Daily Archives: December 8, 2011

Yankees aquire LHP Cesar Cabral

Yankees acquired LHP Cesar Cabral from the Royals for cash considerations

by Matt S.

The Royals selected Cabral from the Red Sox in Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft. The 22-year-old left-hander posted a 2.95 ERA this season while striking out 70 over 55 innings between High- and Double-A. He’ll try to make the Yankees’ bullpen out of spring training.

Hot Stove Targeting: Yu Darvish

Yanks finally get a shot at

After re-signing CC Sabathia in early November, Brian Cashman announced his OffSeason goal was “Pitching, pitching, pitching.”  Yet he has remained very patient and constantly said that the price for starting pitchers in Free Agency and the trade market was unreasonably high.  Although that is very true, could it be that Cashman has stalled so he can first take a shot at his most coveted target …….Yu Darvish?

By now, everyone has read a ton about Yu but let’s analyze his pros & cons to see if he’s worth the high cash commitment it will take to get him.

Positives

Yu Darvish is the most dominating pitcher in Japanese baseball with 5 straight seasons of sub-2.00 ERAs. It’s very difficult to translate NPB stats to MLB, but to give an idea of his dominance, Yu is 76-28 with a 1.73 ERA.  This season was his best as he went 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA , 10.7 K/9, 1.4 BB/9 and a miniscule 0.83 WHIP over 232 IP.

Once again, stats in Japan don’t translate well in the U.S. so it’s best to look at Yu from a scouting standpoint. From the videos I’ve seen and the scouting reports I’ve read, this is what I would say about him:

  • He’s a 25-year-old who really matured physically in the last 2 yrs. Films from early in his career were of a tall, lanky kid but it’s obvious he’s worked hard to add strength and he’s now a solid built 6’5″ 220 pounder with long arms & legs, a strong base and trunk – really an ideal pitcher’s body.
  • His solid base gives him good balance which he uses to maintain his delivery.  He has a fluid throwing motion with a slight pause that adds deception.
  • Darvish has a Plus-Fastball that sits in the 93-95 range and gets it up to 96-97.  He also throws a nice 2-seamer which is only about 1 MPH slower and gets good movement down and in on righties. Darvish also Cuts his Fastball away from righties in the 89-92 range
  • His Slider is his best pitch and a true out-pitch. He seems to change speeds on it, sometimes throwing a slower Slurve in the 79 to 82 range but its most effective when thrown harder with 2-plane break in the 83-86 range.
  • Yu throws both a Forkball and a standard ChangeUp that appear to be above average offerings as well
  • His balance and repeatable mechanics give him good command of his pitches and he attacks hitters.  Scouts have raved about his knowledge of pitching, pitchability and his competitiveness. All great attributes.

Negatives

There are really no negatives to his game.  All of the questions surrounding him are the typical ones that face any pitcher looking to make the jump from japan to the U.S.  How will he adjust to the different baseball, the 5-day rotation, the MLB hitters and the American culture.

While these are all legitimate concerns, I believe Yu is the best prepared of any Japanese pitcher to come to the U.S. ever. For one, he is still young enough to be able to adapt his routines and game as needed.  Secondly, he is a big, strong power pitcher with command who’s stuff should translate nicely to MLB.  Unlike DiceK who relied on deception and multiple off-speed pitches to get hitters to chase, Darvish comes right at hitters with stuff that will give any hitter a hard time.  He’s also been much more dominating in Japan than DiceK ever was.

Year Age Team W L SV ERA G IP SO
2005 18 Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 5 5 0 3.53 14 94.1 52
2006 19 Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 12 5 0 2.89 25 149.2 115
2007 20 Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 15 5 0 1.82 26 207.2 210
2008 21 Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 16 4 0 1.88 25 200.2 208
2009 22 Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 15 5 0 1.73 23 182.0 167
2010 23 Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 12 8 0 1.78 26 202.0 222
2011 24 Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 18 6 0 1.44 28 232.0 276

Expectations

Of course he won’t dominate MLB hitters with a 1.44 ERA but I expect Darvish to have success right away and fall in as a solid #2 starter with ace potential when he reaches his prime. He’s still only 25 and growing as a pitcher so we still haven’t seen his best yet.  While the change to a 5-day rotation will take getting used to, I see Darvish as an eventual horse who could be a durable 200+ IP per year starter.

Fit for the Yankees?

Darvish is just what the Yankees need.  A big, strong, young, smart starter to slot in behind C.C. for the next 5-6 years.  The Yankee brass has been watching Yu for at least 3 years that we know of and everyone from scout Rick Williams to Director of Pro Scouting Billy Eppler to VP of Amateur Scouting Damon Oppenheimer have watched him pitch in Japan.  While Cashman is rightfully downplaying his interest in Darvish, he has conceded that he learned from his mistakes with Kei Igawa and made sure to get a full picture this time with numerous scouting reports and many different sets of eyes on him.  “I think with anything else, you learn over time.  I think we’re more prepared today than we have been in the past”, Cashman remarked when asked about Darvish.

Cost to Acquire

The bidding process is an archaic concept and a total crapshoot.  So as much as the Yankees may want him, there is no guarantee some team like the Marlins or Nationals doesn’t make a ridiculous bid that the Yanks will never have an opportunity to beat.  You get one shot at it.  It’s very difficult to estimate but I think the winning bid is going to be somewhere around the Matsuzaka bid and will be in the $40-60 Million range.

Once the posting fee is paid, Arn Tellem & Don Nomura will look to negotiate the best deal for him and I’d estimate it being a 5 or 6 year deal worth about $10-13 Million per yr. So I’d say the total outlay will be in the neighborhood of $100-130M.  When you consider that the posting fee doesn’t count towards the Luxury tax, it would seem that the total cost of signing Darvish would be the same or less than signing C.J. Wilson to a 6 yr – $100M+ deal.  Athough CJ has MLB experience, he’s also 6 full years older than Darvish and about to enter the downside of his career while the Yanks would be getting the 6 most prime seasons in a pitcher’s career from Yu.

The other obvious advantages of obtaining Darvish, is Cashman won’t have to give up any draft picks like he would for a FA or any prospects like he’d have to ship off in a trade. Also, the fact that Darvish’ salary will be significantly lower than a prime FA like CJ Wilson, it gives the team at least a chance to get the payroll under $189M for the 2014 season.  While this will be an extremely difficult chore and will preclude any other big-ticket signings for the next 3 years, it’s still a possibility.

And last but not least, there is the WOW factor and the instant media attention any team who gets Darvish will get.  Yu Darvish is an icon in Japan much like Hideki Matsui & Ichiro were so his new team will see added attendance and attention from Japanese fans and advertisers.  This is definitely important for any team.

Prediction?

I think Darvish is worth the risk since the Yanks potentially get the #2 they desperately need while keeping all their prospects, picks and keeping the total salary under control.  The big risk is the large posting fee but money is the Yankees #1 asset so why not use it?  They won’t be able to use it in the Draft or International Amateur market any longer so this is the chance to flex the financial muscle they have.  How much would they pay to acquire a Matt Cain, Josh Johnson, Stephen Strasburg or Felix Hernandez? Darvish compares favorably with those guys from a size, scouting and age standpoint – the only thing he lacks is the proof that he can succeed in MLB.

I think the Yanks will bid highly for Darvish as I think he’s their #1 target this yr.  However, teams like Texas, Washington, Toronto & Florida have also been linked as front-runners.  I wouldn’t rule out any team here. What about the Red Sox? Bobby Valentine coached in Japan for years and he said on a broadcast this year that Yu Darvish was the BEST pitcher in the WORLD! So if Bobby V. feels that strongly, you know he’s trying to lobby Boston to bid heavily. Then you have teams like Toronto, Texas & Florida who all are said to be raising payroll significantly this yr. And how about Epstein in Chicago? Or maybe the Angels if they miss on CJ….the possibilities are endless and the process gives any team a chance.

If you were the Yanks, what would be your bid and what will the winning bid be? I’d bid……$55,000,055 if I were Cashman but I have a feeling some crazy team will bid over $60 Million.

Yankees release OF Greg Golson

Yankees release OF Greg Golson

By Delia E.

According to Bryan Hoch, the New York Yankees have released OF Greg Golson. Hoch mentions that Golson’s name was mentioned for trade, but the Yankees decided to make it easier just to release him. He is most known for throwing out Carl Crawford at 3B in right field during the 2010 season with the Yankees.

 

Yankees Draft RHP Meyers from Rule 5 Draft

Yankees Draft RHP Meyers from Rule 5 Draft

By Delia E.

Before the Rule 5 Draft, Brian Cashman said he was unsure whether he would draft a player. It turns out Cashman changed his mind.

During the 2011 Rule 5 Draft the Yankeees drafted RHP Brad Meyers in the 1st round of the MLB portion of the draft. Meyers was on the Washington Nationals roster.

The Yankees must have Meyers on the roster or send him back to his original team. The same scenario happened last year when the Yankees drafted Robert Fish from the LA Angels but sent him back. The Atlanta Braves drafted Fish in this years draft. Stay tuned for more coverage of the Winter Meetings.

Andruw Jones expected to re-sign with the Yankees.

Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that Andruw Jones is expected to re-sign with the Yankees.

By Matt S.

Feinsand expects a deal to be struck sometime over the next couple weeks. Jones isn’t an everyday player anymore but mashed against left-handed pitching in 2011, batting .286/.384/.540. He would again see a couple starts per week in the outfield and at the DH spot.

Morning Bits: Hiroyuki Nakajima, Bobby V., Trading Burnett, Montero

Day 3 of the winter Meetings is now over.  The Yankees won the rights to sign a SS from Japan but from all reports he doesn’t seemed thrilled on being a backup.    Do the Yankees have something cooking today?  Check back often as we will post the latest.

Now on to the links……

* The Yankees win the right to negotiate with Japanese shortstop.

* This didn’t take long.  Bobby V. stated that he hates the Yankees.

* To Trade Burnett, Yankees willing to eat part of his salary.

* Yanks talk about their plans for Jesus Montero.

* Yankees might make a move in the Rule 5 Draft.

Yu Darvish to be posted

Yu Darvish confirms he’s being posted

by: Fishjam25

The Website NPB Tracker translated the following from the personal blog of Yu Darvish:

To all the fans, an announcement

At this time, Yu Darvish has decided to use the posting system. Because I wanted to relay this to the fans first, I am announcing this here. I greatly appreciate the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters Baseball Club. Because we’ve only just begun the posting process, I can’t talk about the details now. I wish to hold a press conference once everything is decided. Yu Darvish

This is big news around MLB as Darvish is expected to draw interest from a lot of clubs, including the Yankees. Cashman has remained patient all Winter but now is his time to act. I will be posting a full article on Yu at 12 Noon today.

Source: NPB Tracker http://www.npbtracker.com/