Daily Archives: October 31, 2012

Yankees Offseason Notes: Soriano opts out, Yankees donate to Red Cross

Good evening everyone. Hope everyone had/is having a nice Halloween. Here are some Yankees notes that circulated around today.

— Well, it looks as if the ‘untuck’ era is over for the Yankees. At around 2pm, Rafael Soriano opted out of his contract thus making him a free agent. The Yankees now have 14  free agents going into the market. So now the Yankees have no catcher, no closer, no backup closer and no right fielder. Yankees have work to do.

Casey McGehee elected for free agency after being out-righted off the Yankees 40-man roster.

— The New York Yankees are donating $500,000 to the American Red Cross to support the Tri-State Area in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Now, if only every other rich billionaire team/organization could do the same thing.

— Last but not least, the L.A Angels are looking to trade Ervin Santana and Dan Haren. Could either of them be a fit in New York?

Cashman shouldn’t spend much to re-tool for 2013

They’re known as the Evil Empire. The New York Yankee$. Or in Nickelodeon’s “Fairly Odd Parents”, the Bankees.

Year after year, the Yankees and their fans are constantly discredited and disrespected because of how they take advantage of their surplus of cash, spend it on the best players in the game, and build a perennial All-Star team each year in the Bronx.

2009 is the most recent year anti-Yankee fans point to. After an 89-win 2008 season in which the Yankees missed the playoffs for the first time since 1993, general manager Brian Cashman went on a mission to own the proceeding winter’s free-agent market to put a championship-caliber team in the Yanks’ brand new billion dollar ballpark.

Well, some 400 million dollars later, Cash got his wish. He brought in not only stud lefty CC Sabathia and Roy Halladay’s sidekick A.J. Burnett, but slugging first baseman Mark Teixeira as well. Three players who were all still in the beginning of their primes despite having accomplished plenty in the seasons leading up to their pinstriped days.

As many predicted, the Yankees won the World Series that year by defeating the Phillies in six games. It was a glorious moment (one I witnessed in person), and of course there’s nothing better than your favorite team winning it all.

Besides one thing though: winning it all multiple times.

That’s something this seemingly stacked Yankees team has failed to do, after now three straight playoff failures despite having trophy-worthy regular seasons.

But of course as we all know, that last point is irrelevant to us. No trophy besides the trophy matters. George Steinbrenner set a precedent that is followed by everyone in Yankeeland – that anything short of a World Series is an unsuccessful season. Throw away all the memories and historic moments of the past three years. The Yankees didn’t win it all, and that signals it’s time for change.

Most fans are convinced this offseason will be a replaying of the spending-spree of ’09. Brian Cashman will go out and sign the top free agents [Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke in this case] and the Yankees will become a superhuman team and power their way towards another world championship.

The worst part of it all is that they want this to happen. The same fans that are complaining about A-Rod’s contract are the ones begging ownership to give a drug abusing, clunky, and 32 year old Josh Hamilton hundreds of millions. Not to mention head-case Zack Greinke, who’s an A.J. Burnett waiting to happen.

Don’t get me wrong, those moves would definitely help the Yankees. The question is for how long? I don’t want to win another pennant/World Series, and then suddenly fall apart and fail to win again without a true core in place. This team is too old and has too many holes for it to be fixed with the ‘dough. Hopefully Brian Cashman realizes this and fans can stop their pre-orders of Josh Hamilton jerseys before they arrive at their doorsteps with Red Sox colors.

Just look at the San Francisco Giants. Here they are in a blink of an eye winning their second World Series in three seasons. Biting their lips in the 2000s and watching their West Coast foes enjoy championships and playoff baseball sure paid off, didn’t it? They let their farm system progress, made trades to help the club in a couple years, and locked up young players who clearly had potential others couldn’t see. Now they have two world championships with a roster filled with MVP contenders and Cy Young winners, and most of the players haven’t even reached their prime years yet.

To quote John Sterling, “isn’t that amazing?”

It really is, and quite embarrassing for the Yankees to be witnessing.

Austin Jackson. Phil Coke. Melky Cabrera. George Kontos. Arodys Vizcaíno. Jesus Montero. Ian, Patrick, Kennedy. Do you want me to continue?

Those players (plus many more) made up the future of the Yankees just a couple years ago. It seemed like the Core Four could pass the torch off to this bunch and they could continue the winning and success that Jeet, Mo, Andy and Jorgie enjoyed for the majority of their careers.

Now, after the Cash-man decided to deal away all of those young prospects, the Yankees are left with a team full of senior citizens (baseball-wise). Each season seems like a “last-hurrah” for this whittling core of the Bombers, and had the club simply instilled trust and held on to it’s promising young guns, a new dynasty could have just been getting underway.

Instead, we’re left with a home-run or bust center fielder, two injured pitchers, and suddenly many problems to be addressed this coming winter.

There’s no doubt in my mind this team is certainly still salvageable, and can get younger and stronger for the upcoming season. That’s of course as long as Cashman looks for trades that bring in youth, rather than dealing it away for pretty much nothing.

Then again, that’s just like telling a college student to change his study habits, or lack thereof the night before the big exam. It just won’t happen. Cashman isn’t that type of GM, and it’s certainly hard to be being in the “win-now” atmosphere of New York.

But I’m just flat-out tired of teams taking advantage of the Yanks’ farm system and winning pennants and making superstars due to our front office’s lack of faith in any youngsters. It seems like we hear about these top Yankee prospects for years and BOOM – they’re flipped to the Atlanta Braves for Javier Vazquez. Come on.

I want Curtis Granderson gone. Each time his name is brought up I think of IPK, A-Jax, and Coke. That’s it. He’s done nothing but make me regret that trade year after year. He still has value in being able to hit 40 home runs, and the Yankees could get a great deal including top prospects if you throw in a Phil Hughes or a Joba Chamberlain.

How about Alex Rodriguez? I don’t think he will be traded, and that’s because my personal lack of trust and faith in Brian Cashman. But if dealt, the Yankees could get a big head-case off the team and also either some prospects or a young established Major Leaguer in return.

Look, I am thinking of moves for 2013, 2014, 2015 and beyond. It seems like the Yankees’ offseason policy is just how to win in the next calendar year. And it really annoys me because clearly, that policy has only worked once in the past twelve years. When something ain’t broke, you don’t fix it. But something is clearly wrong in the Yankees organization, be it their outlook on fielding a team or the ones who do the very job.

As I stated, I want to win. But not for one season. I want a dynasty that can last with young exciting players you want to root for.

Hey, what can you say. I’m a Yankee fan. It’s in my blood for me to want that.

This has been a rant on the New York Yankees, sponsored by AARP.

2012 Fielding Awards

Last night the Gold Glove awards were announced, and our very own Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano were named to the American League winners. This is Robinson’s 2nd time winning the award (2010) and Tex’s 5th win, previously taking home the trophy in 2005-6 and 2009-10. The Russ bus was nominated for the award, but was bested by Matt Weiters. The full rundown of winners is as follows:
American League:

C-Matt Weiters
1B-Mark Teixera
2B-Robinson Cano
SS-JJ Hardy
3B-Adrian Beltre
P-Jake Peavy, Jeremy Hellickson
LF-Alex Gordon
CF-Adam Jones
RF-Josh Reddick

National League:

C-Yadier Molina
1B-Adam Laroche
2B-Darwin Barney
SS-Jimmy Rollins
3B-Chase Headley
P-Mark Buehrle
LF-Carols Gonzalez
CF-Andrew McCutchen
RF-Jason Heyward

Unlike some previous Gold Glove awards, this list isn’t quite as likely to cause a rash of laptop homicides. Yankee players have been on both sides of the GG travesty; Tino losing out to some guy that barely played the position, Jeter taking top honors two years ago over Asdrubal Cabrera among others and Brett Gardner getting the cold shoulder the previous two seasons come to mind. While there are certainly some snubs here, we’ve seen worse. Most notable on my list would be Mike Trout, but he may have lost some votes for playing another position as well *cough Palmeiro cough*. Brendan Ryan was also overlooked, and lost out to JJ Hardy who put up better dinosaur numbers but fell far short of Ryan’s DRS (27 compared to 18) and UZR (14.7 compared to 11.4). Part of the rub there could well be the hitting component, which somehow seems to creep into the managers and coaches minds when voting in their favorites.

With the GG stuff out of the way, let’s get to what I consider the real defensive player awards, The Fielding Bible Awards, brought to you by Bill James and John Dewan. The FB awards the best nine players, one from each position, regardless of the league they play in using scouting, sabermetrics and their own personal observations to come to their conclusions. The panel consists of  ten experts, including James and Dewan, along with other notables Peter Gammons, Doug Glanville and Joe Posnaski. Below are the winners of the 2012 Fielding Bible Awards, along with some notes pulled from the FB site:

C-Yadier Molina  Yadi lost out last year to the Matt Weiters, but made a comeback to win his fifth FB award. He threw out an outstanding 46% of runners and saved four runs on bunts alone, leaving him with a 16 DRS on the year.

1B-Mark Teixeira  Mark was noted for his superb DRS in both 2003 and 2005; 19 and 13 runs saved respectively. In 2008 he ran up a 21 DRS but lost out to Albert Pujols.

2B-Darwin Barney  In his second year, Barney blew away the field saving 26 runs at second base. Robinson Cano came in second in the voting, postin a 15 DRS on the year to give a little perspective. Barney flat out killed it this year.

SS-Brendan Ryan  This kid is probably one of, if not the best defender in baseball the last few years. His 67 DRS the last three years is the best mark in baseball, and the next highest (Bourn, 51) isn’t even close. As good as that is, had Gardner stayed healthy in 2012 he may have easily beat that.It was Ryan’s .194 average that might have cost him the GG award, but I’d much rather take home the top honor from the FB any day.

3B-Adrian Beltre  This makes Beltre’s fourth FB title, and not without cause. The guy has been amazing for some time now, but 2012 was one of the closest calls with Mike Moustakas nipping at his heels.

P-Mark Buehrle  Still the champ, Mark takes home his fourth consecutive FB award. In nine years, only 42 runners have swiped a base on him, while 48 have been thrown out and another 31 have been picked off by Buehrle. He’s also racked up a 36 DRS in that span. Mark joins Molina and Gordon as unanimous winner in 2012.

LF-Alex Gordon  With the two kings of the LF FB award, Carl Crawford and Brett Gardner out of the mix this year Gordon stepped in to take the title. Similar to Gardner, he lapped the field in 2012 and saved 24 runs on defense with Martin Prado (12) a distant second.

CF-Mike Trout  No snub from the fellas of the FB panel here. Mike Trout would have had a shot at matching Fred Lynn in winning the GG, ROY and MVP in the same year had he not been beat out by Adam Jones. Trout’s incredible range allowed him to make outs on 23 more balls than the average CF’er on plays hit deep. He also robbed four home runs this year, besting Cameron Maybin who swiped three from going over the fence.

RF-Jason Heyward  After coming close to top honors the previous two seasons this is Jason’s first FB award, saving 20 runs on the season. Despite a below overage gun for a right fielder, he’s made between 30 and 40 more plays than average RF’er the last three years.

So there lie the fielding awards for 2012… who are your picks?

Morning Bits: Gold Glove Winners, Free Agent List, Mariano Rivera

Good morning everyone and Happy Halloween! Hope everyone is staying safe and inside their homes on this cloudy, cold day. Here are the morning links!

— Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano both were awarded the Gold Glove Award for 1st and 2nd base respectively. Russell Martin was nominated but lost out to Matt Wieters.

— Here is the free agent list (not just the Yankees) for this winter. Maybe one of these players will be what the Yankees are looking for?

— The Yankees are going to get underway with receiving a makeover in 2013 but before they can do that–they’re going to wait on Mariano Rivera and his decision.