Media darling comes to camp dropping F-bombs

February 19, 2014 | 13 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Wade Garrett

Star-Ledger:

The sweat was barely dry from his first workout of the spring and Red Sox slugger David Ortiz already was bringing the heavy lumber, swinging hard at critics in the Boston media who believe he has to put up numbers this season, in the final year of his contract, to earn a deal for for 2015.

This can’t be the way the Red Sox wanted Big Papi to arrive — steamed, spewing expletives and talking about an extension.

“I don’t even know why they’re bitching about me talking about contracts,” Ortiz said. “Guys putting up my numbers, they’re making $25, $30 million. I’m not asking for that. I’m asking for half of it. And they’re still (complaining) about it? (Expletive) them. I’m tired of hearing them talk (expletive) about me when I talk about my contract. Hey, every time I talk about my contract, I earn it, (expletive). So don’t be giving me that (expletive).”

Awwwwww, that’s jus’ Papi.

Smile

February 18, 2014 | 15 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Robinson Cano Mariners

Valid question: How likeable is this team?

February 18, 2014 | 39 comments | in Mediot Observation | by SJK

From Brad Kallet of WFAN:

Opening Day is still a ways away, but it’s not hard to see that this team is flooded with talent.

As the saying goes, fans root more for the uniform than they do the players on the field. But isn’t there something to be said for having an affinity for the players on your team? Some kind of connection to the men you are cheering on? A sense of appreciation for having watched — over the years — a young, raw kid develop into an All-Star?

I want to make this very, very clear. Yankees fans have every right to cheer this team on, and they should enjoy cheering this team on. The Steinbrenners played by the rules and did nothing wrong by throwing all the money in the world at the top-tier free agents on the market. The organization did what it always does — do whatever is necessary to make the team better, even if that means surpassing the $189 million luxury-tax threshold.

You simply have to respect that. Any fan of any club in any sport wants their team’s owner to show commitment to winning.

But when it comes down to it, isn’t this just a bunch of random players wearing pinstripes as opposed to Yankees wearing Yankees uniforms?

Legit questions posed by this writer, and kudos to him for offering an alternative opinion.

The Braves lock up their elite reliever long-term, the Yankees could lose theirs

February 17, 2014 | 8 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

The Braves continue to lock up their young players to long-term extensions — a trend that is happening all around baseball except in New York. The latest Atlanta extension was given to elite reliever Craig Kimbrel, who agreed to a 4 year / $42 million deal, with a club option for a 5th year. By doing so, the Braves bought out Kimbrel’s next 3 years of arbitration (including this year), and at least one year of free agency.

The Yankees have an elite reliever of their own in David Robertson, and we previously recommended offering him an extension that would buy out his last year of arbitration and two years of free agency.

In January, the Yankees and D-Rob agreed to a 1-year / $5.215 million contract in the 28-year old’s last season of arbitration eligibility. With no extension, Robertson will become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2014 campaign.

As we know, the Yankees’ front office clings to an archaic “No Extensions!” policy. As a result, when D-Rob hits the market (now with the magical “save” statistic attached to his baseball card), his price will inflate due to bidding by multiple teams and the Yankees will be at risk of losing him entirely.

Cafardo: Yanks should/might sign Ervin Santana

February 16, 2014 | 11 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Vizzini

Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo:

Ervin Santana, RHP, free agent — Santana seems to be at the plate now that the dust has settled and teams need to fill out rotation spots. The Mariners, Yankees, Blue Jays, and Orioles all have some degree of interest now that his salary demands have come down. The Jays need him the most, but the Yankees could really use one more solid starter to finish off their staff. Don’t be surprised if their efforts intensify.

The way Cafardo wrote this, you can’t tell if either the Yankees are actually serious about Santana or if it’s Cafardo’s opinion that the Bombers should sign Santana. Either way, it’s not a good use of the Yankees’ resources when the club’s infield is still a glaring weakness.

We wrote about Santana in late December when we looked at the top non-Tanaka free agent pitchers available. Here’s an excerpt:

He’s a decent pitcher, and you could make the case that he’s slightly-above average, depending on how much weight you put into his 2013 performance and if you think it’s repeatable. But, he doesn’t have the track record of Garza and Ubaldo, so he’s the least attractive of three. Fangraphs crowdsourcing predicts a 3 year / $40 million deal ($13.3 million AAV), and for similar money, we’d rather go with a more sure thing in Garza or higher-upside with Ubaldo (who might actually get a lower AAV than Santana anyway). Not interested.

Garza signed with the Brewers and will make $12.5 million per season, and we’d take Garza all day over Santana, especially if their salaries end up being remotely similar. And for upside reasons alone, we’d take Ubaldo Jimenez over Santana as well. Santana is the least appealing of those three options.

And while Santana would provide more certainty to the 5th starter spot, the Yankees already have Pineda and Phelps ready to battle it out, as discussed in our pitching preview. Why commit huge dollars there when the infield is a gaping hole (giggity)?

For example, Stephen Drew would represent just as much of an upgrade as Santana. Plus, he would give the team insurance if Jeter’s retirement tour doesn’t go as expected, and could serve as a replacement for the swinging bachelor next year. Signing Drew would make more sense than Santana.

A massive farm system revamp in the making?

February 16, 2014 | 8 comments | in Farm System | by SJK

The Yankees’ minor league system is much maligned, and deservedly so. The club hasn’t produced an regular position player since Brett Gardner (drafted in 2005). They’ve bombed on every first round pick since 2007, with their 2012 (Ty Hensley – hip surgery) and 2013 first rounders TBD. Despite their financial strength, they’ve only been middle-of-the-road spenders in the international free-agent market. None of the very few higher-rated prospects in the system had strong campaigns in 2013. In fact, the consensus is that they took a step back.

Fellow NoMaasians, this is a real problem. It causes the Yankees to be overly-reliant on a free agent market where not only does the club face inflated prices, but elite players are becoming increasingly less available due to the growing trend of teams locking up their young talent through their prime years.

This is why the Yankees’ infield looks so bad. They have no one from the system to plug in and are left with a bunch of recycled parts. It’s crazy that a team with a $200 million+ payroll has such a blatant weakness, and a huge reason for that is a poor farm.

But things might be changing for the better…

While the front office bizarrely brought back the two men most responsible for this calamity, it has been making moves such as adding new coordinators and scouts, upgrading facilities, and employing more stat nerds.

It was also reported in December and then again in February that the Yankees plan to go absolutely bananas in this year’s international free agent market, in a Michael Corleone-like coordinated killing.

From Scout.com, who originally reported the story:

I originally reported the Yankees had deals with with about a half dozen players for about $12 million in December I’ve since confirmed with international sources that this is still essentially the case. The belief in December is that this was the main thrust of New York’s plans, with the Bombers likely adding another notable player or two before July 2nd and possible spending up to $15 million.

Sources indicate the first wave of six verbal deals all happened on one day, in late November/early December. The Yankees struck all six deals at once, after rumors had already spread in the industry that New York had a much heavier scouting presence in Latin America in the fall

That belief has now shifted and the industry is preparing for another wave of signings from the Bombers in the coming months. International sources are now saying they’ve heard a “second phase” is coming, with a significant amount of bonus commitments: presumably another coordinated signing wave. One source says he has heard $20 million mentioned as a possible target for overall Yankee bonus spending.

Based on the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Yankees are only “allowed” to spend ~ $2 million on international free agents this year (signing period begins July 2), and they’ll be taxed 100% on any amount over that — so that would be a HUGE outlay for a bunch of 16-year olds. Plus, if they decide to give a middle finger to the new CBA rules, they reportedly won’t be able to sign any IFAs for over $250k in 2015. The Yankees must see something they like in this year’s crop of IFAs, if this story is accurate.

It is a failure of leadership that it took the Yankees this long to recognize the problems with the farm system. However, it’s very encouraging that they are finally attempting to fix it. A vibrant farm system not only makes sense for a club’s business model, but for fans, it makes a team much more likeable when homegrown guys are contributing.

Circle jeeting

February 14, 2014 | 15 comments | in Mediot Observation | by Louis Winthorpe III

Derek Jeter Buster Olney Sweeny Murti Wallace Matthews Andrew Marchand Ian O'Connor NoMaas Yankees Circle Jerk

Jeter coverage continues with NJ.COM reporting “Derek is so handsome!”

February 14, 2014 | 5 comments | in Mediot Observation | by SJK

NJ.COM:

The video above posted by FoxSports.com is just mesmerizing — not just because of the way it takes you through Derek Jeter’s face from his rookie year through now. It’s a reminder that, with the exception of the change from his first season to the next few, he really hasn’t aged all that much in the past 20 years or so.

Maybe that makes you jealous or swoon.

If Roy Hibbert wrote this article

Much different NY media treatment: Cervelli “giggled and smiled”

February 14, 2014 | 0 comment | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

CBS New York:

Cervelli giggled and smiled when talking about Tanaka’s flight to the U.S. — his aircraft, which seats about 200, had five human passengers plus a toy poodle. Cervelli, who has a $700,000 salary, can only aspire to such a lifestyle.

“I would love to. I think first class can be fine,” he said. “You know how many home runs I have to hit to get on that plane?”

He paused, then finished his thought.

“But nothing is impossible.”

Oh, those blue eyes!

Hipster

February 14, 2014 | 3 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Photo and accompanying article (click here) from NY Post:

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