Blog Archives

Staff Predictions for the 2012 MLB Season

The MLB season starts tomorrow (not including those ridiculous Japan games) and the Yankees Fans Unite staff has made their predictions on the standings and awards for the 2012 MLB season. The awards will be posted tomorrow. We did the AL only since that’s what we focus on most with the Yankees.

AL East: Well let’s get this out of the way early since I know everybody is wondering. It is almost unanimous among the staff that the Yankees will win the AL East. Myself, Matt S, Mike D, Brian, Fish and Delia all have the Yankees taking the division. Mike P stands alone in taking the Rays. Mike P’s reasoning is that he thinks the Rays have the best rotation in MLB, enough hitting to support them, and they have great prospects to help them once August rolls around. Everybody who picked the Yankees likes the balance of their team among the offense, starting rotation, and bullpen and think they are no worse than their 97 win team from a year ago.

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Angels a better fit than Yanks for Wilson


C.J. Wilson had an interest in the New York Yankees, if not for nothing more than to drive up his price. Wilson tried to set up a meeting with the Yankees, but the Yankees denied him.  As a result, the market for Wilson was not as good as he probably anticipated.Wilson ended up signing a 5 yr, 77 million dollar contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Yankees were wise to lay off him, but I do feel as though he is a pretty good fit for the Angels.

I felt as though C.J. Wilson would be vastly overpaid by somebody due to the fact that he was the best pitcher in an extremely weak starting pitching market.  However, his awful postseason hurt him in a major way.Wilson was 0-3 with a 6.82 ERA despite the Rangers making the World Series. I see him more as a number 3 pitcher which is exactly why he was a good fit for the Angels and not the Yankees. With the Angels, Wilson can slide nicely behind Jered Weaver and Dan Haren.  That should limit the pressure on him along with Albert Pujols taking a lot of it.  With the Yankees Wilson would be forced into a pressurized situation as the number 2 starter. He showed last year in the postseason that he may not be able to live up to that. He is not the guy the Yankees are looking for in my opinion, so they made the right decision in not paying a guy they are not sure about into his mid 30s.

I do believe Wilson will have success for the Angels because the fit is a lot better for him.  Some players are not right for the Yankees, but are right for a lot of other places. Brian Cashman has chosen to not to throw out money this offseason and so far he has done a nice job of being patient. Cole Hamels and Matt Cain are much better free agent options next offseason. Cashman does still need to improve the rotation and it will be interesting to see what he does.

Yankees have “looked at” LHRP Mike Gonzalez

Yankees have “looked at” LHRP Mike Gonzalez

by Mike D.

Via SI.com’s Jon Heyman, the Yankees are looking for left-handed relief help, and have looked at Mike Gonzalez as a possible option. In 53.1 innings for the Orioles and Rangers, Gonzalez pitched to a 4.39 ERA / 4.11 FIP / 3.73 xFIP line, with an 8.61 K/9 and a 3.54 BB/9. I took a more in-depth examination of Gonzalez as a possible addition to the bullpen here.

Heyman goes on to note that the Yankees do not like the current prices of Edwin Jackson and C.J. Wilson, and despite what Hal has publicly stated, they are still a bit “gun-shy” regarding Japanese pitchers such as Yu Darvish. He also states that it is unlikely that the Yankees will trade for Atlanta’s Jair Jurrjens. Heyman sees a trade for John Danks of the White Sox more likely and sensible.

Yankees turn down meeting with C.J Wilson

Yankees turn down meeting with C.J Wilson

By Delia E.

Over the course of the offseason, the Yankees have grown less and less interested in C.J Wilson and today, reports say that the Yankees turned down meeting with the lefty free agent. Wilson’s agent requested that the Yankees meet with him but the Yankees “said no”.

It doesn’t mean that the Yankees are going to not sign Wilson all together, but maybe Brian Cashman is trying to fool every New York Writer out there and pull a rabbit out of his hat. But unless Cashman is doing that, then seeing C.J Wilson in pinstripes will be a very, very slim chance.

Several Interesting Rumors: Cain, Garcia, Wilson, Haren

Yesterday, Mike Silva’s New York Baseball Digest dished out some pretty interesting rumors regarding the Yankees. I’ll recap them in this post. Now, I’m really not sure about the overall reliability of these rumors. However if they are true, then they are very interesting. I did look through the comments at River Ave. Blues, and Steve S. of The Yankee Analysts was adamant that the author, Frank Russo, has always had a rock solid source, “very tied in to baseball matters with the Yanks.” Keeping that in mind, here we go…

— Russo wrote that the Yankees made an offer of four players for Matt Cain of the Giants, that included at least 1 position player and several minor-league pitchers. The deal was quickly turned down. Some of the names that were reportedly tossed around were: Jesus Montero, Nick Swisher, Dellin Betances, Adam Warren, David Phelps, and Hector Noesi.

— He says that in Tampa, the word on the street is that Freddy Garcia will not be the only starting pitching acquisition, and that it wasn’t really a “value signing”. Russo says that Garcia could be utilized both as a starter or a long reliever. “They also love his clubhouse presence as he was a mentor to Ivan Nova.”

— Russo states that although there have been no numbers tossed around, the Yankees “could” offer CJ Wilson one of two types: (1) a 5 year contract with an opt-out option, (2) a 4 year contract with several vesting option years. They reportedly feel their main competition for Wilson is the Angels’ aggressive GM, Jerry DiPoto.

— He mentions that rumors are starting up that the Angels may make Dan Haren available. Russo says the Yankees would really like to acquire him, but “the belief down in Tampa is that DiPoto will only trade Haren to the Yankees for several ‘top tier’ prospects, (think Montero/Romine and Betances/Warren).”

Yankees Mailbag: Part 1

Thank you to all who asked questions for this mailbag – let’s get started!

(If you don’t see your question, it will be answered in tomorrow’s Part 2.)

Billy Beane is willing to listen on anyone at the moment.

@AJ_Rotger asked:
What would you give up for Gio G. from Oakland?

I would give up anybody except Jesus Montero or Manny Baneulos. However, considering Gio Gonzalez is under team control for quite awhile, Billy Beane has no reason to ask for anything less than one of those two. Gio is young, talented and has plenty of low-dollars years ahead of him. However, I wouldn’t give up Montero or Banuelos for him. Although he generates a lot of striekouts (8.6 career K/9), I am not keen on his fastball command issues (4.4 career BB/9). If the Yankees are to give up Montero or Banuelos, it has to be for a sure thing elite starting pitcher. Gio Gonzalez, in my opinion, is not a sure thing. Would I like to have him pitching in pinstripes? No doubt about it…but not at the price Oakland is asking for.

@PrimoBledBlue asked:
Which prospective pitcher would you consider to be in the NYY rotation: Yu Darvish, CJ Wilson or Roy Oswalt?

Out of all those three, my favorite for the Yankees to acquire would be Yu Darvish. Although there is always the “Japanese-import” risk, its money the Yankees can afford to gamble on. Cashman may say he’s on a budget, but you can never put too much weight into comments like that. I think he has the highest “upside” of the three you mentioned. Also, if they were to make a trade for a John Danks etc., in addition, there would be less of an absolute necessity for Darvish to be as elite as he was in Japan.

C.J. Wilson would be a great pitcher to have…on a three-year deal. However, he is reportedly looking for a six year, $120MM deal, which is absolutely absurd. If I’m Brian Cashman, I walk away after the four year mark. His upside simply doesn’t match up with the enormous risk of a 5-6 year contract. Delia took a look at whether the Yankees should pursue Wilson, earlier in the month, before we found out what kind of lucrative contract he was looking for. I would take a pass on Wilson.

 

Oswalt would be a nice addition, since it would be on a relatively short contract, such as a two-year deal. He’s been very consistent throughout his career, never having a FIP over 4.00 in 11 MLB seasons. Matt examined the idea of Roy Oswalt on the Yankees earlier in the month. Oswalt has consistently manufactured plenty of ground-balls, and successfully limited the walk. However, his back is definitely something to think about, as back problems are a tricky thing to come back from, although there are always exceptions. I would not want Oswalt to be the one pitcher the Yanks acquire for the rotation next year, as if his back problems flare up again, well…

 

@GITGUYfoREVer asked:
What are your thoughts about Albert on the Yankees?

Although it’s impossible as a Yankee fan to not want to see Albert Pujols in pinstripes, there’s really no spot currently open for him. Ricky, a few weeks ago, shared his thoughts on Pujols. Some have said they could trade Tex, but that’s just typical Yankee-fan greediness. His ability to drive a pitch anywhere in the ballpark at a far distance is something we would all drool over to have on the team. But as long as A-Rod, Tex, and Montero are on the team, there’s no reason to sign Pujols. If, however, Jesus Montero was traded for an elite starting pitcher, then there is a scenario where I would absolutely, positively go after Albert. You could sign Pujols to play third base, move A-Rod to DH, and keep Tex at first. That is, if Montero is traded, which I don’t exactly advocate.

That’s it for the Yankees Mailbag: Part 1. Anybody that asked any questions that weren’t on today’s mailbag, will be answered tomorrow by Ricky. A reminder that if you have a question you’d like to ask, either email me at yankeesfansunited@gmail.com or contact us on Twitter at @yankeefansunite. Have a great rest of the day.

Open Thread

Some interesting news and notes to to think about tonight.   Share your thoughts with a comment or two.

SI.com’s Jon Heyman reports that C.J. Wilson is looking for a six-year, $120 million contract.

It doesn’t seem likely that he’ll find it, but that’s not a bad place for his agent to start. Wilson has drawn interest from enough teams that he should be able to land a contract of five years or more, but asking for $20 million annually is probably a reach. The Marlins, Red Sox, Yankees and Angels are said to have serious interest, and the Rangers will also attempt to re-sign the lefty.

Eric Chavez wants to play in 2012.

The 33-year-old continued to battle injuries this season while posting an underwhelming .263/.320/.356 slash line across 175 plate appearances, but major league teams might see him as a high-upside backup capable of providing a veteran clubhouse presence. Look for Chavez to land an incentives-driven one-year contract.

The Red Sox have called about free agent right-hander Freddy Garcia, according to the Boston Herald.

Garcia earned a $1.5 million base salary this season plus incentives while going 12-8 with a 3.62 ERA and 96/45 K/BB ratio over 146 2/3 innings. There is mutual interest for the 35-year-old right-hander to return to the Bronx next season.

Morning Bits: Cashman, Wilson, Chavez, Gardner, A-Rod, Rotation

Good morning everyone. With the GM Meetings underway, we have a whole bunch of links for you today…

— The Yankees have invited CJ Wilson and his agent, Bob Garber to meet in New York with the team. Garber has asked for the meeting to occur before the beginning of the Winter Meetings on December 5th.

Cashman expects Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova to be in the rotation next year, “without a doubt”.

— Cashman pondered the idea that if Eric Chavez started at third-base in the postseason, he would have out-performed A-Rod.

— Brett Gardner will be working with Kevin Long this offseason to improve his timing.

— Cashman is looking for A-Rod to step it up, and for the real Alex Rodriguez to resurface.

— Despite what they have been saying publicly, Yankees people have been telling friends to expect an eventual big splash for a pitcher.

Have a great day.

C.J. Wilson News

C. J. Wilson News

by Matt S.

C.J. Wilson’s agent, Bob Garber, said Tuesday that he is going to New York to meet with Yankees’ officials.

Garber met with Yanks’ GM Brian Cashman on Tuesday in Milwaukee. It’s not clear when the trip to New York will take place, but Garber said that the Bombers are among six or seven teams in serious talks for the free agent left-hander. Wilson, who is regarded as the best starting pitcher on the market, is believed to be asking for a six-year contract in the range of $100 million.

Morning/Afternoon Bits: Garcia, Wilson

Good afternoon everyone! We hope you enjoy the rest of your day! Here are your morning/afternoon bits: 

– The Yankees have talked to the agent of C.J Wilson and Roy Oswalt despite Wilson’s dismal postseason.

Freddy Garcia has expressed his interest in returning to the Yankees for the 2012 season.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Yankees not interested in Pujols; Find C.J Wilson an “attractive candidate”

Yankees not interested in Pujols; Find C.J Wilson an “attractive candidate”

By Delia E.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman was a guest on the Dan Patrick Show on Friday morning & Cashman had confirmed what was the obvious: The Yankees were not interested in pursuing Albert Pujols.

“Despite him being fantastic, it’s not an efficient way to allocate our resources.” Cashman explained. “Offense is not an issue here. Our priority this offseason is pitching.”

It’s not that Brian Cashman doesn’t want Pujols. Let’s face it; Pujols is one of the best power hitters in the league, but Cashman feels that by giving Pujols the full-time DH spot that he is locking up a player who may perform well now, but can decline well into their 30’s. Cashman had planned to use the DH spot for Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira since he had offered them both long contracts.

On C.J Wilson, Cashman finds him the most attractive candidate out there since he is the one that everyone seems to be after at this point.

“I’d say it’s fair to say C.J Wilson is probably the best pitcher in the marketplace right now since CC Sabathia’s been taken out and retained here” Cashman said. “I don’t think it’s a stretch to let anybody know that he’s an attractive candidate.”

So is Brian Cashman going to show all of his cards and attempt to lure C.J Wilson with lots of money? No. C.J Wilson wants one thing; a big contract and the Yankees can easily offer him one, but it is up to Cashman to decide whether C.J Wilson’s asking price matches with the talents that he has, and also if he can keep up in the New York environment.

Hot Stove Targeting: C.J Wilson

C.J Wilson made his debut on June 12, 2005 with the Texas Rangers and has shown to have been a dominant force on the team since, recording a 43-31 record from 2005-2011. Wilson will be a free agent after the 2011 season and he is on the radar of many teams, including the New York Yankees. Although the Yankees are not as interested in C.J Wilson as you would like them to be, Wilson has untapped potential which made him a rising star, but the question that all of us have on our minds; Is C.J Wilson New York Yankees material?

C.J Wilson has pitched 223.1 innings this season with a .294 ERA

Positives: C.J Wilson was relief pitcher converted into a starting pitcher, and he seemed to have converted quite nicely. In 2005, Wilson had a horrendous 1-7 record but he turned that all around in 2011 when he went 16-7 with 223.1 innings under his belt along with 206 K’s. Wilson’s numbers earned him a spot into the All-Star game, which actually turned into a negative but we’ll get to that later. Wilson also has a .294 ERA in which he only gave up 73 runs. Here are some of C.J Wilson'[s #’s during the regular season since 2005:

 

Year Age Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS IP H R SO WHIP
2001 20 TEX-min 2 2 .500 2.01 13 13 71.2 54 19 75 1.005 PUL,SAV · APPY,SALL
2002 21 TEX-min 11 2 .846 2.78 31 20 136.0 109 54 93 1.191 CHT,TUL · FLOR,TL
2003 22 TEX-min 6 9 .400 5.05 22 21 123.0 135 79 89 1.407 FRI · TL
2005 24 TEX-min 0 5 .000 4.17 16 16 58.1 61 37 57 1.354 FRI,BAK · TL,CALL
2005 24 TEX 1 7 .125 6.94 24 6 48.0 63 39 30 1.688
2006 25 TEX-min 1 0 1.000 2.51 13 0 14.1 13 4 23 1.395 OKC,FRI · PCL,TL
2006 25 TEX 2 4 .333 4.06 44 0 44.1 39 23 43 1.286
2007 26 TEX 2 1 .667 3.03 66 0 68.1 50 25 63 1.215
2008 27 TEX 2 2 .500 6.02 50 0 46.1 49 35 41 1.640
2009 28 TEX 5 6 .455 2.81 74 0 73.2 66 29 84 1.330
2010 29 TEX 15 8 .652 3.35 33 33 204.0 161 83 170 1.245
2011 30 TEX 16 7 .696 2.94 34 34 223.1 191 89 206 1.187
7 Seasons 43 35 .551 3.60 325 73 708.0 619 323 637 1.291
162 Game Avg. 7 6 .551 3.60 56 12 121 106 55 109 1.291
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/2/2011.

Negatives: C.J Wilson’s negatives are a little easier to distinguish than his positives. Wilson cannot seem to pitch in high profile situations. Let’s take the All-Star game for example. Wilson gave up the lead by giving up a 3 run home

In his career in the postseason, C.J Wilson is 1-5 with a 4.82 ERA. Not exactly what the Yankees would want from a pitcher in the postseason.

to Milwaukee Brewer Prince Fielder, which gives the National League home field advantage and Wilson the loss. Kind of ironic how the Rangers don’t have home field advantage because of C.J. Wilson also has some issues with pitching in the postseason. In 2010 & 2011 combined, Wilson is 1-5 with a 4.94 ERA. It is important to get into the postseason but if you are a team that wants to win the World Series, then it is important that you keep up production for when I really matters. Now…here is a chart for C.J Wilson’s postseason’s numbers and I should tell you, they are not pretty:

Year Age Tm Lg Series Rslt Opp W L W-L% ERA G GS IP H R SO WHIP
2010 29 TEX AL ALDS W TBR 1 0 1.000 0.00 1 1 6.1 2 0 7 0.632
2010 29 TEX AL ALCS W NYY 0 1 .000 6.00 2 2 12.0 12 9 6 1.500
2010 29 TEX AL WS L SFG 0 1 .000 3.00 1 1 6.0 3 2 4 0.833
2011 30 TEX AL ALDS W TBR 0 1 .000 10.80 1 1 5.0 7 8 6 1.600
2011 30 TEX AL ALCS W DET 0 1 .000 6.75 2 2 10.2 14 8 11 1.969
2011 30 TEX AL WS L STL 0 1 .000 2.92 3 2 12.1 8 5 9 1.541
2 Seasons (6 Series) 1 5 .167 4.82 10 9 52.1 46 32 43 1.433
2 ALDS 1 1 .500 4.76 2 2 11.1 9 8 13 1.059
2 ALCS 0 2 .000 6.35 4 4 22.2 26 17 17 1.721
2 WS 0 2 .000 2.95 4 3 18.1 11 7 13 1.309
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/2/2011.

Is C.J Wilson A Fit For The Yankees: Before the post season I thought C.J WIlson would be the perfect fit for the Yankees, but after watching the postseason, it seems that his value goes down a little bit after every sour performance. The Yankees goal is to get to the World Series so they could win #28, but they can’t possibly do that if they have a pitcher that is 1-5 in the postseason. Let’s face it, even A.J Burnett knows when it’s time to play hard and win so if A.J can do it then it shouldn’t be hard for C.J. At this point there are no real rumblings for C.J but if I were the Rangers I would try to hang onto “pretty boy” for as long as they can because right now, I don’t think I can picture “Starting Pitcher, C.J Wilson, #36 of the New York Yankees.”

C.J Wilson & Roy Oswalt Interested in Yankees

C.J Wilson & Roy Oswalt Interested in Yankees

By Delia E.

As of right now, it is uncertain how much interest Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman has in acquiring C.J Wilson & Roy Oswalt, but if there is one thing these two pitchers share in common it’s that they are both interested in the Yankees, at least according to their manager Bob Garber.

Garber manages both Wilson & Oswalt and has described what each player wants, and they both desire the Yankees. C.J Wilson is considered the No. 1 pick in the free agent market after going 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA. Garber believes that Wilson’s outgoing, friendly personality with the media will thrive in New York

“He is one of those guys that would fit in very well.” Garber said. “He would fit in most places pretty well. New York I think he will thrive in a city like that.”

Oswalt on the other hand had a 9-10 record with a 3.64 ERA with the Phillies. In 2010 the Yankees nearly acquired Oswalt in a trade before he was sent to Philadelphia from the Houston Astros. Garber believes that Oswalt would be interested in playing for the Yankees since he has talked about it with former Yankees pitcher Andy Pettite.

“I know that he is friends with Andy Pettite and they have talked about the Yankees over the years.” Garber mentioned about Oswalt. “That’s a situation that I think Roy would fit into as well.”

Both Wilson and Oswalt are looking for multi-year contracts but the Yankees are iffy in giving Oswalt a deal due to his previous back injuries. Garber assures that Oswalt back is fine.

“It’s just a matter of figuring out how to manage his back situation.”

The Yankees are expected to have interest in both players but Cashman would like to become “conservative” which means he wouldn’t plan on getting into a bidding war with the other teams over them, especially if Wilson gets a bigger deal than Oswalt. The Yankees may pursue Chicago White Sox free agent Mark Buerhle or bid for the contract of Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish. The Yankees may also want to re-sign Yankees free agent Freddy Garcia.

Not the offseason for change

The Yankees concluded their 2011 season in a way that is all too familiar to us. Unfortunately, we have to deal with the sting of yet another brutal first round exit from the playoffs.  This one hurts a lot because it was all lined up so perfectly. We had Mariano Rivera and David Robertson available for two innings each, and we were coming home with momentum.  All we needed was one big hit and we could not get it. That is the main difference between the Yankees dynasty of the 90s and the last decade. Those teams had players like Bernie, Brosius, Tino, O’Neill, and Jeter who raised their game from the regular season to the playoffs. The teams of the last decade have had better regular seasons than postseasons.  However, another disappointing playoff series does not mean that this team should make radical changes this off-season.

Brian Cashman has always said you cannot make decisions based solely on the postseason. He is absolutely correct. The sample size is way too small to be considered worth more than the regular season. Nick Swisher, Mark Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez obviously were the main goats of this postseason and. The only one of those three you could do anything with is Swisher.  Let’s say hypothetically, you do not pick up Swisher’s option, and you replace him with Michael Cuddyer.  You cannot guarantee me Cuddyer, or any other replacement, would hit in the playoffs. There is no possible way of knowing. However, I do know that Swisher will produce better in the regular season based on a larger sample size. Plus his 10 million dollar option is cheap and you can go out and find somebody else next year.  As for Teixeira and Rodriguez you have to hope they dedicate themselves this off-season to get better.  Teixiera needs to improve his mechanics from the left side as his line of .218/.327/.462/.788 suggests. Rodriguez needs to develop an exercise routine that can help him stay on the field.  Signing Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder to big bucks is not the answer with all money they have tied into Teixiera and Rodriguez. Texeira and Rodriguez improving is the only option.

This is also not the off-season for radical change because of the big free agent class next year.  Matt Kemp is an elite outfielder who could potentially replace Swisher. He is a five tool player and is only 27. He makes much more sense than Pujols or Fielder would.  Stud pitchers also will be available like Cole Hamels, Matt Cain, Zack Grienke, John Danks, Shaun Marcum, and potentially Dan Haren and James Shields. Some of these guys may also be available at next year’s trade deadline. This is why the Yankees should not blow their money on C.J. Wilson or Yu Darvish this off-season. Sure they will need to sign or trade for a pitcher or two, but it does not have to be for major money. It is also why the Yankees do not have to go completely all out to extend CC Sabathia. I say 6 years at 150 million is a good meeting point. If Sabathia is dead set on 7 years letting him walk is probably the better option. The long term risk of a man who is close to 300 pounds is scary. All those innings will have to take its toll at some point right? Th St.Louis Cardinals are proved you do not need outstanding starting pitch to win a championship. You can win with clutch hitting and an outstanding bullpen. The Texas Rangers also got to the World Series without great starting pitching. So I would defiantly try to extend Sabathia, but it is not a necessity.

This Yankee team needs fine tuning this off-season and not a major overhaul. Winning 97 games in the AL East this year was a major accomplishment and should not be taken lightly. That is the sample size that you should trust more. The postseason is a complete crap shoot that can never be predicted.  However, if next year we have similar results in the postseason, we can consider more major moves because there will be elite players out there.  The outlook for the Yankees next year is bright and winning the World Series should be within our reach.

Yankees News

Yankees News

by Delia E.
  • According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Yankees would prefer Yu Darvish over soon to be free agent C.J. Wilson.
  • The Pirates have made it clear that they are looking for catchers this offseason and the Yankees would “definitely” trade backup catcher Francisco Cervelli in the right deal, Sherman also said. However, the Pirates might not view Cervelli as a starting catcher.

Morning Bits: Sabathia, Jeter, Ortiz, Wilson

Good morning everyone, and here are your morning links.

Enjoy your day everyone! Game 4 of the World Series is tonight at 8pm!