Saying Goodbye To Boone

Earlier this offseason during a 2013 roster discussion, the subject of the lefties came up, and who we might see during the next campaign. With his last year of arbitration pending, the fate of Boone Logan had become the center of those discussions. These talks have been rekindled, with the Nats filling their roster and the recent availability of Mike Morse, who Washington is said to be looking for a left handed reliever to bring back in a package for Morse. Boone has been a staple in the Yankee bullpen for several years now, and while he’s been the target of fans’ angst at times, he’s served the team fairly well. He hasn’t exactly been a LOOGY when you look at his splits, but he’s posted an ERA in the mid 3’s while posting a solid K/9. He has walked a few too many for most peoples tastes, which is probably the biggest rub on his stat line. One of the reasons his name was brought up in trade talks is that he faced his career high in batters in 2012, and led the league in appearances, which doesn’t take into account all of the times he was warmed up and never made it into the game. I wouldn’t go as far as saying he was Proctor’d, but towards the end of the year I kept thinking I’d get a view of the dugout and see Joe Torre on the bullpen phone calling Boone’s number. Another reason they might look to move Logan is that he’s in his final year of arbitration, and while a few million normally wouldn’t be a hindrance to the front office, these days everything counts. Add in the fact that the Yankees actually have quite a few choices for left handed relief, and you have a recipe for a Logan departure from the BX. Personally, if I’m Washington I’d ask for one of the players to follow, but since Boone has been a topic of discussion for many we’ll stay on that track. Even if Washington is a no go, left handers are a sought after commodity, so if they balk it doesn’t necessarily mean that 2013 will see him in pinstripes.

First on the list is Clay Rapada. He served as the second lefty out of the pen, a luxury we didn’t have the year before. This must have been matchup Joe’s wet dream, and he took every chance he could to utilize them. Clay also took a bit of flak over the course of the year, but it is what it is. Having the greatest ever coming out of the pen for so many years has spoiled the rotten out of Yankee fans for life. Clay isn’t a youngster, he’ll be in his age 32 season and has bounced around the majors for a few years now. What he did in 2012 was pretty impressive though; he posted a 149! ERA+ over 70 appearances (only 38.1 IP) which equated to a 2.82 ERA, 8.9 K/9, and a 4 BB/9, which like Logan is a bit high. Only one of those free passes was labeled as intentional, but I’d be interested in how many of those official walks were right handed hitters that he just stayed off the plate from and didn’t go for the obvious IBB. With all that said, he has a spotty history and a walk rate that you worry about, but he wouldn’t be a bad choice to call on so long as he doesn’t pitch to RHB. In 2012 he only pitched to 33 righties, but got tuned up to an .849 OPS, as opposed to a .518 mark against same handed hitters. LOOGY indeed.

On to the minor leagues there’s a handful of guys that could come north with the team come spring. First off is Cesar Cabral, who was on his way to winning that second spot over Rapada until he ended up getting injured during training camp. Assuming he’s 100% come ST, he could once again make a play for a spot in the pen. Cabral was drafted by the not-much-of-a-rival these days Red sox and had shaky numbers from level to level, but put together a nice spring until the lights went out. He’s another low-cost alternative that would be necessary especially in light of the self imposed budget we all keep dreading. One of our own, Juan Cedeno could be another candidate. Cedeno isn’t a youngster either, he’ll turn 30 this August, and he also had a spotty early career but caught on with NY and pitched in the traveling circus that was the SWB Yankees. Juan threw 64 innings for Scranton, striking out 57 and walking 21 which isn’t too shabby. That was good for 2.81 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. Not exactly blow your house down numbers, but solid none the less.

On to Francisco Rondon, who pitched through three levels with NY this past year, ending with a pair of innings in Scranton. Most of his time was spent in Trenton, where he pitched 63.2 innings, where he struck out 70 but walked 39. His ERA came in just under four in that time, and gave up six home runs, the most of his MiL career. I won’t write the guy off, as he’s not as age advanced as some of these other fellas, but he’s gotta get it figured out soon and get those walks under control. Last but not least is Vidal Nuno, whose performances I looked forward to every week in 2012. He’s not a flashy stuff kinda guy that can mow down hitters with a big FB, he’s not a young top prospect type….he’s a guy who partied a little too hard when he first turned pro, had to turn to the indy leagues, and came back a better, wiser pitcher. He’s got a 4 or 5 pitch mix that he locates well and keeps hitters off balance and controls the plate very well. His FB only sits in the high 80’s (touches maybe 90-91 at times), but he walks very few, 27 BB’s in 114 IP, and struck out 126 in 2012. That’s a K/BB of over 4:1 and an ERA of 2.54 pitching mostly in Trenton. He’s not one that I’d bet on them breaking camp with, but he’ll be in Scranton at some point in 2013 and could be called up if he’s moving along like he has. I’ll admit, I have a soft spot for guys like this. He doesn’t come with the high ceiling tagline, or have dominating stuff but the guy seems like he can just pitch. Being a junkballer you have to be smart to succeed, and I dig that.

In summation, having a cheap bullpen is a great way for them to shed a few million, and with a well stocked farm system in terms of relief they need to get some of these guys some innings before they are forced to. I’d like to see them do that all the way around the roster, partly because I’m looking forward to seeing these kids on the big stage, and partly because I don’t want to see a bunch of shell shocked newbies in 2014 when management no choice but to play them.

Posted on January 9, 2013, in No Category. Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. But…I don’t want to say goodbye to Boone…he’s my birthday buddy. 😦

    (and he’s a good pitcher, but mostly the first part).

  2. mainly i worry about how he’ll bounce back after a career high in appearances. with one year of team control left it might be best to cut bait now and include him in a package that brings back a bat or get at least a higher celing/lower level prospect for him in return as he isn’t going to get a qualifying offer and we won’t be compensated when he walks after 2103.

  3. Vidal Nuno
    I haven’t seen this guy pitch at all but, as he has good command & control, left-handed and a junker…keep him around! This is something a lot of hitters have not seen too often.

    “He doesn’t come with the high ceiling tagline, or have dominating stuff but the guy seems like he can just pitch. Being a junkballer you have to be smart to succeed, and I dig that.”

  4. Time to update the Yankee top prospect list. Move up guys like Austin, Williams, and Heathcott. Move down guys like the B’s and get rid of Montero.

  5. My top 10 are Sanchez,Williams, Austin,Heathcott,Montgomery,Marshall,Banuelos,Joseph,Adams,

  6. What the Yanks need to see this year is progress from their minor league players more than anything. Next year they will need help from the minors to be sucessful.

  7. TRADE SMOKE?….What is it composed of?
    A bit like the song, “Dust In The Wind.”….. Add in balonga, and any
    form of hallucinogen you can find. Serve to like minded people, and stand back.

  8. Thank you…Mr. Editor… Matthew S.

  9. Hal: “Is our goal 189 nest year? Yes. But only if I’m convinced if the team I see, that we’ve put together, is a championship caliber team.” He is full of crap. Actions speak louder than words.

  10. With the latest report from Jon Heyman saying that the Yankees are increasingly less involved with the Scott Hairston talks, you have to hope that means they are becoming more involved with the Morse talks. But who knows — I’ve lost almost all of my confidence in the front office to make the changes that are needed. That’s saying a lot, because I don’t typically give the front office as hard of a time as others tend to do.

    • Michael Angelo D…..fear not co/founder…
      My Irish bones tell everything will happen in a cluster.
      A signing, a big trade, new names….so say the bones.

    • Mike D. – How are you my friend? Good to see you posting. That is saying a lot but I too don’t have a lot of confidence in this management. They seem to make a lot of strange moves/decisions and I really think Hal is more concerned with the team’s balance sheet than getting rings. In the 90’s and even early 2000’s management worked under the premise that if you get the rings and have an exciting and thrilling on-field team, the $$$ and profits would come. These guys seem more concerned with making money by cutting and doing just enough to have a playoff caliber team.

      The results are declining attendance, a somewhat bland team (only by Yankees standards) and increasing fan apathy. Trading for Morse would be a nice addition and make their team better but it’s just another 1-yr rental. Hopefully they can pull it off without having to give up any significant part of the team’s future.

  11. Here we go again!
    The sky is falling. 100 days of darkness. I’m at a wake.
    Will someone take away his cyanide tablets.

  12. Yankees will win division again next season. Baltimore luck will run out in close games… Toronto improved but can’t play with the big boys after AllStar break….boston traded their best players…..Tampa has no offense.

  13. This group of commenters are very pessimistic……how’d you like to be 9 years old, 4’11” and 200lbs?

  14. Yankees break franchise record for homeruns and fans here call them boring??? Say what?

    Cano becomes best all around player in league…….fans here say trade him…….say what?

    Jeter has tremendous year batting .320 at age 38…….fans here say bench him…..say what?

    Granderson leads league in runs scored AND runs batted in a season ago and hits most home runs over last 3 seasons….fans here say trade him….say what?

    • Ok Fatboy, I’ll try again….
      With some takes me a while to raise the dead…Maybe you read about all the money King George put into the team back in the day…well here is something you may have missed.
      The Team was and has been worth many $$$$$ for years and years but, King George spent the income of the team and his own money to buy and keep over priced players and the last few years, to help get the Farm up and running again! So Hal and family along with Randy have decided to make a profit, after all, that’s what a business is for, right…I hate it but, it is their money not mine.

      The call for trading Grandy and Cano is simple, next year they will walk and we get nothing for them. Trade them and we may get a player or two much younger and nearly as good.

      Who says Bench Jeter? Not anyone I know! Although this is his last year, he will get to the numbers he has been after for so many years or not…this is it! Like I said many times, I respect his talents but, that is all.

      By the way his ankle was a simple break, that is why i had the boot on for a lot longer then he did….mine was a compound fracture and get this! I am pidgin toed and they put the left ankle on as if I was the same as most…so, now when I walk like John Wayne did.

    • “Yankees break franchise record for homeruns and fans here call them boring??? Say what?”

      A bunch of guys hitting .200-.250 with 16-25 HRs doesn’t make for an exciting team to me. With the exception of Cano & Jeter, a very bland offense. Coming off the big season and injury, I don’t expect another MVP caliber performance from Jeter. I think Cano will have a great year in his walk year and Gardner is an exciting player to watch.

      Ichiro is questionable and I would have rather spent the same 2-yr deal for Melky. Youkilis for ARod is a push. Swisher is gone…..if he’s replaced by Morse or someone of that ilk, then great.

      But the fact that they had a bunch of guys with 14-24 HRs doesn’t impress me at all. Few if any were dynamic players I’d pay to see.

      • Also, ZERO wins after trailing after 8 innings. The Championship teams never died, never quit….18 walk-off wins in 2009. The 2012 team had maybe 1 in the regular season.

        This team died when it got tough too often in 2012 and it showed in the playoffs. Once Jeter got carried off this team went in a shell and hid.

        THAT is why people aren’t thrilled with this team. These are the NYY, and we want more!

      • That comes down to personal preference IMO. The HR team got them 95 wins, which is plenty exciting and the regular season was not boring to me at all. If they had not slumped in the postseason I don’t think you would her that as much. There are plenty of ways to go about it and as long as they win I don’t care how old they are or what their strengths or weaknesses are. Unfortunately right now the team isn’t good enough.

        • True Matt, it comes down to personal preference. But many, many people were sour on the Yankees offense all season long – well before the playoffs. And many of us want a Championship caliber team because we were spoiled by the Dynasty. I see the teams of the last few years and I see good, deep teams that can make the playoffs but don’t stand out. Older teams don’t have potential to improve….they are what they are. I’d like to see younger teams with the ability to improve and get better. Does that make any sense?

          If the Yanks led the lg in HRs and still had great defense, speed and hit for average, that would be impressive. But they led the lg in HRs because they neglected all of those other facets and one-dimensional teams don’t usually win it all. They only had 2 players hit even 25 HRs. I don’t call that a team full of HR hitters. They were a team filled with players with moderate power and they also play in a HR haven. It’s not a coincidence they were 4th in HRs allowed also (190).

          The Yanks are always a deep team because of their payroll and have been contenders every yr because of the amazing core that started in the 90s and their depth. But the Yanks don’t have that top end talent I see around the league. they have a lot of good players and aren’t terrible at any position (besides Catcher) but they don’t have a lot of difference makers.

          When I look at teams like Detroit, Anaheim, Washington, St.Louis, Cincy and even SF, I don’t like how the Yanks match up. NYY will always win a lot in the regular season because of that depth but I don’t consider them elite without those difference maker, top shelf talents. Cano is a stud and CC is still great but the rest of their big-time guys are on their last legs (Mo, Andy, Jeter, ARod) and their prime aged players (Tex, Grandy, Gardner, Hughes, Joba) need to step up their games.

          • Great points there Fish. The only thing I would disagree with that their depth is not just because of payroll. One good thing Cashman has done is find great depth players at bargain prices that anybody could have had. You’re correct that we only have 2 elite players on the club. I guess 3 since Robertson is elite at his position. Those teams you mentioned are getting a lot out of their system and now they have been able to compete with the Yankees for the top free agents. The Yankees haven’t been getting the top free agents or much out of their system.

            • You got it Matt. No significant Free Agents and no influx of quality young prospects has left the Yanks stagnant and behind the top 3-5 teams in MLB. These teams are building from within AND are starting to spend more on FAs while the Yanks are not giving opportunities to youngsters and cutting payroll.

              Yanks still use their $$$ to add depth. It’s just smaller salaries so it doesn’t seem like much. But last yr the Yanks had a $4 Million 6th starter (Garcia), a $13M backup closer (Sori), a $3M 4th OF (Ibanez), a $1.9m backup 3B (Chavez), a $2M 5th OF (A.Jones) and added a $2.5M veteran SP right before the season (Pettitte). That’s almost $27M in bench players and extras. Those are positions most teams fill with rookies or players making the veterans minimum.

              Another thing I mean by depth is the depth of their starting lineup, pitching staff and bullpen – not just backups. They have the cash to put an established, quality player at every position and almost always do.

  15. 1. Cano and Grandy won’t walk if we pay them what they deserve. We have the money (2000 per ticket…highway robbery).

    2. You should respect more than Jeter’s talent……he is and has been scandal free….class act.

    3. Jeter is not playing to get the numbers…he’s playing to WIN!

    4. Oldyankee07 is the John Wayne of YFU. Tall, handsome and slow.

    • Fatboy…
      1–They will not pay either one what they can get on the market!
      2–If you say so!
      3–BS, he had talked about reaching and passing Rose, many years ago, after a reporter asked him about the record. I’ve told you about that but you haven’t looked it up yet, that’s ok!
      4–I do walk like him but, I am better looking and much faster, don’t forget, he was a line man in college, you know those guys…the ones that were slow and pissed because they never had the ladies! The deal is, they tried to take it out on the guys that did have the ladies…so that’s why I ran so well…actually, I ran for my life!

  16. Looking at next year’s free agents I think the Yanks are in good shape to continue their winning ways. Pitchers like Lester,Garza,Halliday,Carpenter,Haren,Hudson,Shields,Johnson, and Lincecum give the Yanks some great options. They also will have over 50 million coming off the books. They might be able to sign 2 of these guys and still stay under 189.

  17. MARCUS THAMES: Early on, I called him the man with the aluminum glove.
    I reached for the defibrillator, when I read the Yankees signed him.
    I wish him well.

    • Yes, my dad ate 99 hot dogs once in Coney Island. Burped for a week ….Hebrew national spicy.
      But he’s not fat……are you? I’m slim ……husky slim.

  18. fatboy Slim…..went food shopping today.
    Guess what!…Cheddar Cheese flavored Cheese Doodles are on sale!
    Did you say your father ate 99 hot dogs once?

    Michael Morse’ name continues to be linked to the Yankees.
    Funny how Scott Hairston, is no longer a big deal, re: the Yankees.
    Has Ballpark moved to Akron, Ohio?

  20. BRAVO…Matthew B.
    Very nice, and informative article.
    Don’t know why, but I very rarely, if ever agree with you. This time you nailed it.

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