Daily Archives: October 13, 2011

Hunt for Sabathia

Hunt for Sabathia

by Matt S.

A source told ESPN New York that the Rangers are preparing to make a strong bid for CC Sabathia if he opts out of his contract with the Yankees this winter.

“I hear they’re going to throw a boatload of money at him,” said the source. “But I think he’ll stay with the Yankees. He’s talked so much about how much he loves New York, and besides, the Yankees can’t afford to lose him from that pitching staff.” Sabathia’s agent, Scott Boras, is surely pleased with this development. But all signs point to the big lefty remaining in pinstripes. The Yankees should be able to fend off a bid from the Rangers.

Yankee Activations

Yankee Activations

by Matt S.

Yankees activated INF Reegie Corona from the 60-day disabled list; sent him outright to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Corona sat out all of the 2011 season due to a fractured right elbow. He should be ready for 2012.

Yankees activated RHP Joba Chamberlain from the 60-day disabled list.

Chamberlain is a few weeks ahead of schedule in his ongoing recovery from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery. He’s aiming to get back to full health by mid-April.

Yankees activated OF Justin Maxwell from the 60-day disabled list.

Maxwell had his 2011 season cut short by a torn labrum. He also underwent Tommy John surgery just one year ago. The 27-year-old outfielder is running out of time.

Another 2 Playoff Games Open Thread

Here are the games, pitchers, and start times.

Texas at Detroit 4:19 PM FOX StubHub Wilson vs Verlander
Milwaukee at St. Louis 8:05 PM TBS StubHub Wolf vs Lohse

Thoughts on the Future of the Rotation

Should C.C. be back next year at any cost?

It is likely that:

[1] C.C. Sabathia will opt out of his contract this off-season.

[2] He will return to the pinstripes next year.

[3] C.C. will receive a massive contract of at the very minimum 5 years and $120MM.

However, at what point in the contract negotiations should the Yankees consider alternate options?

Joel Sherman of the NY Post says that if Sabathia wants a considerable amount past 5 years and over $120MM, the Yanks should at least look elsewhere.

If Sabathia wants more, the Yankees have to seriously consider another direction rather than accept greater long-term risk.

In my opinion, Sherman hits it right on the money here. C.C. is 31 years old, and somewhere around 290 pounds. Look at the facts: another 7 year contract would take him to the 2018 season, and Sabathia would turn 38 that season. No offense in any way to C.C., but the combination of being overweight with a history knee problems, and in his upper thirties does not bode well for the Yanks. However, the luxury of having a true ace should never be downplayed. C.C. is an absolute horse. He’s been one of the Yankees’ best free agent signings in the modern years.

2009 19 8 .704 3.37 34 230.0 197 86 197 137 1.148
2010 21 7 .750 3.18 34 237.2 209 84 197 136 1.191
2011 19 8 .704 3.00 33 237.1 230 79 230 147 1.226
NYY (3 yrs) 59 23 .720 3.18 101 705.0 636 249 624 140 1.189

But- there have been some signs of weariness in the second half of this season and in the playoffs. Are the 1,198 innings he’s thrown in the past five years catching up with him? That is a question the Yankees front office should deeply think about. I’m not saying I don’t want Sabathia back in the Bronx next year; a long-term contract is a risk of gigantic proportions. It’s like the A-Rod contract for a pitcher.

Sherman also discusses possible alternatives to signing Sabathia to a massive contract.

“With that pen and a powerful offense, could they survive if — for example — they lost Sabathia, but signed Wilson and traded for someone such as the A’s Gio Gonzalez or White Sox’ John Danks? “Can you win with five No. 3 starters and strength everywhere else,” the NL personnel man said. “Yes, I think you can. I think the Rangers are doing it right now.”

If you think about it, the Yankees could certainly survive without Sabathia in their rotation next year. That is, if the Yankees take advantage of the rest of the free agent and trade market. A cluster of simply solid-to-very good pitchers could potentially work. Let’s take a look at the options Sherman gives. We’ll profile Gio Gonzalez, John Danks, and other pitchers later, but for now… The Yankees could swing a deal for Gonzalez, as the Athletics are offensively deprived and already have plenty of strong, young pitching. They could rebuild without Gio in their rotation. The White Sox are in some strange sort of rebuilding mode, and Danks may become available. You also have to consider other trade options, such as Matt Cain of the Giants. Say you sign C.J. Wilson, trade for Gonzalez/Danks, and possibly sign an innings-eater like Edwin Jackson or Mark Buehrle. Then you fill in the holes with Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, and one of the young-guns like Adam Warren or Hector Noesi. As for Burnett, who knows. All of a sudden, you have a solid, playoff-caliber rotation, without a massive 7 year / $140+MM contract. Then you have a pretty good amount of flexibility.

However, the Yanks would not have a clear ace. As Sherman and his source say, the Rangers don’t have a clear #1, even in Wilson. They have a team built on a solid rotation, a tremendous offense, and an excellent bullpen. Look where they are: up 2-1 in the ALCS.

Ideally, C.C. Sabathia does not opt out of his contract, but we simply have to expect the worst. Any deal exceeding Cliff Lee’s 5 years/$120MM contract, should alert the Yankees to at least consider an alternate plan.


Stat Insert Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/12/2011.

Season In Review: Jorge Posada

New York Yankees DH Jorge Posada

When we take a look back at Jorge Posada’s career, we think All-Star. Yes, Jorge Posada was an All-Star in his 15 years as a New York Yankee, when he first came up on the scene as a backup catcher to now manager Joe Girardi to being a DH in his final year in a Yankees uniform. Jorge has always given the fans something to cheer about. Well, we can say that the 2011 season has been…eventful for Jorge Posada, but it wasn’t exactly how he pictured spending his final year in pinstripes.

In the 2010 offseason Jorge was told that he was no longer the Yankees catcher and he was their new DH. Of course as you can imagine, Jorge Posada had a tough time putting it together. Also during the first Yankees vs. Red Sox showdown at Yankee Stadium, the news wasn’t about the Yankees; it was about Jorge.  Jorge had pulled himself out of the lineup that day after it was told he was going to bat 9th. Of course everyone moved on and Jorge never fussed about it again.

In 2011, it was easily Jorge’s worst year as a Yankee with a .235 AVG, but his power numbers were somewhat there. Posada had 14 HR’s, 44 RBI’s, and 14 2B (he had one 3B but that was during the 2011 postseason). Even though Jorge’s numbers weren’t great, it was easy to forget because Posada had energy in every at-bat that he produced. There was one game that I will never forget with Jorge Posada and it will still be one of my favorite games for a long time. On August 13 (on my birthday) I went to Yankee Stadium to watch the Yankees play. If I had known that Jorge Posada was going to have a 6 RBI day with a Grand Slam I would have paid extra just to watch! But just watching Jorge cap that 6 RBI day in person was magical and I’m glad that it was Jorge out of all the Yankees that did it.

When it was time for the Yankees postseason, only three Yankees stood out from the rest. Robinson Cano, Brett Gardner and of course, Jorge Posada. During the postseason, Posada had a .429 AVG while capping a triple. Pretty fantastic huh? I guess that was Jorge Posada’s way of saying, “Hold on, I’m not done yet!”

If that was Jorge Posada’s last year as a Yankee, he has done nothing but make the Yankee name proud for the last 15 years. It was an ultimate pleasure to watch Posada play the game like a ballplayer should. I kind of wished that Posada would come back 1 more year, but that would sound a bit greedy. I guess Posada learned in the final game of the 2011 season was that everyone still loves him and the fans are going to miss yelling, “Hip, Hip! Jorge!” I know I will. So I will end this by saying, thank you Jorge for the memories, we love you and good luck to what the future brings you!

Morning Bits: Future, GM Job, Cashman, Nova

* Yankees need to figure out future.

* Angles to interview two Yankee executives for GM job.

* Yankees GM Brian Cashman is expected to get new contract.

* Ivan Nova – An Uncommon Rule 5 Story.