2013 on paper…:.they should have won about 79 games instead of 85 last year so they are still in the same range as a year ago…..about an 85 win team IMO.

    Fix the pitching and I’ll like the club…..if they add Tanaka and Balfour I’ll comfortably say they have improved at least on paper…..right now they get an incomplete

  43. Ys Guy January 6th, 2014 at 11:27 am

    according to mlbtraderumors ken rosenthal says jack z does not yet have approval from ownership to spend more money.

    it could come, but it is possible that the mariners will not go as big on tanaka as many have been speculating.

  44. blake January 6th, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I still think they should sign drew

  45. Ted Nelson January 6th, 2014 at 11:31 am

    “Based on losing Pettite, losing Mo , and Kuroda being a year older.”

    That’s only P, though. “Net improvement” involves weighing the P against the position players. In doing so in an objective manner (ZIPs isn’t perfect but it is objective), they do seem to have improved. And that’s ignoring their bench and with two of their SPs only projected to last half a season.

    (I put zero stock into Kuroda being a year older, by the way. Every player in all of MLB is a year older. The marginal risk for an older P may be more than other players, but probably not much more than other Ps. A lot of Ps who irreparably damage their shoulders are actually in their late 20s. P in general are risky, but I don’t think Kuroda is such a concern that it’s even worth mentioning.)

  46. Ys Guy January 6th, 2014 at 11:34 am

    i dont buy ‘on paper’ any more than i buy war, fwar or any of that crap.

    one thing this team has going for it the strength of starters 5-8 (assuming they get one SP) i think pineda/nuno/manban can not only cover whatever holes appear in the rotation but one of them might even step up and replace one of the current starters as the season goes on.

  47. Can of Corn January 6th, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Ys Guy January 6th, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Interesting, exactly why Seattle are losers and will continue to be.

    Threw money out the window by over paying Cano and wasting money on Hart and Morrison who are always injured. Jack Z will be fired after another mediocre year in Seattle

    Can’t wait to see Cano get pitched around ……… constantly

  48. blake January 6th, 2014 at 11:39 am

    That’s only P, though. “Net improvement” involves weighing the P against the position players. In doing so in an objective manner (ZIPs isn’t perfect but it is objective), they do seem to have improved. And that’s ignoring their bench and with two of their SPs only projected to last half a season.”

    I know ….that’s what I was doing. Again I think the offense is better but both parts of the pitching are worse currently.

    Even the calculations you made only has them 2 wins better…….probbaly within a margin of error.

    If they are better it’s marginally so overall at the moment IMO…..and considering they overachieved to win 85 games last year I wouldn’t call them a playoff team rigt now unless a ton of things went right.

    The good news is they can still fix it….they add a good starter and some bullpen help and I think they are ready to contend again good health permitting.

    A thin pitching staff can cause a lot of damage and it can snowball on you over the course of a long season…..gotta fix that

  49. Ted Nelson January 6th, 2014 at 11:39 am

    “So based on your fWAR they are like 2 wins better than 2013 on paper”

    Add in the bench and assume that Phelps and Pineda P more than half a season and it could quickly become 5 or 6 wins better.

    “they should have won about 79 games instead of 85 last year”

    fWAR doesn’t have a direct relationship with team wins. You’re comparing apples and oranges here. fWAR gives your the talent level on a team and has a rough relationship with wins.

  50. pkyankfan69 January 6th, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Sign Tanaka
    Sign Balfour
    Sign Baker
    Trade Ichiro for Putz (Still don’t believe ARI would do it but for s*its and giggles)
    Dump Vern

    Play Ball!

    CF – Ellsbury
    SS – Jeter
    RF – Beltran
    C – McCann
    DH – Soriano
    1B – Tex
    3B – Johnson (Sub in Arod after 50 – 100 games or so)
    2B – Roberts
    LF – Gardner

    Cervelli – Ryan – Baker – Almonte

    CC – Kuroda – Tanaka – Nova – Pineda/Phelps (Maybe ManBam or JRam later in the season)

    Drob – Balfour – Putz – Kelley – Thornton – Betances – Phelps/Warren

  51. blake January 6th, 2014 at 11:42 am

    “one thing this team has going for it the strength of starters 5-8 (assuming they get one SP) i think pineda/nuno/manban can not only cover whatever holes appear in the rotation but one of them might even step up and replace one of the current starters as the season goes on.”

    The problem is they don’t have a single known in their rotation right now…..Kuroda is the closest thing but he’s 39 and really hit a wall at the end of last season.

    If things broke right and Kuroda and CC bounce back, Nova repeats his 2013 , and Pineda or phelps step up then sure it could be fine as is…..but the opposite side of that dream is a nightmare where the rotation is really really bad

  52. AAA January 6th, 2014 at 11:43 am

    according to mlbtraderumors ken rosenthal says jack z does not yet have approval from ownership to spend more money.

    =======================================

    What team does?

  53. blake January 6th, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Add in the bench and assume that Phelps and Pineda P more than half a season and it could quickly become 5 or 6 wins better.”

    They should have won 79 games last year and Pineda? Come on…..

  54. pkyankfan69 January 6th, 2014 at 11:48 am

    It would be pretty scary going into the season with the last 2 rotation spots filled by Pineda/Phelps/Warren/Nuno with Banuelos and Ramirez possibly there to contribute also… Doubt the Yanks would do that.

  55. Ys Guy January 6th, 2014 at 11:49 am

    i disagree. of course in any group there are age and inconsistency issues and injuries decide alot of issues.

    cc wasnt very good last year. if he comes back the same or goes on the dl, his 14-13, 4.78 from last year could likely be improved upon by one of the backup starters.

    i expect kuroda to be fine out of camp, they will likely need to rest him some more, but again, you have able replacements for short stints in the rotation.

    i agree they should sign one starter, but if they don’t i still think they can match last year’s #’s. Nova is the key, imo.

  56. blake January 6th, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Ys,
    I agree that the rotation “could” be ok if a lot of things break right…..there are just too many ifs for my taste though right now.

  57. Ys Guy January 6th, 2014 at 11:52 am

    i dont know where you get this ‘they should have won 79 games last year” from.

    on the one hand you are dismissing his argument that there is some statistical way to determine what a team ‘should do’ then you keep referring back to what ‘they should have done last year.’

  58. Ys Guy January 6th, 2014 at 11:53 am

    new post (rosenthal report)

  59. Ted Nelson January 6th, 2014 at 11:55 am

    “both parts of the pitching are worse currently.”

    Pitching is pitching. There’s no reason to double count pitching. You get the same innings out of your staff whether they come from the pen or the rotation.

    I also think that the rotation is maybe 1 win worse than last season, when you project Phelps and Pineda for full-time roles. The BP is largely a crap shoot for just about any team. I don’t think it’s as obvious as you’re making it out to be that the pitching staff is actually worse. If Pineda is fully recovered it could already be better.

    “they add a good starter and some bullpen help and I think they are ready to contend again good health permitting.”

    What’s that going to add to the team? Maybe 3 wins in ZIPs projections? I don’t think Oakland’s ZIPs are up yet, but Steamer and Oliver have him at 0.2 and 0.3 fWAR. He’s averaged about 0.9 or something the last three seasons. Tanaka has a lot of potential, but by all accounts is a mid-rotation guy and has no MLB experience. 2 fWAR is probably a generous projection and 3 wins would probably be very optimistic. Sure he could be better, but he could also be worse. Pineda could be a lot better than his projection as well. So could Sabathia. So could a lot of guys.

    Anyway, point is that if you’re going to hold the relationship between fWAR and team wins so close (assume it’s a direct 1-1 relationship), then those improvements don’t make them a playoff team either. You can just assume that they’re not a good team despite all the talent that they have, but I’m going to write that off to errors in fWAR that mean the relationship with team wins is not 1-1. (Look no further than historical results for proof.)

    (We should probably use the ZIPs to compare their relative talent level vs. the league. There are still problems with this and you’d have to adjust playing time, but I think that would make more sense than comparing ZIPs to pythagorean W-L.)

  60. blake January 6th, 2014 at 11:56 am

    “i dont know where you get this ‘they should have won 79 games last year” from.

    on the one hand you are dismissing his argument that there is some statistical way to determine what a team ‘should do’ then you keep referring back to what ‘they should have done last year.’”

    http://pinstripepundits.com/20.....nners.html

    Look what I mean is that whether you believe the numbers or your eyes….I think it’s pretty clear the yanks were lucky to win 85 games last year.

    All there is this time of year is “on paper”…..that doesn’t always line up with real life but if your buildings a team all you can do is build it the best on paper you can and then see what happens

  61. Wave Your Hat January 6th, 2014 at 11:57 am

    “Pineda could be a lot better than his projection as well. So could Sabathia. So could a lot of guys.”

    Of course, by definition, they could also be a lot worse.

  62. J. Alfred Prufrock January 6th, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Can’t wait to see Cano get pitched around ……… constantly
    ///

    You didn’t get enough of that the last two seasons??


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