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Monday, November 24, 2014

MESSAGE TO CASHMAN: GET MOVING!



Today, more than ever, Yankee fans have spoken!  We don't like NOT being the center of attention when it comes to the free agent market, and this morning we were. The Red Sox swooped in and signed 2 free agent stars.  We however... did nothing... and many of us are annoyed.

I read notes from people today on Twitter and Facebook. "Fire Cashman!"

"We're gonna F**king suck!"

"What the hell is Cashman doing????"

Here's my favorite ridiculous one... I read "Are you kidding me? The Sox get Panda and Hanley and we get Galvez?"

I'm sorry.... Wait???


What the hell did Jonathan Galvez do besides signing a minor league deal with the Yanks? The Yanks are trying to piece together an infield.  Sorry if the timing was bad on that one, but Galvez has nothing to do with the deals the Sox signed. He's just a kid with a dream who got a big opportunity.  If you ask me, the Red Sox spent way too much and gave too many years to a guy like Ramirez. Maybe even Panda.  Plus, the Yankees were NEVER contenders for Pablo in the first place. Is it sour grapes or do you just like to rip on Cash anytime a free agent is signed? I'm not sure I'm getting the hate today... or at least a small portion of it.

Look, if you read BYB, we're not too big on Ramirez in the first place. We've written about Ramirez a lot here.  Mike O'Hara takes charge on that one usually, and wrote about him extensively when he wrote FOREVER YOUNG, saying:


"Both Ramirez and Tulo are pricey and often hurt... I don’t want Hanley. I’d rather let the kids in the system earn it. We all root for the rooks. It can happen like it did with Bernie."

When it's written less wordy than I, and with passion like it is above, and you insert Bernie Williams into it, it makes perfect sense! Passing on Ramirez was the right thing to do. 


We can't be jealous that the Red Sox scored Panda, let's hope it back fires. It's a good move, but whatever man, it's baseball in the free agent market. It happens. 

Instead of crying about it, let's send an important and calculated message Cashman's way:  Instead of telling him that he should be fired or he sucks, why don't we remind him that we pay a helluva lot of money to see our Yankees all season, and his job is to get players to help us win.  While he did that with Brian McCann, Masahiro Tanaka and Jacoby Ellsbury last season, let's remind him that this is a new off-season, and the idea of getting a guy like Chase Headley RIGHT NOW, is kind of important.  In fact, he's gotta get it done ASAMFP!


The market has spoken when the Sox signed Kung Fu Panda, and now things will move rapidly.  If we don't get Chase locked in quickly, there is no doubt in my mind that the San Francisco Giants WILL snatch him up.  They have the money now... Panda's gone.

I don't get too crazy about Brian Cashman. I know a lot of you do... I get it and you're allowed, you're a fan. But don't forget, Brian gets us the players. It was the players he got that didn't do much for us in 2014 and in the passed, they kind of shit the bed in the playoffs.  But, does it mean he should get more to improve the club?  Hell yeah. You need to better your club and no one knows that more than Cashman.  He will make a splash, but he's not gonna do it blindly.

He does have to do it quickly though. There are quality players, pitchers out there that need to be snatched up, and we have to money to do it.  I pay a lot of dough to bring my sons to the ballpark to see their heroes.  I don't go often because it's expensive, and it's expensive because we sign big time free agents.  Did we need Panda? No, probably not, but we DO need Headley.  We do probably need a pitcher too... maybe a Max Scherzer. But, we need to also do something that we did for years during the dynasty.  Bring up the kids too! Sprinkle them in. 


Bring up a Greg Bird and Rob Refsnyder.  Mix them in with a Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner.  Treat Tyler Austin to a call up and let him hang with the likes of CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira.  Mixing in the youth with high level veterans is the perfect formula for a championship.  We did that a few times a while back.... we should do it again.


The message to Cashman is clear... Get off your hands. Make some calls and let's get moving. The market has spoken and now things will move quickly.  You have your list... go get who we need. Let's do this!

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PABLO TO SOX: DONE DEAL


Pablo Sandoval  is going to the Red Sox, according to Jon Heyman:
Read our other post just moments ago on the rumors of the deal: IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT... THE SOX DID SOMETHING BIG...

Wow!

Hey Cash... your move.

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ARE THEY WORTH THE MONEY?


With the signing of Giancarlo Stanton to an egregious $325M contract, the annual debate has begun about big money, long-term contracts. Every year at this time, there are premier players that are only available to teams willing to empty the proverbial piggy bank. As Yankee fans, we want to see Brian Cashman pull out the checkbook and fill the roster with Cy Young’s and MVP’s, allegedly assuring us a World Series win. At the same time, having the roster and budget clogged with high-salary players who are clearly in decline is a constant frustration for fans, and I’m sure a frustration for the front office.


Last week, we told you that Stanton is not worth “13 years, $325 million great, especially when you still need to field 24 others guys as well.” (Read: SHORTSTOPS, ELVIS ANDRUS & TROY TULOWITZKI) So, what possesses teams to write such checks, and where is the right balance of dollars and productivity? Clearly, the Yankees regret the A-Rod deal, and perhaps they regret not shelling out a little more to try to keep Robinson Cano.


I decided to look at the financials versus productivity, almost like an account might, and see what the numbers tell us. For hitters, I am going to say that one very good indicator of the value of a player is the total number of bases he gets. I know there are many indicators, but we will use this one for now. I will also say that Dollars per Total Bases (DTB) is representative of what a team will pay its players for each base they earned. If a player’s DTB is low, the team is getting a bargain. If it is high, the team is overpaying and the player may not be worth the money. It goes back to a simple concept, that businesses pay people for what they have earned, and that both business and workers get a fair shake.


Since Alex Rodriguez is a popular person to pick on when it comes to salary and productivity, we will start with him. When he was 24 and signed his infamous $250M contract, the Rangers began paying him $55K and $70K per base. This DTB continued after his trade to the Yankees, and he continued to produce 300+ total bases per year. We knew he was expensive, but no one was complaining. We were getting what we paid for. Then he renegotiated his contract in 2007, and that is where trouble began. He reached his middle 30’s, and injuries started to creep in. In 2008, his DTB jumped to ~$95K, and the following year it jumped into six figures. By 2011, when he only played 99 games, the Yankees paid him over $180K per base.


Let us put this into context, in case you think I am playing games with the numbers. The San Francisco Giants just won their third World Series in 5 years. As a team in 2014, the Giants team roster had an average DTB of just under $69K. Remember that $55K-70K range I mentioned earlier? The Giants were right near the top of that range. They were paying, and they were getting their money’s worth. When you look at Giancarlo Stanton’s performance so far in his career, the Marlins got a deal. Last year, when he earned $6.5M, his DTB was about $20K. As his contract gradually pays him more per year, he will certainly be worth it until he reaches year 4, when his annual salary balloons to $25M. If he produces 300 TB per year (which he has not reached in any single year of his career yet), he might still be worth it. The question is, what are the Marlins going to do in year 9, when his annual salary reaches $32M. He will have to produce more than 320 Total Bases per year to keep his DTB below $100K, meaning that he would be worth the money. He will be 33 by then. Somehow, I do not see this working out.


I mentioned Robinson Cano earlier. In his final season with the Yankees, his DTB was ~$48K. In his first year with the Mariners, it jumped to ~$89K. Definitely on the high side, but respectable enough given his drop in HR’s. It makes the point that maybe the Yankees could have paid more, but it is the first of a 10-year contract, and the question will always be if he can sustain or exceed that consistently for the next 9 years.


In many ways, it is like making an investment in a car. Let us say you there is a car that has your interest, it is strong, durable, and looks really sweet. However, let us say that Consumer Reports says that the car very often breaks down after two years on the road. Would you sign a 5-year loan to buy the car? Neither would I. Why not? Because even if I enjoy the car for the first two years, I wouldn’t want to sign up for 3 years of driving a mechanic’s gold mine. I would have to continue to pay the loan, and probably pay more to have it serviced. If I tried to sell it, it is unlikely that I would get enough to pay off the loan. I would either be stuck with a lemon or with a recurring expense for which I’d be getting nothing. Sounds familiar?

Signing players is never as simple as buying a car, but you get the point. I am glad that we are not breaking the bank for the hottest player on the market, being locked into contracts that run for longer than the player is productive. At the same time, I would like to see the Yankees go after some key, productive players at reasonable salaries and contract lengths. My two cents.



--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
Twitter: @KingAgamemnon
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row




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IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT... THE SOX DID SOMETHING BIG...

The rumor is the Red Sox have signed both Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez to deals when the majority of the east coast was asleep.  If that's true, it's a huge blow to Yankeeland.


Just so the BYB audience is aware, we are unable to confirm the Sox signed Sandoval.  The word we just got is Sandoval is giving the Giants a chance to top whatever deal the Red Sox have presented, which is, "five-year, $95 million offer..." according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.


Ironically, that was almost the same deal the Sox did finalize to bring Hanley Ramirez back to Beantown.


Yahoo says the deal with Ramirez is worth 5 years and $90 milloin.  Ken Rosenthal tweeted the following:

Amazing.


You have to understand that the Sox have a to make a statement here.  They ended up in last place last year.  I think the pick ups are huge, especially if Pablo is signed.  When we get word on that, we will tell you.  There is no doubt though that Hanley is a Red Sock.

Let the rivalry continue!

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JONATHAN GALVEZ SIGNS A DEAL WITH THE YANKEES

A Yankee signing no one is even aware of... but check it out...


The Yanks have signed second baseman Jonathan Galvez to a minor league deal.  That info comes from the Yankees transaction page HERE.

According to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com, "Galvez was assigned to the Triple-A Scranton/Wilks-Barre RailRiders. The 23-year-old has spent the last two years at the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate, hitting a combined .279 with 16 homers and 103 RBI.


Galvez has spent most of his career at second base (282 games), but he’s also played shortstop (176 games), third base, first base and left field. He hasn't reached the majors yet."

With the Yankees needing to fill 3 holes, 3rd, Short and 2nd... Galvez will no doubt get a chance.

We wish Jonathan well.  Welcome to New York.

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

COULD THE HOUSTON ASTROS SIGN DAVID ROBERTSON?

Ken Davidoff of the New York Post wrote this about David Robertson and recent communications with the Houston Astros.  I found it very interesting:


"The Astros have communicated with Robertson’s agent Scott Leventhal to express their interest in the Yankees’ closer, an industry source said.

MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reported on Nov. 13, on Twitter, that the Astros were 'going hard' to get a top closer on the market, and McTaggart identified Robertson, Andrew Miller (most recently of Baltimore) and San Francisco’s Sergio Romo by name, though only Robertson ended the 2014 season as a closer.

Whether the Astros are willing to go hard enough to give Robertson the four-year contract he desires, for roughly $13 million per season, is unclear."


This is now the second team to be rumored to "go hard" for a top closer.  The first time we heard this was with the New York Mets and DRob a few weeks ago.  You read it here on BYB first.  Read SOURCE: METS WANT DROB FOR LEADERSHIP & "TOP" CLOSER. That's when we wrote:
"A source that I am friendly with was chatting with someone "familiar" with the internal chatter inside Mets camp, and it was suggested that there is concern about the closer situation in Mets-land.  With that, there were "serious discussions" about making a "hard push" to bring David Robertson to Queens.  

The idea is to get him over there on a 4 year deal and tout him as one of the Mets “leaders”. Something, this person suggested, the Mets "currently lack." That's not to take away from David Wright by the way. Don't worry, I asked about that.  Anyway, the plan would be to set up with Jenrry Mejia, and close with DRob.  While the Mets liked Mejia as their closer,  they aren't truly convinced he's a closer yet. "
As you know... we've seen nothing yet, but there's plenty more winter to go. Stay tuned.

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