Cashman: “We couldn’t afford McCarthy”

December 12, 2014 | 72 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

How things have changed….

Bryan Hoch / MLB.COM:

“I was happy for him, man,” Cashman said. “He came over here and resuscitated [his career] and kicked butt. He was great. With a few adjustments on his walk year, he got over 200 innings now for the first time. I’m glad he’s in the National League. I figured the market would take him at a level that we couldn’t play on.”

Wow.

Even more amazing is that the Yankees did not even make McCarthy an offer (same with D-Rob):

Late on Wednesday, the Yankees also learned that right-hander Brandon McCarthy was heading to the Dodgers with a four-year, $48 million pact. Cashman had mentioned McCarthy’s name often as a starting-pitching target, but as with Robertson, the Yanks never made an offer.

And a good point raised by Hoch:

Cashman’s comment about being unable to play on McCarthy’s financial level raises question marks about any possible pursuit of right-hander Max Scherzer, a top free-agent prize whom agent Scott Boras verbally dangled in front of the Yankees this week.

Again, how things have changed.

What does Andrew Friedman know anyway?

December 11, 2014 | 35 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Vizzini

In basically one cocaine-fueled night, Andrew Friedman:

- Clears up a Dodgers’ OF logjam
- Removes a bad $100 million contract from the books (Kemp)
- Improves their infield
- Adds Brandon McCarthy
- Adds prospects to their farm system

This is the type of creativity you see when ownership…

A. Actually cares about the baseball product
B. Hires the smartest guys in the room

Also, the Cubs basically established a blueprint for how a big-market team rebuilds, creating arguably the best farm system in baseball and supplementing that with targeted spending — basically the model the Yankees used in the 1990s. The Cardinals are probably still the best team in the division, but the Cubs put themselves into legit contention in a hurry.

Meanwhile…

The Yankees search for a hitting coach and speak about Arod’s weight.

From High Socks to the White Sox

December 9, 2014 | 14 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

NY Post:

Late Monday night at the Winter Meetings, the White Sox and David Robertson agreed to a four-year deal worth $46 million that the Yankees didn’t match, creating a crater-size hole in the Yankees’ bullpen.

While Robertson, who turns 30 in April, didn’t get the $52 million contract he was seeking, the right-hander got enough to leave the Yankees, the only organization he has ever worked for since being drafted in 2006.

Emotionally, it’s sad to see one of the rare successful homegrown products leave the club. From a baseball and business standpoint, there are a few ways to look at it.

One, and we’ve emphatically highlighted this before, Robertson publicly stated last year that he would have signed an extension for non-closer money. We warned that once the magical “save” statistic showed up on his baseball card that his price would skyrocket — and we were correct. However, as Robertson said at the time, it’s the (dumb) way the Yankees “do business.” Now, the Yankees have lost one of the game’s top relievers.

However, there is another way of looking at this. The Yankees are going to be terrible next year, and we wouldn’t rule out this team finishing in last place in the division. And as readers know, we are advocates of a full rebuild. Acquiring draft picks is a way to start the rebuilding process, and the Yankees did pick up a supplemental first round pick when D-Rob signed elsewhere. So that’s a good thing.

But please, we urge Yankee fans to not buy into Hal Steinbrenner’s propaganda when he says this team is “championship-caliber“. He is just trying to sucker you into spending money for a sh*tty product. He should be honest, tell the fans that the club needs to rebuild, and give us some hope for the future.

In the meantime, so long David Robertson. Best of luck in Chicago.

A look at the new Jeter

December 5, 2014 | 20 comments | in Featured | by Louis Winthorpe III

Actually, not really new Jeter, almost the same replacement level shortstop we had last season. The general consensus on Didi Gregorious is that he is a good defender and poor hitter. His career UZR is -3.6 (not a very large sample size). However, he made 80% of the plays in his zone measured by fangraphs RZN while Jetes concrete cleats allowed him to reach only 66% in his area. Didi will at least keep more balls in the infield.

On the offensive end, his overall stat line declined over his two “full” big league seasons in 2013 and 2014 (both years he had long stints in the minors). Additionally, he doesn’t hit for power (.366 Career SLG), but he will have the benefit of the lefty-friendly Yankee Stadium. The other positive here is that he is 24 years old and is under team control until 2020. If he finds his swing the trade could pay big dividends considering we don’t think Shane Greene would of cracked the starting rotation in 2015.

Also, doesn’t Didi sound like a wacky Aunt you had? Might he bring gregarious behavior to the clubhouse? Ok, I’m done.

DidiJeter

Updated AL East Transaction Log

November 29, 2014 | 31 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

AL East Transaction Log NoMaas Yankees

Rob Refsnyder should be the 2015 starting second baseman

November 25, 2014 | 18 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

You vicious bastards! Let the boy play second base!

Numerous times in 2014, we called for Brian Cashman to bring up Rob Refsnyder, who lit up the minors. The 23-year old had an incredible year, hitting .342/.385/.548 at Double-A and .300/.389/.456 at Triple-A. Considering how awful the Yankees’ offense was, it was mind-boggling that the Yankees’ General Manager refused to give him a shot.

As we approach the 2015 season, there is no excuse not to give him the opportunity he deserves. Plus, since the club will not be winning a World Series anytime soon, next year will be the perfect situation to be patient with a young player and give him plenty of playing time. Patience is not usually in the Yankees’ repertoire, but it’s time to build a young core — and patience is required.

Brian Cashman Whitney Houston NoMaas Yankees
Children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.

Sherman: Hal is restricting payroll this offseason

November 25, 2014 | 6 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Joel Sherman / NY Post:

The Yankees are not currently playing for any major free agents such as Max Scherzer and, they insist, that stance is not going to change this winter. That is because they spent the majority of this offseason’s budget last offseason when they laid out $458 million on Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran.

Hal Steinbrenner feels the payroll is too stretched with long-term risk to keep piling on. Consider that, for luxury tax purposes, the Yankees already have 11 players signed for $177.6 million in 2015. That is before adding the approximately $11 million each team is charged for items such as insurance and pensions, or dealing with an arbitration case or filling the shortstop position or trying to keep David Robertson or Brandon McCarthy.

It is often a punch line to state the Yankees have a budget. But Steinbrenner actually draws lines in the offseason of what he is willing to do that he then often erases during the season as the club’s needs become pronounced. Hence, for example, a willingness to add Martin Prado’s $22 million for 2015-16 while the 2014 campaign was in progress.

Red Sox shopping spree making it even more difficult for Yanks in 2015

November 24, 2014 | 43 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Whether or not we/you agree with the eventual terms of a Hanley Ramirez to Boston deal, the small market gritty underdog blue-collar Red Sox will be vastly improved over last year’s edition. With a flush farm system, young talent, and now plugging holes (giggity) with free agent signings (wow, this formula sounds familiar), the Yankees’ odds of being “championship-caliber” in 2015 got even longer.

The Boston Red Sox, not content to wait for third baseman Pablo Sandoval’s decision as to whether he will sign with the club, reportedly have come to terms with Hanley Ramirez on what is expected to be in the range of a five-year, $90 million agreement, FoxSports.com reported Sunday.

One major league source however, told ESPN that the deal between the Red Sox and Ramirez is not finalized and is for greater than the five-year, $90 million deal that’s been reported.

In 2014, Ramirez hit .283/.369/.448 (135 wRC+).

Per Fangraphs, here is the lineup the Red Sox are currently projected to put out:

1. Mookie Betts, RF (R)
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B (R)
3. David Ortiz, DH (L)
4. Hanley Ramirez, 3B (R)
5. Mike Napoli, 1B (R)
6. Yoenis Cespedes, LF (R)
7. Xander Bogaerts, SS (R)
8. Rusney Castillo, CF (R)
9. Christian Vazquez, C (R)

That’s a very strong lineup (very right-handed), depending on how the kids perform. And Pablo Sandoval is reportedly still in the running to land in Massachusetts, so Boston will have excess pieces to trade as well.

The point here is four-fold:

1. When you have good young players, you can take on financial risk to fill holes (giggity) in other areas.

2. When you have good young players, it gives you flexibility to trade (which Boston will likely do).

3. The Red Sox front office is now light years ahead of the Yankees’, which blames last season’s playoff miss on bad luck.

4. Sadly, as the Red Sox improve, the Yankees slip further away from the pack.

EDIT 1:56 PM: Pablo Sandoval reportedly coming to Boston too. Look for Boston to make trades now. Cespedes for a starting pitcher as Hanley moves to the OF?

Pythagoras to Cashman: “If you follow me, my child, then thou must rebuild.”

November 17, 2014 | 23 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Pythagoras of Samos

NY Post:

General manager Brian Cashman said, “I believe in the Pythagorean Theory,” which uses runs scored and allowed to show how many games a team should have won, based on historical precedent. That equation showed the Yankees as a 79-win team in 2013 and a 77-win team last year.

I’d just as soon act like we were a 75-win team because I feel we have to make significant improvement,” Cashman said.

At NoMaas, we sacrifice virgins at the altar of Pythagoras. As a reminder:

According to His theory, examining a team’s run differential can provide a more accurate understanding of its true strength, as opposed to simply looking at its winning percentage. Over the course of a season, a team’s actual record should gravitate towards a record more reflective of its run differential.

Heading into the 2014 season, the Yankees were coming off a 2013 season in which they were outscored by 21 runs, meaning Cashman & Co were building off a true talent level of a 78-win team. To put it simply, if you are outscored by your opponents, you have the talent level of a sub-.500 team. This was the main reason why we correctly forecasted the Yankees missing the playoffs last season.

Entering the 2015 season, Yankees are coming off a campaign in which they were outscored by 31 runs, meaning Cashman is building off a true talent base of a 77-win team — which he publicly acknowledges in the comment above.

And while it’s encouraging that Cashman is using run differential to gauge his squad, this analysis should tell the front office that there are not enough upgrades possible to make this year’s club a contender. They will miss the playoffs again.

If Cashman worships at the altar of Pythagoras, the direction of this year’s strategy should be clear:


REBUILD!

Yankees GM blames playoff-less season on bad luck and “game of inches”

November 13, 2014 | 18 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Clearly living in deep denial…

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